With three school-age children, I'll be honest. I dread the beginning-of-the-school-year paperwork. There is so much new information coming at me and lots to remember - not to mention the mountain of forms I always spend the first few days of the school year filling out. If you are sharing parenting responsibilities with your Ex, it takes teamwork for a smooth transition into the new year. Here are some tips for success.
Work with your co-parent to create a transition plan from the summer schedule to the routine for the school year. In our house, we let the kids stay up a little later and sleep in a little later during the summer. About a week before school starts, we start returning the kids to their normal school sleep schedule. That way, they are well-rested for the first day of school. It's a simple thing but it makes our mornings before school go much smoother.
If possible, I recommend...
Talking to your children about divorce isn't easy, especially when still processing your own feelings. Sometimes using books that are designed to guide the conversation can be helpful. Here is a list of age-appropriate children's books about divorce. Click on the picture of the book to find it on Amazon.
Koko is a preschool-aged bear whose parents are getting divorced. Koko is very upset. The book was written to be read by parents to their children and help them talk about how they're feeling. It reassures children that their parents still love them regardless of the changes happening in their family.
Dinah is scared. Mama and Daddy Bear are getting a divorce. Daddy is moving out, and she's not sure when she'll get to see him again. This sweet book doesn't go into details about divorce but helps acknowledge that there are big...
Preparing for a divorce is a lot more than just picking up the phone and calling an attorney. There are the emotional aspects, financial, legal, and, of course, there are parenting issues. It means figuring out what life is going to look like when it's all said and done and includes preparing your children for the transition. For the stay-at-home mom, there are additional concerns around income.
When you realize that your marriage is over, it's normal to feel a variety of emotions. Over time, you'll experience all of the stages of grief. You'll be grieving not only the loss of your relationship but the loss...
When I got divorced, I had three children between the ages of three and eight. I remember the stress. I was overwhelmed thinking about how I was going to help my kids get through the divorce and ultimately, how I would manage on my own.
It can be scary to think about how you'll take care of your children after a divorce. There will be many changes on the horizon for everyone. You have to be confident that you can take care of them, even if you have to turn to friends and family members for emotional and financial support. It's also important to remember that taking care of your own needs is vital as you're not going to be able to care for your children if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
Your spouse cheated. He or she is leaving you for someone else. Perhaps you've argued for years and just finally had enough. Regardless of the reason, for the vast majority of cases, divorce is emotional. People are emotional. Deciding how your life will be after a divorce is emotional.
Unfortunately, making sound decisions while emotions are running high doesn't work. When we get emotional, we stop thinking rationally, which can lead us to do and say things that we will regret later. It's easy to blow up an important part of the settlement agreement by letting anger and frustration get the better of you. When emotions take over, we stop listening to the other person and focus on the feelings instead of the goals we have for the negotiation. Here are some divorce mediation tips to consider when emotions are running high.
So, how do you stay unemotional in a situation that is going to have such a big impact on your future? Use the...
There are several reasons that parents come in for mediation after a divorce is over. A big one is parenting expenses. The reality is if you get divorced when your children are young, it's hard to know what kind of extracurricular activities they will become involved with over the years or even if they will develop chronic health issues.
It's really impossible to negotiate every possible scenario. However, it is crucial to discuss at least a baseline for how you’ll divide those parenting expenses after divorce and effectively communicate as well.
Add parenting expenses to the divorce agreement. Under the best-case scenario, you will have thoroughly discussed the division of expenses, so both of you know what to expect. You’ll want to be aware of expenses including school tuition, lunches, medical bills and insurance,...
I stayed in my house when I got divorced. At the time, the housing market had declined so much that we had negative equity in our home. Selling our house would have put us in a worse financial situation than keeping it and we had three young children. Keeping them in the house gave them some stability during a difficult time for our family.
That said, maintaining the house that I had with my ex has had its ups and downs. I'm glad we were able to stay put but the maintenance was a lot of work for me at first. I've since gotten remarried and now my kids are a little older so they can help more. Still, when I was on my own, to say I was overwhelmed would barely scratch the surface of how I was feeling.
I've also had some huge home-related expenses since my divorce that set me back significantly. At the time, the decision to stay in the house was a no-brainer. However, looking back, I have to wonder if the stress of being responsible for the house hasn't been more difficult than...
When I was going through my own divorce, everything seemed overwhelming. Honestly, I wouldn't have been able to imagine engaging with more than one professional during that time. I was worried about spending money because I knew the divorce itself would be expensive. Going from a two-income household to one income was even scarier. I never would have considered hiring a divorce coach. I did not know what one was but I was also extremely reluctant to spend money. Since then, I have had the opportunity to interact with some pretty amazing divorce coaches so I wanted to share a little about what they do.
Up until the last few years, I had no idea how expansive the coaching industry was. I knew there were a lot of coaches out there but I didn't really understand how they differed from one and other. I was introduced to the idea of a Divorce Coach when I completed my collaborative divorce training in 2013. It was clear to me what a valuable...
It is my absolute pleasure to welcome guest blogger, Melissa Davis. Melissa’s story is so inspiring for anyone who is working to heal after an affair.
Related post: Healing from Infidelity
I was in my closet (my go-to place when things get hard for me), curled up in a ball, sobbing. Not just sobbing, it was this sound I didn’t know I could even make. I was wailing - I lost all control of my thoughts, emotions, and my physical body. One word raced through my mind, tormenting me, “Why?”
I had a good life. My oldest just turned three and I had just given birth to my second daughter. I loved being their Mama! I was the kind of woman that gave everything for her family and put myself last or just completely ignored my own needs. Cook three meals a day, clean, walk the dog, set up playdates, teach ABCs, encourage my husband, listen to Kidz Bop and enjoy it more than the kids, full-time mom and wife. I loved it, my whole day was...
That's right. I said it. My key to co-parenting success with my ex is not "putting my children first," as so many professionals recommend.
I remember the first year of co-parenting well. I would describe it as a complete failure and excruciating. My youngest son was three years old. Every time he had to go between my home and my ex's, he would have a complete meltdown. I felt like my heart was being torn out of my chest.
My ex wanted to be the fun parent, so he would sugar them up and let them stay up late. We have three kids. At the time, they were 3, 6, and 7. When they came home, they were exhausted and cranky from lack of sleep. So then I had to be the bad guy and send them to bed early.
To say that I was aggravated with my ex would be an understatement. But, in fairness, I wasn't innocent. He was pretty angry with me, too. I had recoupled very quickly after our divorce. He was hurt and uncomfortable with the situation and wanted to make sure I knew...