Break-ups and divorce are never fun. To end a relationship with someone you thought you would spend forever with is hard.
Adding children to the mix, just makes it that much more complicated.
Making the transition from wife or significant other to coparent will send a flood of emotions coursing through you.
When you share a child or children with your ex, it amplifies your feelings.
You don’t have the luxury of never speaking to your ex again. You two have to continue some form of a relationship. Preferably a healthy one so that things will go smoothly for the children involved.
As a mom of a blended family, I have learned a few tricks that have made the experience a better one for all parties involved. It would be wrong of me not to share.
Keep the lines of communication open
Developing an action plan you both can agree on can be best in the beginning. You two can hire a mediator or sit down and come to an agreement together if this wasn’t done during the divorce.
Go through the discomfort of handling this as early as you can so that there is no confusion later about who is responsible for what.
Set your boundaries
Transitioning into the role of coparent means that you have to set boundaries.
Is there a certain time that you don’t want to be contacted after?
If he meets someone do you want to meet the person before he brings her around your child?
Make your expectations crystal clear and discuss them until you two can come to an agreement.
You have the right to set boundaries so that you can maintain your physical and emotional space.
Respect his boundaries
Yep, you’re not the only one with boundaries. I’m sure he will have a few of his own.
Boundaries can hurt your feelings because you’re accustomed to full access. This is a different stage of your relationship and there are certain privileges you will no longer get as a coparent.
Be gentle with your feelings and don’t beat yourself up over your emotional reactions. It’s hard, but respect the boundaries he’s set in place. Treat his boundaries the same way you want him to treat yours.
Seek out support
This is brand new territory for you and this can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
You need to surround yourself with people who love you and with people who will support you. Family, friends, and support networks will get you through difficult feelings. You will work through anger management and the varying challenges that come along with a break up or divorce.
There are also formal methods of help. Consider family mediation, a therapist, or a psychologist. Never be afraid to reach out for the support you need.
I personally have sought out counseling a couple different instances to address my feelings and work through them in a healthy manner.
It helps! I promise!
Take care of your own well being
Taking care of yourself is a non-negotiable. You can’t parent effectively when you aren’t taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well being. You want to give your children the best version of yourself. They depend on you to take care of them and to keep them safe. In order to do that, you need to be healthy.
As with any transition, there will be adjustments to get use to. Being flexible, even with these, knowing that things change as time progresses, will help you get acquainted with your new normal.