Divorce is such a scary and miserable experience for all involved. Regardless if at the end it was for the best, it is still a sucky part of life that some are faced with. My divorce was pretty nasty for the first year that we were going through all of the legalities. I have been asked a few times about what the hardest part of going through a divorce was. For me, it is an "easy" answer and one that I still struggle with weekly.
Being without Noah 3-4 days a week tops every other hardship I have had to overcome. Having to part ways with him each week breaks my heart each week.
Prior to our separation, I was a SAHM. I spent everyday, 7 days a week with Noah. In some ways I felt like a single mom even prior to the official "title" due to his dads work schedule. He would usually get home after Noah's bedtime so it was just N and I day in and day out. To anyone who knows me, knows that I was in my glory. Being a mom, especially a SAHM, is all I had ever wanted in life.
As mentioned before, the beginning of our divorce was very very bad. Without airing out all the dirty laundry, I was blindsided when I came home from work one night only to find that my ex had moved out and taken our son with him. It took a hot second but we finally worked out a time sharing schedule that on paper "worked" for us, in the sense of being fair but my mama heart was completely torn into shreds. Gone were the days of day in and day out playdates and nightly snuggles.
I would love to tell you that it gets easier but, it doesn't. I will however say that it gets a little more manageable. His father and I were not on speaking terms in the beginning. Since then, we have become much more civil for the best interests of our little guy. Us being amicable helps during the times my little one is not with me because we send pictures and facetime.
I will say the most annoying comment I hear is "enjoy your free time". I know not everyone will agree with this but I don't want free time. I want to be a mom. It is all I ever have wanted so when N isn't with me it is less than enjoyable. The first year was really hard. I would get super depressed, I started working 12-14 hour shifts just so I wouldn't have to be home alone, I wasn't taking care of myself or eating well it was rough and not a good look.
I am so thankful for the people in my life who reached out and helped me through the initial transition. Girl's nights, sleepovers, beach days, uplifting texts helped so much. It really does take a tribe y'all.
After a year and a half of this transition, I have a few tips on how to get through it for you!
STOP THE NEGATIVE MINDSET. regardless of "why", you can't punish yourself or take on that guilt. it's happening or it happened and thats okay. the best question to ask is "would my kid(s) be happier living in a house with two unhappy parents or happier in two houses that are full of love and happiness. this mindset and realization is huge.
BE FLEXIBLE. schedule changes happen. If your ex needs to switch up a day, make it work. It is a win/win for you. 1. you will get extra time with your kiddo and 2. if you ever need to switch days, they will kind of "owe" you. Coparenting is all about the what is best for the kids.
MAKE PLANS. in the beginning, it is hard but I promise you, it is worth it. Even if you don't jam pack your days, plan to leave the house at least once each day and do something. from browsing Target or catching the sunset to a girl's night out or a movie.
DON"T FEEL GUILTY FOR MAKING PLANS. in the beginning I always felt guilty for having fun without N. it is a waste of time to guilt yourself. you don't deserve that.
SAVOR EVERY MOMENT WITH YOUR LITTLE. on the days that I do have N, I devote those days to him. I try to stay off my phone/computer excessively until after he goes to bed, I plan fun activities for us to do either just the two of us or with friends and make sure I am fully present.
I am not going to lie to you, it isn't easy but you will get through it. Promise.
Here for all of you mamas, always.