Divorce is tough. Separation is just as bad.
No matter what, this time is really one where your strength and perseverance is tested – continuing being a good enough parent while filled with anger, hate and resentment for the person with whom you had these children with.
Coping with emotions during divorce is almost a new skill to be learned and mastered in a very short and intense time.
Very demanding and exhausting time so make sure that you are looking after yourself; eat well, rest well and do things that you enjoy. If you are invited out go!
So here are the best ways to make sure you’re ok:
- It is not wrong for your little ones to see you cry and be upset. On the contrary, it will allow them to do the same and this just means that they deal with what is going on here and now – because they have permission to do so from you. It is ok to cry.
- What is not all right though, is for you to take it that bit further and cry 24 hours a day and be unable to play parent to them. Your little ones may then feel that they will need to parent you and look after you so that you are not always upset. Just keep in mind that they need you to care for them even through the tears.
- Avoid blaming daddy for what he did or didn’t do or how much mummy has hurt the whole family – they don’t need to know this. The blame game is not conducive to their wellbeing. They are the children and no matter what, they need taking care off and no matter what your ex is still and will always be their parent. I promise you that you will not win any points by berating or slagging off your ex to your children! Find your own support system made up of someone who will be more than happy to listen to your pains and woes about what happened or what is happening.
- Show of sheer anger is best kept away from your little ones them. It only scares them no matter what age. Find ways to deal with it out of their view.
- Remember that the children too are trying to deal with everything that is going on so you might need to be extra vigilant in terms of their behaviour, sleep, eating and general demeanour. Avoid getting into a screaming match with your daughter or son – it’s hard enough with one person throwing a tantrum let alone two. As hard as it may seem at that point either contain their emotions by talking to them or leave them at it or you take yourself out of that space and go to another room.
- If you are having a particularly difficult day or time, let you children know. Just speak to them. Try this, “I cannot right now honey. I am very tired.” “There is really no point in throwing a tantrum because it won’t work. I am exhausted and just need a few moments to get back to normal. I’m sorry.”
Just always keep the children in mind. When it’s tough let them know and find ways to deal with the heavy paralysing emotions that come with this part of your journey. With a bit of work, they will pass.
Don’t forget the new online course on Parenting after Separation – with over 20 lectures and 2 hours of content focusing on children of divorce.