Even if you have the smoothest, most agreeable divorce possible, a certain amount of stress will develop as you prepare to face life as a single parent. There will almost certainly be a reduction in your standard of living, and maintaining strong social ties without a second caregiver at home will become more difficult.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Without a second person around to split the bills, it’s highly likely that you will experience a reduction in the standard of living that you’re used to. Statistically speaking, this impacts women more than men.
You may find yourself job hunting, which is stressful all by itself. In some cases, you’ll have to find daytime childcare, which can be extremely costly.
You may qualify for child support and even spousal support. Consult an attorney to explore these options.
Otherwise, belt-tightening is inevitable.
Make home life less complicated
Living alone in a house comes with myriad chores and headaches that other living situations don’t have. Save yourself from draining tasks like yard maintenance, snow shoveling and plumbing problems by renting an apartment or buying a condo.
Staying in touch with friends
As the sole adult in the house, you are now responsible for all the chores two people used to share. This added workload makes it difficult to find the time, never mind the energy, to get out and see friends. Staying in touch with friends will help battle loneliness and depression.
If you have kids that are old enough to be left at home alone, or you have close family nearby who can occasionally babysit, this becomes much less complicated. Otherwise, you may have to find creative ways to carve out quality time with other adults.
Stoically facing life as a single parent alone isn’t going to earn you anything but a probable nervous breakdown.
Make peace with your ex (if possible)
Some divorces are so apocalyptic that any hope of ever being on good terms with your ex are squashed. If your divorce wasn’t a scorched earth disaster, perhaps there’s hope you can eventually mend ties to a point where congenial coparenting is possible. It may take a while and require a heroic amount of compromise but having an active and invested second parent can ease many single parent challenges.
Above all else, give yourself time to heal and process this new chapter in your life. Do this on your own timeline and do not hesitate to ask for help.