I think we all can agree that parenting can be challenging even in the best of circumstances. Co-parenting after a divorce brings a whole new set of challenges. When I first went through my divorce, dealing with the most basic things related to the kids felt like preparing for battle with my ex over and over. It was stressful and exhausting.
And I did not want to contact my ex every time I received information from the school or one of the kids was invited for a playdate or an appointment with the doctor was needed. I was relieved to find a co-parenting app that worked best for our family. It streamlined and kept track of all communications, and that’s what we needed!
So I thought it would be helpful to share a list of apps and tools that can help make co-parenting a little easier. Many of these tools offer the same or very similar features so pick and choose which one can best meet your needs.
(Please note, while I promote very few...
Holidays are a time for family, friends and spending time together, but this can be very complicated if you’re divorced and are trying to figure out how to make it a great holiday for your kids. And if it’s your first Christmas after a divorce, there will definitely be challenges.
I still remember my first Christmas after my divorce. I struggled to keep our family routines as close to “normal” as possible, especially for my then-toddler. And honestly, it was very tough - dealing with my own emotions while trying to make the season special for my kids.
So, if you’re going through this, I feel for you right now. It will get better (I know, it doesn’t feel like it, but it will). I do think that with some planning you and your co-parent can create a happy Christmas for your kids, and hopefully these five tips will help.
1. Make Plans in Advance
As the holidays get closer, emotions can get more intense as we often become stressed...
Your first Christmas or holiday after your divorce is going to be different. I still remember my first Christmas. I struggled to keep my routines as close to “normal” as possible, especially for my then-toddler. It’s a special circle of emotions that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
So, my friend, if you’re going through this, I really feel for you right now. It will get better (I know, it doesn’t feel like it, but I will) and hopefully these resources for getting through your first holiday after divorce will help.
Being kind to yourself can be so hard right now. Lots of “failures” are playing on repeat, so it’s easy to sit with that all day long and think that you yourself are one of them. I promise, you are not. If you need to show yourself some self-care right now, here are 4 ways to be kind to yourself when dealing with a breakup.
I turn to journaling when...
It doesn’t matter if you’re married or divorced, different people have different ideas about how to transition their children into adults. While you may be in favor of providing full financial support, your co-parent may have other ideas. For that matter, even different states’ laws handle the transition to adulthood differently. Big transitions for your child, like college, are infinitely easier when you have a plan. It mitigates stress and anxiety, two things you don’t want around during your child’s move to college!
When preparing for your child to go away to school, there are some big conversations that need to be had with your co-parent. For starters, how much financial support will you, as the child’s parents, provide? Assuming you will provide some level of financial support, who will be responsible for which expenses? Creating a plan for how you’ll handle expenses and other responsibilities as you parent your child during this time...
If love is a battlefield, then co-parenting teens is a battlefield with landmines. Teenagers can swing from adolescent to grown-up feelings (and back again) in the snap of your fingers. This confusing age is hard enough already for them to navigate. Throw in the challenges of being a teen with divorced parents and watch the fun multiply!
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be fraught with turmoil and anxiety all the way. Knowing where some of the landmines are hidden, or what to do to avoid them outright, will make this period smoother for everyone.
The thing to remember is that right now, teens are becoming independent and striving to express themselves. They will have their own ideas about how things should be, and those ideas may go against what you’re thinking. At the end of the day, I know you want to keep them safe and happy. With these suggestions, you can navigate the challenges you may face as you co-parent your teen through divorce.
With quarantine underway, it has created a lot of uncertainty for parents who are experiencing heightened responsibilities outside of their regular routine. And, when you're co-parenting this can amplify your concerns around commuting your children back and forth and deciding what is best for their health.
Maybe you're asking yourself…
Is it safe to have my children traveling to multiple locations?
What are the risks of them contracting it if one parent is an essential worker?
How do I put aside my emotions to do what is best for my children's health right now?
Where should the children spend quarantine?
By law, you and your co-parent will need to abide by your shared parenting agreement. However, some co-parents are making the difficult decision to create a temporary arrangement with clear guidelines, travel restrictions, and proper adjustments to diminish exposure of the virus between pick-ups and drop-offs. With that being said, a large number of...
It's that time of year again where many of us are considering how we might be better or do better in the new year with New Year's resolutions. If parenting with your ex has been a significant struggle in your life, I want to challenge you to resolve to be a better co-parent this year. If you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for your children.
Divorce not only takes a toll on the divorcing couple, but it also affects the rest of the family. This is especially evident if you have young children. Even though it's tough to hide the negative feelings that surface during a divorce, it's extremely important that you work at managing those feelings constructively if you don't want them to affect the kids.
Avoid the mistake of believing that your adult problems are too complicated for your children to understand. Although young children may not understand words like "irreconcilable differences," they're very intuitive and impressionable. Even babies can tell when their parents are at...
When you’re trying to co-parent with your ex, it can make things more difficult for you and your child. Successful co-parenting results in happier children, parents who are less stressed, and an overall greater level of contentment after divorce. While it can be difficult to get adjusted to having a healthy and happy co-parenting relationship, use these strategies for overcoming co-parenting conflicts!
The reason you’re doing this is for the one who is most important to you, right? It’s all about your child and making sure they have the healthiest childhood for them. Keep that in mind during any type of conflict and you’ll immediately diffuse the situation with your ex. It’s also important to kindly remind your ex why you are both doing this. By keeping the common denominator, your love for your child, in mind, you’ll make it easier to negotiation and compromise during all conflicts with your...
If it's your first Christmas after your divorce and you are feeling sad or lonely or even angry, that's completely normal. Feelings often intensify around the holidays.
I remember my first Christmas after my divorce well. My ex and I didn't have a lot of conversation regarding how it was going to go. We didn't have a plan. Our divorce was still relatively new, and we were barely on speaking terms at the time.
I was overwhelmed by simple things like getting the tree and other decorations out of the basement without my ex to help.
No matter the circumstances, divorce is one of the most traumatic events you can go through in your adult life. The impact of divorce on your psyche could have you gearing up for a Christmas in the dumps. It t doesn’t have to be that way, though. Here’s how to make your first Christmas after divorce feel like something special again.
To the Father of My Children, My Partner in Parenting:
I know that I haven't always been grateful. And I know that there was a time in our lives when I could not think of a nice thing to say to you. There was a time when I was filled with so much hurt and anger that gratitude felt like an impossible idea. But that time has passed.
We've had our moments - but we had a lot of good times, too. For more than ten years, you were there for me. You were there for me in the dark hours when my dad was sick, and you were there for me when my father passed away. For that, I am grateful.
You were also there for wonderful memories. We went on trips together, and we grew up together in a lot of ways. We explored new faith communities together. We shared a life together, and for that, I am grateful.
Together, you and I created an incredible family. Words cannot even begin to describe the depth of my gratitude for that....