Becoming a Single Mom After Divorce: What to Know or Expect As a New Single Mom
If you are looking for what to expect as a single mum after divorce then here they are: stress, headache, despair, anger, frustration and the list is endless. On the flip side however you have strength, resilience, courage, self-drive, independence and the list goes on.
However you look at it, raising a child alone is no mean feat. But you need to persevere and owing to the absence of the other parent, the stakes get higher.
The good news (as always) is that you can still move forward and move past virtually all obstacles. The major issue after a divorce as a single mum are the kids. They have just been thrown into the open with no father and are still grappling with the change. You have to find a way to talk to them about what you are going through while listening to their feelings.
Note of warning though, the year you become a divorcee is probably going to be the worst year of your life- issues with your ex, the children, angry in-laws that will heap the entire blame on you will put the heat literally under you.
But this does not mean your messy divorce should equal messed up kids. Thriving after a divorce does not necessarily depend on the size of your pocket but more on having a positive mindset, good relationship with the kids and tons and tons of hardworking (you cannot shy away from that now can you?).
So below is a list of some of the most common challenges you will face as a single mum immediately after a divorce but do not be scared, I have also included their solutions.
You Will Be Judged: You probably already know this right? Starting from your ex husband’s family members (and even some of yours), the judgement seat on your behalf is going to be elevated.
You will get a lot of negative criticism. And the funny thing is that nobody would ever know what you went through or tolerated for so long. People always tend to judge others based on what they know on the surface area. Do not let this get to you, it could make you feel bad about yourself.
Reversal: Here is a tip you should know once and for all. When people judge you, most times, it is a reflection of their own shortcomings. So they are mirroring you through the filters of their own lenses.
What to do? These people cannot change (do not even bother trying). The much you can do is to have your most loyal ones around to draw strength and support from. Do not dwell on situations like this when they happen. Instead, forget about the person and the encounter and go about your daily activities.
Your Self-Esteem and Worth Will Nose Dive: This is only temporarily. No matter how messy your divorce was and how no love was lost between the both of you, the absence of your partner is surely going to have an impact in your life.
You just took a step down from two to one. Divorces are pretty much like break-upss, they do a number with our senses. During your first year as a single mum, you will feel lonely and unloved. These emotions are perfectly normal at this stage. However, you must never give them room to fester.
Reversal: This is when you need to gird up your adventure spirit. You have to try out a lot of things to see which works perfectly. It is possible there are things you have always wanted to do but could not because you were with your partner. Now will definitely be a good time.
By this however I do not mean you should jump into another relationship just because you are lonely. It is only normal to feel lonely and in need of a man’s love and attention. However this should not be the reason why you get into another one otherwise, you will jump out faster than you jumped in.
At this stage, take time to work on yourself and make amends for any mistake on your part that caused the divorce. Look after yourself and the kids and the right partner will come at the right time.
The Ex Issue: Now listen, just because you just divorced your husband does not mean you will not hear from him again. He is bound to get on your nerves and irritate you to no end. You are probably used to this because if you both were lovey-dovey you would not have gotten a divorce in the first place right? Yes so expect him to make you want to scream.
This is the first year apart for both of you so you both are still trying to find your footing as a result, issues are bound to arise.
Reversal: You will be needing several doses of hard-work, some ounces of patience, a whiff of compromise and a dash of tolerance. With these, you and your ex can still establish a friendly relationship.
It is not going to be easy but it is necessary at least for the kids. Unless of course your ex has issues such as addiction, temperamental issues, abusive etc then you may not need to strive for a friendly relationship.
You Are Bound to Make Mistakes: Obviously you will ( who does not?) Becoming a single mum is a whole new experience and you will make mistakes but you will learn. If you are scared of making mistakes, then you may as well not make a decision.
In the course of making mistakes, you will also make some really great decisions so either way, you gain some and lose some.
Reversal: Do not be hard on yourself. You are not perfect and neither is he or anyone. To have an accumulation of good decisions means that you have made scores of bad ones. To help limit your mistakes, try having trusted friends and family whom you can confide in. They must be people that you trust enough to share some intimate decisions that you want to take with.
The Finances Will Plummet: This is to be expected. When you both were together, responsibilities were shared. But now, that has been stripped. Even if you are getting child support/alimony, there is no guarantee as to how long it will keep coming. What if your ex husband dies?
Reversal: Get something profitable doing. Now will not be the best time to go looking for where or whom to depend on so that you will not come off as a woman who latches on men.
Prove to the world and the kids that you are a capable mother who can take on virtually any challenge. If you already have something doing, try and look for other means to increase your income. You can learn a new skill and add that to what you already have going for you.
The Issue of Dating: This issue will definitely pop up. You cannot stay single forever and with time, other guys will become interested. This is sure to be an issue between you and the kids because they will not like it. Plus, you you will have the issue of getting used to another man.
Reversal: Do not be in a hurry to start another relationship. You just got out of one and are still recuperating. Therefore even when overtures come, take time before resuming the dating game.
Do not expect your kids and the new guy to become instant buddies. They will see him as a replacement of their father and the new centre of your attention. Give it some time. Be sure to bring him home only after you are sure of his character and intentions.
The Kids: Surely you will get their own doses of misbehavior. They are still dealing with the separation so they will misbehave every now and then and when they do, you will feel it is your fault.
Reversal: Bear this in mind, it has absolutely nothing to do with you. Every kids acts out and this is not because of your current relationship status. Have a clear cut plan of your expectations from the kids.
Enforce some discipline for certain misbehaviour so they know it is not acceptable. Besides enforcing discipline, you must also be consistent. Consistency makes for permanence and helps mould them into responsible adults.
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