Your First Year As a Single Mom? 3 Thoughts to Embrace

Your First Year As a Single Mom? 3 Thoughts to Embrace

There is no “right” way to navigate a divorce and post-divorce life. However, there are steps you can take to make the process smoother. For example, this post on divorce in Wisconsin shows how the process might be slightly different based on the state you are in. You should know, too, that there is no set number of days after which you will feel better and have single parenting figured out. Practical advice often falls short because your situation may differ in a fundamental way from the person dishing out advice.

Being a parent is hard. But being a single parent? Where you used to have someone who could help you shoulder parenting duties, now there’s just you. Here are 3 thoughts to help you stay strong and uncover a whole lot of parenting grit you may not have known you had.

  1. It’s okay to feel lonely.

In some cases, people will try to help and that will only make it worse. You may feel that you will never get over it. The thought you should embrace right now is that it is okay to feel lonely. That space that used to have another person in it is gone, you now get to be choosy about what you put there to fill that gap. It does not need to be another person. It could be taking more time to take care of yourself. Exercise, take up a hobby, get a dog, or learn a skill that you have always wanted to master. Use loneliness to search for new depths to yourself. However, if you feel that your loneliness is pulling you into depression, seek counseling.

  1. Be compassionate with yourself.

Divorce no longer carries the stigma it used to have in years past. But when people find out that you are a single mother, you may be unprepared for stares or whispers or that slight distancing of themselves from you.

Dealing with perceived criticism can leave you feeling tired and deflated. And who has time and energy for that? Avoid projecting your insecurities on others. Instead, protect your thoughts and inner life by bathing everything you see and experience in a huge dose of compassion. That person giving you the side-eye has a rough home life. Or maybe it’s a Botox job gone wrong that is causing that face contortion… You just don’t know. When you feel odd looks thrown your way, hold your head high. They do not know your personal struggle. If they did, they would be impressed by just how much you handle. As it is, they will likely never know, but you know, and that is what matters.

  1. You do not need to take other people’s advice.

That includes the advice in this article. Just like when you were pregnant, you may now find yourself fielding unsolicited advice on how to deal with post-divorce parenting. As a bonus, you may even get to hear about others’ breakups seen through the eyes of people still together with their partner. People mean well. But if their advice is inapplicable or maybe even wildly inappropriate, you do not need to listen. State that you are not ready to talk about your separation, but if they would really like to help, you are looking for a baby-sitting spot on X day of the week. This will keep the noisiest advice-givers away, or at the least you get a baby sitter from that interaction.

Those who truly care for you will show it by caring and supportive actions. These are the people who may actually have helpful counsel, based off of their close proximity to your situation. So if you have a good friend who knows you well, you might want to listen to what they are saying on occasion. But for everyone else who offers free stories and opinions, say “Thank you, but no.”

One comment

Comments are closed.