For some, going through a divorce can feel like all your hopes and dreams were just crushed under a huge pile of bricks; while for others it can feel like a pile of bricks was lifted from your back. Either way, moving on as a single parent is a new and sometimes challenging experience. Let’s look at some of the things that might crop up as you start your single parent life.
One of the more challenging aspects of being a single parent is the feeling of being alone. Sometimes being alone can be a positive thing but if you are missing that special connection with another adult then you are not alone. Rather than putting yourself out there in the “market” right away take some time for you. Companionship can be found in many healthy activities such as craft groups, support groups, a bowling team, or anywhere you can make new friends and not feel so alone.
Give yourself some time to heal before dating again. For some, healing can involve learning to love yourselves again, and for others it could be learning to be on your own as a single parent. As much as you may feel like you can never do this alone don’t jump into another relationship until you have proven to yourself that you can. For some this can prove to be a struggle but it is possible. The only true way to have a healthy relationship with anyone is to be a whole (healed) person before you begin a relationship.
Build a support group of friends and family. Choose only those who help you to feel good about yourself. Disconnect from those who put you down or doubt your abilities. You don’t need these people. And yes, you can tell them. Simply say that if they don’t have something positive to contribute then you can’t be around them right now. They will either change their ways or move on. If you find yourself without positive support or just would like more then you can always turn to local church groups in your community. Many larger churches have single parent support groups.
Children Need Healing and Support as Well
Your children need time to adjust to their new normal. Healing and support is crucial for them as well. No matter how adjusted you thing you are, think about where your kids are in their adjustment journey before you think about starting a new relationship. And when they are ready, and you’re thinking about dating, ask yourself: Will this person be a good influence? How soon should I introduce a new person into my child’s life? How will my child react? These are all valid questions and there is no one correct answer. The best thing to do is to consider these questions and more before you even consider dating.
You Will Adapt and Thrive as a Single Parent if you Allow Yourself
Adjusting to being a single parent is sometimes quite hard. Don’t give up on yourself though. You will adjust, heal, and become a better person/parent for your children.