They say that being a parent is the toughest job in the world, but there is not job that is tougher than becoming a single parent. No one thinks when they have children that they will be raising them by themselves, but when you get divorced, even though you have an ex, it is still all you when you have your kids.
Being a newly divorced mom, here are some things you should know.
- Budget your money. You now don't have two incomes to rely on or even one large income, just your income and child support. Learn to budget and cut out the unimportant things, remember, what is important is the time you are with your kids, not what you buy for them.
- Budget your time. Whether you work or stay at home, you now will be doing it all, from carpool to homework to bath and bedtime. Learn how to budget your time so you can still have "me" time to recharge!
- The art of being a co-parent. You might be divorced from your ex, but you still have to raise children together. Keep the lines of communication open and work together for the sake of the children.
- Become self-reliant. Everything falls on your shoulders as a single parent, and that includes issues with the car, the house and the kids. Each repair that you fix yourself, without relying on anyone else…except a repairman…is a huge step towards your independence!
- Have the patience of a saint. It takes time for children to adjust to the single parent household and the new routine of going back and forth. Don't be surprised if your children act out when they first come back from a visit with the other parent. Just maintain your patience and remember this too shall pass.
- Set up new rules. New house, new house rules. Because you are now a one parent household, set up new rules with your kids for the house. Changing things is not a bad thing, and it also shows the kids that you are all starting a new life!
- Take time for you. Don't feel as if it is selfish to put your kids in front of a movie so you can take a bath or have some time alone to refuel. Remember, happy mom's equal happy kids.
- Ask for help. You will need some help sometimes, and don't be afraid to ask for it. Whether it is from a parent or a friend, it is vital that you don't try to do it all on your own. Good friends and family will not feel as if you are taking advantage of them when you ask, so don't be shy.
- Keep positive. It is so important to know that even though you are now divorced, this doesn't mean that your children are now going to fail or not be able to have a successful relationship. Children learn by example, so if you love them, they will learn love.
- Love your new life. There is no denying that this is a tough time, but embrace the change and look it as an adventure into a better place and life for you and your children.