My husband moved out Boxing Day. I don’t know why we thought spending Christmas together would be a good idea when we knew we were separating. The kids were sad, I was angry and he was eager to get through Christmas to leave. Now what?
There are lots of separating couples that make decisions they wonder about at a later date. Some even go on one last holiday and others spend one last holiday season together. You did it, it’s over and there is nothing you can do to change what happened.
What you can do now is focus on your life with your children and your future. If you are OK, your kids will be OK.
Routines are essential to establish stability in the new family unit. If you have shared custody then make sure the children have input on the scheduling of their visits back and forth.
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of divorce is acceptance of the changes needed in this new reality.
Rules need to be established. Will he be expected to knock at your door and wait for it to be opened? How much interaction between the two of you is another question to consider. Do you keep connected on social media? Too often social media is used as a place to get even and no one benefits from public outbursts. Your children might see it and their friends might see it too.
Your goal right now is to begin to put your new life together ensuring stability for your children after what has probably been many difficult months.
Learning a new language of ‘my’ children and ‘me’ is another task. They are your children together but when talking to friends and family I found it best to refer to them as mine. Using plural pronouns only complicated matters because we weren’t ‘us’ anymore.
He is gone. So another question is how you will refer to him in conversation. The children’s father is one example and his given name another. Both are less abrasive than my Ex.
Starting a new life has its challenges but being prepared for these eventualities helps ease the transition. Your children have probably experienced some very difficult times and keeping the negative emotion controlled will be of great benefit to them.
How will you deal with parent teacher interviews? Do you feel comfortable sharing the interview with him or do you wish to do it separately?
Schools are very accommodating toward separate interviews so ask for it if you feel that is what you want. Above all do what makes you most comfortable and not what he expects you to do. This is your new life now. School concerts and sports events can be dealt with in the same way. Any decision can be altered down the road but for now do what feels best for you.
Resolve to be the best parent you can be. Your children need to know they can depend on you and that you will be balanced and fair in your decision making with them.
Too often our loss of control in the divorce process leads to an anger that is acted out on people closest to us.
Gaining control of our emotions means better decision making and there will be many decisions ahead. Your children have a future that needs to be considered. They can weather divorce and lead fulfilling lives with kindness, security and guidance.
ABOUT LINDA SIMPSON
“I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl
Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.
As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.
She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.
She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’
In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.
She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.
She is a writer and poet and is presently at work on a book based on her divorce experience.