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11 Ways To Make Life After Divorce Easier As A Newly Single Parent

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11 Ways To Make Life After Divorce Easier For Single Parents
Family, Heartbreak

Parenting after divorce can feel overwhelming, but there are ways to get through it.

When I look back at my experience of sudden separation from my ex-husband, I remember experiencing the enormous impact and devastation like a hurricane — a personal life hurricane.

Life after divorce for newly single parents can feel overwhelming. Parenting your kids while going through a divorce is exactly like feeling the before and after effects of a hurricane.

Why the comparison? I am Puerto Rican and, at the same time, Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

My beloved island encountered the worst natural disaster on record and I experienced the destruction of a "happy ever after" story — the demolition of a home, the devastation of a family unit, and downpour on my personal identity.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Be A Fantastic Parent While Going Through A Divorce

As a result, my whole experience was bigger, bolder, and painful in my heart. I was in a space that was trying to comprehend what happened with my family and, at the same time, having a precious and innocent 3-year-old asking questions about her papa.

At the time, I didn’t know what our lives after divorce were going to look like as we were going through this storm, but what I did know is that all hurricanes pass! It shall pass and I continuously and incessantly told myself.

What happens after a hurricane? You always assess the damage, acknowledge your challenges, start planning, and take action on your rebuilding process. And that’s what I did!

Therefore, the reconstruction of my life after divorce as a newly single parent commenced.

When you start building yourself and your new life after divorce, you need to start with a good foundation and that is the hardest part. To get the foundation right for you, it may take some testing and several trials and errors. Instant gratification will not work and what it is needed is lots of patience to withstand a slow process./p>

I hope that my life lessons will serve you in gaining perspective and to remind you that you are not alone. There are so many women that have been through a personal hurricane in their lives and came out wiser, bolder, and whole afterward.

Here are 11 ways to make life after divorce easier for newly single parents.

1. Ask for help.

As a certified professional coach, I knew that I needed professional support and specialized help. I had a small group of family and friends that supported the newly divorced me, but they couldn’t substitute the guidance of an expert.

My big concern was to assimilate the separation and divorce process in a responsible way and provide safety to my daughter and myself. I went to cognitive therapy, gratitude training, and hired a divorce coach for my transition phase. It was immensely helpful and I truly feel that it speed up my healing journey.

2. Stand up to the challenge.

"It is happening; there is no way around it," I told myself.

I made the decision to face reality and take responsibility for our lives. As soon as I stopped thinking, feeling, and acting like a victim, I got my powerful self back. My biggest challenge was to actively engage with my child while detaching from my marriage.

3. Acknowledge grief.

It is very rare that divorce and grief are used in the same sentence. The definition of grief is defined as deep sorrow, especially the one that was caused by someone's death.

The unbinding of a romantic relationship and the untangling of the attachment of a close relationship with your ex-spouse will bring feelings of loss and mourning. So there are many strong emotions around it such as anger, sadness, fear, loneliness, and shame.

If you start working with those relational attachments and grief before the actual divorce, it will help smooth the way for your new life.

4. Honor and hold space for emotions.

Coping with divorce is one of the most difficult life transitions you will live. While enduring the divorce proceedings, you will feel an emotional minefield that somehow you have to figure out when to walk around carefully, and when to walk safely and actually feel your emotions.

When you ask for help, you will get access to specific tools to manage strong emotions like anger, sadness, and grief. It is crucial that you give yourself permission to experience your feelings so that you don’t get impacted with emotional bombs later in the process.

5. Assimilate the attitude, "My child comes first."

Children of divorce often react to their parents' separation with sadness, hurt, anger, and/or stress. But, you can help them through it.

Every day, every night, every thought, and every decision you make in this daunting process, please make it through with this mantra: "Will it hurt or help my children?"

It's hard, but not impossible. You are going through major grief and immeasurable emotions, it is crucial that you stop, step back and apply this mantra every single time.

Love your children more than your dislikes and disagreements with your former spouse. I assure you that life after divorce will be better if you utilize this mantra.

RELATED: 21 Ways To Be An Amazing Single Parent After A Divorce

6. Create and maintain new routines.

Even though your life is changing, it is crucial for your children to maintain some sort of stability and safety when everything else is inconstant. It is very important to keep the daily routines such as meal times, bedtime schedules, and school times.

Another way is to create new family traditions and celebrations like playing board games in pajamas, spending time in nature, and create cute little celebrations such as Taco Night, Pizza Night, and Tea Parties while creating bonding experiences with friends.

7. Establish boundaries and communicate non-violently.

When you deal with a difficult personality, it is healthy to rewrite the rules of your new relationship with your ex-spouse. It really helped me to start viewing your co-parenting relationship as a business partnership. It is no longer your business what your ex-spouse does in their private life. The only common denominator between the two of you is your children.

We are not friends, but we are partners when it comes to raising a human being. In the beginning, it was so hard to establish lines of separation, but it is absolutely necessary so you can move on with your life! It truly worked for me, because it gave me a straightforward sense of separation where I took my emotions out, and focus on our shared mission which is our daughter’s well being.

The intention is to maintain cordial lines of communication and a willingness to work together for the sake of the children.

9. Incorporate gratitude living.

I embraced the daily practice of gratitude and truly changed my life. I started intentionally emphasizing the good, and great things that happened to me that day. It brought a sense of appreciation to my life and the recognition that my life was not all bad because I was going through a divorce.

Before going to sleep, I re-lived my day and acknowledged five good and great things that I experienced during the day. With practice, I started noticing the simple, the plain and ordinary things that I took for granted before.

For example, at first I was grateful for a new client, but with time it got more specific. I would be grateful for a precise bonding moment with my daughter or the taste of warm food, and the safety and warmth of my bed.

Practice gratitude living because it will bring joy into your life.

10. Prioritize tender loving care for yourself .

We tend to be loving and compassionate to everybody else, but when it comes to us it may be awkward. Well, this is the time to pursue that self-love skill. You are going through a major transition in life, and it’s absolutely necessary to smile and feel alive again.

The compass that I use to determine a TLC activity for me is super simple: if the plain idea makes me smile and gives me excitement energy, I would embrace that "ding-ding" idea!

11. Take time to dream again.

When you engage with possibilities type of energy, it is where growth and transformation unfolds. At this point, you are disengaged and free from mental and emotional games, created new roles and expectations as a mom and as a new family unit, and you’ve moved on from thoughts like: "Why did I choose to stay with my ex for so long?"

You start to embrace your new status and feel proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished.

There is so much confidence that comes from divorce!

You’ve been through a personal hurricane that brought you to your knees. But you managed to push hard and, along the way, discovered your immense power, inner strength and learned how to access your joy triggers.

As you move forward with your life after divorce as a single parent, remember that you are an elegant warrior who has reinvented her life with grit and grace!

RELATED: 10 Ways Life After Divorce Is So Much Better (Really!)

Socary Rodriguez is a Certified Life Transitions Coach and Reinvention Strategist who works with women undergoing major life transitions in life and guides them to remember their courage, self-worth, and joy. Send her an email, read more of her writing on healing from divorce on Thrive Global, Elephant Journal, or YourTango, and grab her Self Love Toolkit so that you feel supported, joyful and energized no matter how crazy life gets!