What No One Tells You About Divorce After Kids

No matter how you arrived at the doors of divorce, whether it was your choice or not, it’s tough. When you have children, your thoughts on how your separation will affect them are at the forefront of your mind. We are all aware that a parental dispute of any kind can negatively impact children but what are the issues no one talks about when you divorce with kids? We talk you through some of the lesser-known facts about what you can expect.

  • Trying to be perfect is pointless 

In a world influenced by Instagram and Facebook activity, it’s easy to compare others’ lives on social media. Divorcing especially can make you feel less than perfect. In actual fact, it can often be those people who have experienced divorce who make strong and resilient parents. Don’t feel like you have to exhaust yourself by going the extra mile to reach parent perfection. Doing this will likely not have a positive effect on your children anyway who simply want your presence and time. 

  • Divorce can make you a better parent 

When you are bringing up children together it can work really well if you have shared beliefs and values. But if these differ, it can be difficult to parent effectively. After divorce, your experience may help you look at your own parenting style, reflect on your own methods and go on to develop and grow your own improved way of parenting. As a single parent, you will also find making decisions much easier, leaving your child in no doubt as to what is happening, receiving clear guidance and without further conflict is hugely beneficial to them. 

  • Friendships change 

If you and your children have mutual friends with your ex-spouse, you may find that these connections change following your divorce. It can be particularly challenging if these friends take a different view on your divorce to you. Try to stay as neutral as you can so your children can continue their friendships without difficulty. It’s also a good opportunity to form new friendships with other single parents who are more likely to understand your position and can offer comfort and solidarity. 

  • You may be sorry you didn’t organise finances properly 

If you were the party who initiated the divorce, you may feel a level of guilt. This guilt can lead you to make some unwise decisions if you are not careful. For example, if you were the one who left your spouse, you may feel obliged to not make a big deal about making proper child care financial arrangements. Later down the line, this can be a source of regret if you struggle financially or if your ex-spouse won’t agree to pay child care maintenance. 

  • It can feel like all…and then nothing 

If you are sharing custody with your ex, then one minute the children will be with you and the next they won’t’. One minute you will be very involved in what your children are doing,  from making sure they are brushing their teeth, to turning off the wi-fi so they do their homework, to then being left in an empty house. This can feel quite disconcerting so it’s a good idea to ensure you plan this child-free time ahead by spending time with friends, taking up a new hobby or simply resting and relaxing! 

A final thought…

When you have children, your thoughts are very much focussed on them, but don’t forget that you need time for you too. Use the time you have to yourself to re-energise and if you have your children full-time, tap into your support network to plan a time for you.

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