There comes a moment in a relationship that’s gone bad that you realize and you accept it’s done. Those words, “it’s over”, ring through your head. You might not even remember which of you said it first, or last. But you know it’s the truth. And there is a sense of calm about that fact when you accept it. After what may have been months of unhappiness and argument, you know all of that is over too.
Of course, life is about to be very different. You have freedom and also more restraint than before. You’re about to be a single parent. And you’re also about to be free of a relationship that really got you down. Your feelings will change. There will be anger, sadness, relief, and even joy. But it’s not your feelings you need to be concerned with right now. Your kids are about to go through hell.
When they learn that Daddy and Mommy are no longer living together, they will be devastated. Even if they know you are both happier living apart, they can’t understand yet how that will work. They fear a situation they’ve never experienced before. One parent won’t be there. So what can you do? Kids need routine, security, and love. Create a routine you can all stick to, and make it clear that both parents will always be available.
You may choose to move swiftly with the legal side of your separation. This can be very helpful if there is a new partner on the scene. The divorce lawyers at Skillern Firm believe that an amicable divorce is the easiest and least painful way to move forward. It takes the pressure off the parents, and this reduces the stress for the kids. At this stage of your separation, only the lawyers may be talking to each other. However, it’s important you find a way to politely communicate with your ex, for the sake of the kids.
Being the only adult in the house with the kids can be difficult. You won’t be able to go out in the evenings without getting a childminder in. And you’ll be solely responsible for the cooking, cleaning, and shopping. This can take quality time away from you and the kids. Share the tasks wherever possible. If you can afford it, get a housekeeper in to help, so you are free to be with the kids right now.
Children can often push boundaries at this difficult time. They can feel the situation is all about them. Try talking candidly with them. Speak about how hard it is being a newly single parent. Talk about your own sadness about the situation. And be honest about how you and your ex can be better parents when you’re apart. If things are still difficult, family counselling can be very helpful if you’re all willing to attend.
You may be surprised at how quickly you fall into your new routines and feel comfortable with how things are. It may get tricky again in the future when new partnerships are formed. But for now, you and your kids can share some quality time together.