How to successfully support your children after your divorce. A 12 weeks program for divorced parents.
Being a parent is not equal to your identity. You are a mother or a father, but you are much more. You are a collegae, a friend, a son or a daughter, a (ex) partner, a team member, a brother or a sister and maybe a boss, a shop owner, a sailor or a golf player.
Besides your desire to see your children growing up happily and safely, you have your own personal needs, desires, wishes and dreams. In the event of the divorce, when everything seems to be negative and destructive, you might have forgotten about your dreams. Remember them. What did you dream when you were 18?
We create our own reality in our mind. Our version of reality is different from the version of our ex or of that of our children. In a divorce we are full of emotions. We feel betrayed, angry, fooled, treated unequally, abondoned, disappointed and stressed or whatever other feeling that comes in.
If we tell our story to ourselves or to somebody else, it is full of emotions. It could be something like: "my husband betrayed me with my best friend, he left me and I have to take care of the children alone. I don't know how to pay for the rent of the house and I do not know how to take good care of the children now I have to go working full time. My children are doomed because their parents divorced. We will all suffer. I failed because I my marriage was meant to be forever, but now it has ended."
This story is implying what our future and that of our children will be: misarable. To face the reality, the emotions and the expectations should be taken out. The reality is that our husband or wife has left, we live alone in the house with our children and that our income is not enough to support us and our children.
That is where we are. We face our reality and we list our options: marriage counseling or divorce? How can I build the best future for my children? How can I involve my ex in this? What options do I have to earn an income to support myself and my children? Will my ex support us financially for a period? Do I stay in the house or do I move?
Believing we failed because our marriage did not last forever does not support us. But if we believe we can create a positive environment for our children after our divorce, this will give us a future perspective in which we can succeed.
Life is full of opportunities. If we keep on nagging and thinking and talking about our miserable situation and about what a jerk our ex is, our friends and family will walk away from us. Being with miserable and negative people too much time is not funny. Instead, we focus on positive things. Opportunities will come along.
We come back in balance with our values and principles to gain back our personal power. Only when we accept the reality of our situation, we can live in peace and harmony with ourselves. Some people keep complaining about there situation, about their ex partner, about the society, about their children and about the lack of money they have.
They hold on to their old situation. If our ego is based on material things like living in a big house and driving and expensive car, it will slash us in the face when we have to let it go. Once we accept your new situation, we can start building a new future for ourselves and for our children.
We also have to accept the new situation with our ex. His or her choices are different from ours. That's apparent because our marriage did not work. Respecting another person's choices and way of living is very relevant to parenting. We do not have to agree with it, but we have to be respectful.
By being ourselves, we will refind your strength. We better do not let other people, social acceptability or by other external factors guide us. We should stay away from our ex, except from our relationship with him or her that is based on our children.
For the rest, we don't bother with what he or she does, thinks, tells or how he or she behaves. Also, we better stay away from people who judge us on being divorced and who do not respect us as a person.
Having expectations of our ex or of friends and family will disappoint us. Of course, friends and family will help us. We should be specific in what they can do for us. We have to ask explicitly. We may not expect they will do something specific out of themselves.
We should make time for ourselves to do something we really like. We must do it frequently. It will give us time to think, to come to ourselves and it renews our energy in a positive way.
For example, I do like mountainbiking. Every Saturday afternoon I ride a few hours in the woods. Other people reload their battery by meeting their friends in the pub, by watching a basketball game or by going to the painting class.
Like everyone, we have to keep working on our personal development. We could learn something new, experience something new, travel, master a sport. Meet new people or change our job. Our new journey and our new experiences will give us new perspectives and results in personal growth.
Being a good parent begins from within. Being in peace with ourselves, accepting our situation and having a positive attitude towards our life will reflect on the children in a positive way. We set the example. Our children will follow.
Stay tuned. Next week you can learn more about Changing Tack in Parenting(2).