Whether you’re merely separating from a partner or ending a marriage, and whether your relationship was a short-term or long-term affair, the effect it is having on you is most likely devastating to some extent. I know, because I’ve been there too. No matter the reason, it’s always upsetting when love doesn’t work out. Yet, there’s somebody else you need to think about in all of this if you’re a parent too. As a single mother, there’s most likely only going to be one person on your mind after all of this: your child.
Of course it’s important that your feelings are recognised by family and friends during this difficult time, no matter how important your partner was to you or how long you think it’ll take to move on from them, but it’s also important that you stay strong for your child. Depending on their age, they might be very confused following this sudden change of situation, whether it’s new living arrangements or the absence of somebody they’d grown used to seeing around the house; of course, if the separation was with their father, then the matter can be even more upsetting for them.
When it comes to your next move, it can be a delicate situation to handle. You’re a strong woman, and you’ve most likely found a way to come to terms with what’s happened, or you’re getting there. However, your child may not be, and it can be difficult to know how to help them understand what’s happened, because everything is changing quickly. Here are some pieces of caring advice.
Talk to them honestly.
Obviously, a little discretion and self-judgement is important here with regards to the specific circumstances of your separation and the age of your child, but honesty is the best policy. Life can be tough, but your child will be tougher and happier if they understand that. Lying or hiding the problem won’t make it go away, and it might give your child a very confusing message or lesson about the way life works.
Being clear and transparent about what happened with you and their father, or simply a boyfriend you may have had for a short while, is important, because even the smallest events have substantial impacts on a child’s mind. Explain why your partner won’t be around anymore, and invite your child to ask you any questions about it.
Being grown up.
As tough as it is, sometimes you’ll need to swallow your emotions and maintain calm. You’re one of the grown ups in the situation, so you need to act that way. Perhaps you and your partner are engaged in an argument concerning finances or even care of the child caught in the middle of all this, but you can’t let it affect the little one. You could look into family law solicitors, so as to stop any bickering in its tracks and start forming a legal solution. Whatever the case, don’t let private conflict and arguments seep into your kid’s life.
Paying attention to your child.
Whilst your head is whirring from the situation at hand, it’s important that you make your child feel loved. As I said, they may be very confused about what’s going on, and it’s easy for someone so young to assume they’ve done something wrong. You have to pay attention to your child, even when your mind is otherwise distracted, so as to reassure them that you’ll always care about them, and it’s nothing to do with them.
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