Things that can make life better for a single mom after divorce
Becoming a single mom after divorce can be a harrowing experience, but, believe it or not, there are some things you can actually do to make things worse. The reason is that emotions tend to run high during and after a divorce, and it’s easy to make bad decisions or let sadness overwhelm you.
While it’s okay to be angry or sad after a divorce, it’s also important not to let negative emotions consume you or dictate how you live your life.
I have been divorced for nearly ten years, and I can still remember how angry and emotional I was. But, I was the mom to two young kids, and I knew I couldn’t succumb to grief or make things worse than they were.
I had lots of decisions to make and a family to take care of, and I was determined to survive and do right by my kids. No matter how hurt or broken you feel, life must go on and that’s what you should focus on.
So, if you are going through a divorce or you are already divorced, here are some things you should do to take back control of your life.
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1. BECOMING A SINGLE MOM AFTER DIVORCE: DON’T BECOME AN ANGRY OR VINDICTIVE PERSON
You know what they say. “There is a thin line between love and hate.”
When marriages break down, it’s not uncommon for one party (or both) to become very angry or vindictive. However, when all you can think about is how to hurt your former spouse or make their life hell, then you know you are treading on dangerous grounds.
While it is okay to be angry, it’s not okay to make decisions based on anger or to be vindictive even if you hurt yourself in the process.
You need a clear mind to make good decisions for your family. That means you need to consider your kids and how your decisions will affect them.
So, don’t focus on how angry or hurt you feel, or how to get revenge on your former spouse. Indulging in negative feelings will only hold you back and stop you from living a good life.
Now, I am not saying you can’t express anger or you shouldn’t grieve. What I am saying is that don’t make decisions or live your life from a place of vindictiveness.
Here are some examples of what I mean.
- Don’t keep your kids away from their other dad unless there are safety concerns.
- Avoid making financial decisions that could hurt you in the long term.
- Don’t be unreasonable or obstructive during settlement or things like that.
These are just some examples of some things parents do during and after a divorce that can be vindictive and serve no useful purpose.
As a divorced single mom, avoid toxic emotions and the need for revenge. Instead, fill your heart with positivity. I know this can be very hard especially if you are newly divorced, but believe me when I say you will get through this.
These feelings will pass. You just need to weather the storm and keep your head down.
Keeping a journal is a good way to let out on your emotions and stay in control.
2. DON’T SEE YOURSELF AS A VICTIM
Divorce sucks especially if it’s not something you wanted or saw coming.
When divorce happens unexpectedly, there is a tendency to start feeling like a victim or feeling powerless. You might wonder why this happened to you or tell yourself you don’t deserve this.
Feeling sorry for yourself is fine as long as it’s within reason. What you don’t want to do is start feeling like a victim or like you are no longer in control of your life.
Yes, things might look out of control initially but remember you are still in control of your life and responsible for your decisions. Instead of feeling like a victim, see this as an opportunity to live the life you have always wanted and a chance to go after your dreams.
Don’t surround yourself with people who encourage you to feel sorry for yourself. Find people that will uplift you and encourage you to get past this season of your life.
Victimhood can keep you down longer than you need to be. You have to be up and running, planning your life, and making sure you can live a decent and financially stable life with your kids.
So, don’t ever see yourself as a victim or feel your life is out of control. You can create the life that you want, as long as you believe in yourself and take action.
3. CREATE A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE
Becoming a single mom after divorce should lead to self-reflection. Yes, this can be terrifying especially if you were married for a long time.
The prospect of living alone, taking care of your kids, becoming the breadwinner, and making big decisions alone, is enough to make you want to hide. However, this isn’t the time to hide or bury your head in the sand. This is a time to be bold and to take action.
So, the first thing you should do is take stock of your life. Do an inventory of your life, then decide how you want to move forward.
Here are some questions you can use to do an inventory of your life.
- Where are you financially? Do you have debts? What about savings?
- Do you earn enough money to live on?
- How will you survive being a single mom? Do you have a support system?
- If you don’t earn enough money (or you don’t have a job because you were a stay-at-home mom), what are your plans for finding a job or increasing your income?
- What resources are available to help you transition to single motherhood?
As you can see, there are lots of questions to ask when you become a single mom after divorce. Taking stock of your life and answering questions like the ones above will help you create an action plan for your life.
This is exactly what I did when I became a newly single mom. I determined where I was, then I decided where I wanted to go.
