How to Make It Work as a Newly Single Mom
When you go from being one-half of a couple to becoming a newly single mom, it's only natural to feel a little lost. Making decisions on supporting your child, prioritizing your time and redefining your relationships can leave you wondering if you're making the right choices. By putting a plan in place now, you can weather the challenges of being newly single with a child to create a schedule and lifestyle that works for you and your family.
Establish the ground rules for you and your child's father. You'll need to work out issues like child support and custody and visitation, but you can also lay down rules around how you and your ex-spouse speak about each other or the type of relationship he has with his child, suggests DrPhil.com.
Talk frankly with your children if they are older and can better understand the process of a divorce, but never speak negatively about your former spouse. Let them know what to expect as far as seeing their father, changes to their schedule and where you might need extra help. Older kids and teens can help clean your home, cook simple meals and watch younger children to streamline your new routine.
Plan ahead as much as possible. As a single mom, you'll be confronted with roadblocks and conflicts that you'll need to solve on your own. Plans for child care, proper budgeting and what to do in an emergency situation are all necessary for making your new family arrangement work. Having a plan in place can make you feel more in charge of the situation.
Set personal and professional goals for you and your child, suggests the book "The Successful Single Mom." Finding yourself newly single can seriously disrupt the plans and goals you had for your family, but it doesn't mean you have to scrap them completely 2. Redefine what you want for yourself, your family and your professional life so you have something new to look forward to and work toward, such as a promotion at work, spending quality time with your child and healing from your breakup or divorce.
Ask for help and accept a hand when it's offered. While you may want to prove you can do it all on your own, accepting help from a relative when you need some "me" time or delegating some of your responsibilities at work can help you adjust and adapt as a single mom.
Create traditions and rituals for you and your child to enjoy together. Whether it's reading a story before bedtime each night or eating breakfast with each other before school, these rituals help you connect and add stability to your new and changing life together. When work becomes stressful or you deal with relationship issues with your ex, these rituals can anchor you to what's really important.
- Babycenter.com: 7 Survival Tips for Single Parents
- The Successful Single Mom; Honoree Corder
- Ohio State University Extension: Teens and Divorce: What Hurts and What Helps?
- Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images