When you are going through a divorce, the idea of being on your own at some point may be of concern since you may have grown accustomed to a life living with a family. Being on your own and co-parenting on a part-time basis may feel daunting and stressful.
Co-parenting after divorce will likely have its challenges. You may find that your kids are not adjusting to the new arrangement as quickly as you hoped or the communication between you and your ex continues to diminish. However, there are strategies you can enlist to help make co-parenting easier and satisfying.
Quality over quantity – It is easy to focus on the limited hours you will now be spending with your children, but quality can make up for quantity. It can be easier if both parents are not strict about each week being a perfect 50/50 split. Schedules can be tough to work around, and you may find that constantly struggling to make sure the kids are at the right place and the right time can be frustrating.
Always be a parent – Your divorce did not release you from your duties as a parent and in some ways will make you be more of a parent than you were when you were married. Your now limited time with the kids will be important for every second they are with you. While you want those times to be special and memorable, you should always display the persona that you are the parent.
Always keep logistics in mind – School activities, work commitments, holidays and even play dates can cause disruption to co-parenting schedules. Being able to get input from your children on what they want to do and at what time can help when communicating with your ex-spouse. Working off a calendar that everyone can see may really help when busy weeks get confusing.
Be able to work with your ex – Even if the divorce was contentious and a struggle to get through, you both are on a new path and it is time to leave the past behind. Co-parenting works best when there is solid communication along with give-and-take between both of you.
Adjust to loneliness – At one time you would come home from work and be with the kids and even talk to your spouse about the hard day you had. You may now be spending your evenings all alone. You should fill this time with new activities or hobbies you have always wanted to try. You can even try to stay in touch with your kids through texting or social media to fill that loneliness gap a little bit.
Stay positive – As you work your way through the adjustments of post-divorce life, you will encounter your ex possibly getting remarried or having to deal with lingering debt held over from the divorce. It can be easy to feel depressed over your situation, but by staying positive you can make sure you can continue to be the best parent you can be to your children.
Co-parenting after divorce does not come with a manual and sometimes advice is hard to hear since every situation is different. However, if you can stay focused on communication and continuing to be a strong parent for your children, chances are your adjustment will not take as long as you feared.