Emotions are always part of any big changes in life. As you go through a divorce, you are free to and should allow yourself time and appropriate space to process any range of feelings. As a parent, you should also try and do all you can to help your children cope with how divorce will impact their life.
Since you and your ex will both have custody of your children, you’ll be able to split the responsibility of helping your little ones adjust to the newness of divorce. You can do this by letting them know you are there for them, guiding them through changes and taking the time to do personal healing.
Breaking the news should be a joint effort. When both parents are present, it can help your child understand that no one is leaving them, so to speak. Rather, you can let them know that the two loving parents they always had will continue to support them, but their day-to-day life will take place in two separate homes instead of one.
If you are leaving your ex on bad terms, then it might be difficult to coordinate your child’s schedules and create consistency between two homes. However, routines can make a child feel secure and teach responsibility. Plus, from shareable online calendars to apps created for divorced families there are a plethora of digital tools that co-parents can use to create cohesion between two homes. And you won’t even have to discuss or debate anything in-person.
Although prioritizing your children is essential as you navigate divorce, you shouldn’t lose sight of your own feelings and mental health. Burying your emotions can come up in negative ways later, so if you need therapy or a support group to get you through this time, then you should seek it out.
There will be ups and downs when acclimating to this new normal. But being present for your children may help you come out of the divorce with a stronger sense of self and develop a long-lasting parent-child relationship.