Divorce and Motherhood

Close-up of family split with divorce decree document (10-12)Divorce is something around 50% of mommies will have to cope with. There are the fundamentals of divorce that everyone knows like splitting the assets and working out child custody.

Then there is the practical side like selling and moving homes, learning to live on less income and being a single parent. Dating comes in here somewhere as well. The average time between separation and divorce is 3 years so there will also be a no man’s land of time when things are up in the air.

Divorce for many women is a time of great uncertainty, they often have chosen to be stay at home moms who now find it necessary to work and leave their children. This causes feelings of guilt, anger and frustration caused by the fact that they see themselves as the major care giver.

It is this self image that they find difficult to give up and the reassessing of who they are that can cause huge anxiety and fear which unfortunately can spill over into the divorce proceedings.

If you see yourself as a stay at home mother whose primary job is to look after children and make a home. Then suddenly you are not that person anymore, now you have to be a working woman who shares the care of her children.

This is a lot to get your head around and many women will fight tooth and nail for larger settlements and more custody to maintain their own self image.

It is rarely in the woman’s or children’s best interest to try to hang onto these self images as it is uncommon to get the support  needed to maintain a stay at home life style after divorce. Most couples simply cannot afford it even if they both would like to keep this going for the children.

Also, after divorce, there is no longer a ‘couple’ and women need to have more in their lives than looking after children. Children eventually grow and spread their wings, they want to spend their time with their friends and then leave altogether. Mom’s, married or single, who have invested all their time into their children have a very difficult time with this.

Single mothers need stimulation from outside sources. It is by changing and becoming a single woman who is also a mother that an emotional equilibrium is reached, a platform where the woman can see herself as many parts to a whole.

Divorce is hard enough on children without the children having to cope with a mother who is in mourning for her old life. It makes the children unsure of their parents, they may see their father happy and feel they need to take sides which is extremely unfair.

Self image plays a huge role in divorce and how divorce is played out. If you are going through a divorce, now is the time to have a serious talk to yourself and work out how you can be a great mother as well as changing to be a self funding individual as well.

Nicola Baume is a divorce planner and coach helping people get through marriage breakdown so they can move on into their happily ever after with confidence. You can read more from Nicola at http://www.simpledivorceadvice.com

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