Being a parent is hard work. Being a single parent is even harder! Where before there was someone else to share some of the load, after a divorce you are responsible for everything. Though difficult as it may seem, all is not lost. While you’re going to have your hands full for quite a while, there are some things you can do to help make the process easier on yourself.
Being in charge of finances, household maintenance, your job, and your kids can be very overwhelming when you’re doing it alone. However, there’s one thing everyone can do that will help to take the edge off – making a list. It seems like such a simple thing. You may be wondering how on earth it could make a difference, but believe us, it will!
Make a List:
Writing down the things that need to be done, whether daily, weekly or monthly, will help you start to feel more structured and give you a game plan to start following. It’s easy to forget things when you are stressed out and tired, but a list takes the pressure off. Write down all the things that have to happen in your household and put it up somewhere. As you see it everyday and refer to it often, you will be amazed at how quickly you start to feel a little less disorganized.
Assign your children chores. Even little kids can help by picking up toys, stacking books, and gathering up shoes in the hallway. The older your children are the more they are capable of helping you with regular duties. While they may be resistant at first, especially if they didn’t have chores before the divorce, it will become routine if you stick to it and you will be grateful later (and so will their future spouses!)
Pick one afternoon a month to deal with bills and put it on the calendar. When the bills come in, put them in a box on your desk or in some other place where they won’t be misplaced, and then don’t think about them until it’s time. Don’t try to pay your bills in bits and pieces as they come in. This system will allow you to give your undivided attention to your accounts and finances for a few hours at a time, and then put them out of your mind for a month. All in all, it will help to reduce your stress level, and also the chance that something may be missed or skipped over in the shuffle.
While this falls at the end of the list, the reality is that it needs to be the most important item on your priority list. Your children need you more than almost everything else, especially now in the wake of the divorce. As parents we tend to get caught up in the daily grind, choosing clean dishes over snuggle time on the couch, or laundry over a walk together. Be sure to set aside regular time to be with your kids, even if it means that sometimes the carpet doesn’t get vacuumed or the dinner dishes go unwashed. Your kids are more important than your house. In the years to come, they will remember the love you lavished on them during a difficult time, long after they remember how clean the house was.
Hopefully these few pointers help with your stress level after the divorce. We know how difficult and demanding this time can be for a single parent, but don’t lose hope. Many parents have successfully parented their children after a divorce, and you can too! If you need any help working through issues after your divorce, like making adjustments to custody or parenting time, please call The Kronzek Firm and talk to one of our experienced family law attorneys. We’re here to help.