For me, I knew the biggest issue was how to become financially stable. As long as I was financially secure, I knew I could deal with everything else. I figured the best way was to change careers, so I went back to school.
While you don’t have to go back to school or do what I did, it’s important to have a plan and a strategy for carrying out your plan. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in despair for too long or to just cruise along without a concrete plan for your life and future.
It’s hard, but It’s exactly what you need to do.
4. HOW TO START OVER AS A SINGLE MOM: SET NEW GOALS
If you are wondering how to start over as a single mom, my answer is to set new goals for yourself. Start by creating a vision for your life, then set some goals that will help you bring your vision to life.
Ask yourself “What kind of life would I like to have as a single mom?” Write your answers down and use them to plan your future.
I like asking questions like the one above because they can inspire and motivate you to pursue your dream, and start over as a single mom.
Don’t let the fact that you are a single mom hold you back or stop you from dreaming big. Your status doesn’t define you or what kind of life you are capable o having.
Being a single mom doesn’t mean you have to settle for a mediocre life or struggle to survive. You can thrive and still enjoy life as a single mom.
So, go ahead and set some new goals for your life. Think about some short-term and long-term goals you’d like to achieve. Use them as motivation to improve your life, so you can become a successful single mom.
Here are some goals you should consider setting:
- Go back to school to complete your degree (if applicable)
- Become better at managing your finances
- Get a new job or start a career
- Move to a better location
- Spend more time with your kids
- Save more money
- Take better care of your health
- Become more positive
I love setting goals because they keep me grounded and focused. Without goals, you will find yourself meandering around with no real purpose or thought behind anything you do.
When you have something to aim for or work towards, you get a sense of purpose and life feels a lot more meaningful. So take some time to make a list of some personal and family goals.
It doesn’t matter how big your goals are, go ahead, list them, then figure out a way to make them happen. That’s how you survive being a single mom.
5. IDENTIFY THE CHALLENGES OF BECOMING A SINGLE MOTHER AFTER DIVORCE
Once you decide to accept the reality of being a single mom and start looking at things in a new way, the next step is to identify what challenges you will face as you try to rebuild your life or take control of your life.
For example, if one of your goals is to get a better job (or any job if you have been a stay-at-home mom), is anything holding you back?
I know there are lots of single moms who wish they could earn more money, but for one reason or the other, they are unable to do so. Whether it’s a lack of education or confidence, these moms can’t get past where they are right now. Sometimes, the main challenge is a lack of motivation.
It’s really important to identify some of the challenges of being a single mom and the things that can stop you from living a good life. Whatever the challenges are, write them down and try to brainstorm at least two possible solutions for each challenge.
For example, let’s say you want to go back to school, some of your challenges may include child care and finances. Some possible solutions include:
- Going to school online
- Applying for financial aid
- Attending a community college to reduce cost
For every challenge, there is at least one possible solution, so don’t let potential challenges stop you from going after your dreams. So, go ahead, list your goals, identify possible challenges, then come up with reasonable solutions for them.
If you don’t know where to start ask yourself these questions?
- What does my dream life look like?
- What’s stopping me from living my dream life?
6. DEVELOP GOOD HABITS
To succeed as a single mom, you need to develop good habits. Developing good habits is one way to improve your life and circumstances.
When I talk about developing good habits, I am referring to habits that will help you create your dream life. Unfortunately, lots of single moms sabotage themselves with bad habits. They engage in practices that undermine them or stop them from making progress.
If you are in need of a change and want to better your life, start by looking at your habits. Do your habits promote growth or do they keep you stuck? How committed are you to doing the things you know you need to do?
If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, you know you are on the right track. However, if you can’t answer these questions or you are not entirely sure, it’s time to take a deep look at your habits and make some changes if necessary.
Below is a list of some good habits for single moms who want a better life.
- Good time management
- Routines and schedules that help you maximize your time and boost productivity
- Good money management
- A love of learning and a desire to keep improving yourself
- Goal setting and planning
- Self-care including eating well and exercising
Developing good habits require determination, lots of effort, and patience because it can be hard for new habits to stick. However, if you keep trying and don’t give up, these habits will become second nature before you know it.
Wrapping up becoming a single mom after divorce
Becoming a single mom after divorce is very challenging, but it’s possible to take control of your life and not make your situation worse.
It’s important to focus on things that will improve your life instead of feeling angry and bitter at your situation.
Finally, you don’t have to settle for less than the best as long as you are willing to work hard and make good decisions.
Are you divorced? How did you cope with becoming a single mom after divorce?
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