The divorce process is demanding on many levels. There are important decisions to be made, providing comfort to the kids during this time of transition, worrying about the uncertainty of what comes next, and maybe even moving to a different home. It is a lot. These were all priorities, and some may linger for months or years. But sooner or later, the mother needs to focus on themselves, which can be particularly hard for parents who routinely set aside their needs to take care of the family.
The instructions to put on the airplane mask before assisting others may not apply, but mothers help themselves and others if they take time to care for themselves. Each divorce is as different as the couples going through it. Some will be a slow slog that leaves the family depressed; others can be a moment of enlightenment where a tremendous weight was lifted.
Tips that can help
We all need a little help and inspiration, so try one or two if not all of these:
- Accept that things have forever changed: This is a big ask for some, but sometimes moving forward can only be done after leaving the past behind.
- Avoid the rebound: It is tempting to reach out to an old college flame or a divorced parent at the kid’s school, but it is best to wait until there is a clear picture of what your new reality looks like and how much time you have for a committed relationship.
- Seek guidance: See a therapist, minister or support group who can provide a non-judgmental ear.
- Don’t overburden friends: Confide in one or two trusted friends rather than opening up to whoever will listen. Keep the details to a bare minimum, so there is context without going through it all blow by blow.
- Engage in at least one healthy activity: Get reacquainted with your yoga mat or skies, or if exercise is not your thing, take a class or embrace a hobby.
- Be a great mom: Whether working outside the home or not, show them the person you were before the burden of marriage wore you down. Have a fresh new positive attitude, seek out fun activities and little adventures, or still do things the family loves to do.
Mother knows best
Everyone finds their own way in their own time. There may be a tendency to rush things along, but really the journey is more important than arriving at the destination. Be open to new opportunities as they present themselves and then embrace them. If something isn’t working as planned, find a solution that works better.