By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC
Divorce is a life-altering experience that takes its toll on your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Its ramifications not only turn your own world upside down, but can also seriously affect your innocent children – a dire consequence we all want to avoid.
Since divorce is a process, often a lengthy one, there are days – yes, weeks and months – when life can seem awfully low. Often overbearing. The weight can seem just too much to carry. The many life changes related to divorce can play a part in these difficult circumstances. And when you’re a parent at the same time … well, you know how it feels!
Just know, as well, that you’re not alone. Parenting is tough for everyone, even under the best of circumstances. Parenting through and beyond divorce takes enormous focus and a continuous need for compassion, both for yourself and your children. If you take it day by day, you will find the strength and the insight to make decisions that tap into your innate wisdom and love for your children.
But it’s also essential to parent and nurture yourself at the same time. Take a tip from the airlines when they instruct you to put your oxygen mask on first before providing oxygen to your children. You need to be alert and functioning well before you can make decisions on behalf of the children who matter so deeply to you.
So get the help you need to recharge, de-stress and unwind from time to time. Share your frustrations with a caring friend or a compassionate coach or a counselor who specializes in divorce issues. Join a support group for divorced Moms or Dads. Reach out to churches or other spiritual resources that empower you. Treat yourself to a massage, concert, evening out, weekend away from the kids or other activity that energizes your psyche.
Don’t suffer or brood alone. We all need help, support and encouragement from an outside source that we respect. We can’t always give it to ourselves – but we can and must let others know when we need a shoulder to cry on, a babysitter for an occasional indulgence or a team of reinforcement when the burden of moving on feels too heavy.
And keep this advice in mind. Sometimes all you need is to take care of yourself for a day – and you’ll have the clearer perspective you need to make sound decisions on behalf of your children. Whether you’re a divorced co-parent or single parent, remember your first obligation is to parent yourself with loving compassion. Your family will thank you!
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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is a Certified Divorce & Parenting Coach, founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! For her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting as well as articles, coaching services and other valuable resources on divorce with children, visit: www.childcentereddivorce.com.
© Rosalind Sedacca All rights reserved.