It takes time to adjust to divorce. Seasoned pros — otherwise known as “moms of divorce” who have been down this road for so long — are always there to assure me in my toughest moments that it does get better. Divorce is a process — the relationship with your co-parent and even the arrangements with your children will change over time.
It can definitely feel like an unnatural state to be parenting as a divorced mom, but after some time it becomes routine. Although everyone is different and each divorce is unique, overall, there are a lot of similar plights or issues that divorced moms share, though sometimes we don’t want to admit to people what we may be handling. It can be easier to handle ourselves internally.
Read through for seven struggles divorced moms don’t want to admit.
1. Issues with money.
Everyone has money problems, but after a divorce, those problems tend to multiply for quite some time. Struggling with your finances as a single parent can be incredibly daunting and stressful. Admitting that you’re facing them is most certainly not easy to do. Plus, complaining about the financial devastation can be met with an unsympathetic response of, “Well, you chose to get a divorce.”
This is one topic that divorced moms may not want to chat about.
2. Needing a break vs. missing your child powerfully.
This is the biggest conundrum I have faced in divorce—minus those finances!
It has been over two years since my ex and I parted ways and I still miss my daughter when she is gone. The silent home. The empty room. Missing family and friend parties and events because I either don’t have my girl or don’t want to go without my daughter is a hard thing to get used to. Dare I say it—you get used to it, but you never really like it.
Splitting holidays and days… hours… minutes. It’s a tough ride.
But then, juxtapose that against those strong feelings of “just needing a break.”
When you’re a single mom, that break sometimes cannot come soon enough. The more support a single parent has, the better for the mom, but sometimes you will long for a break and then feel guilty you wanted that break when you’re missing your child once they are gone.
I think any mother can relate to this feeling!
3. Keeping it together.
A divorced mom may not want to admit it, but guess what? All is not right in Whoville. When people separate, families and friends often divide to take sides. It’s rare for people to stay neutral.
With that said, in order to keep up appearances and keep things stable for the kids, a divorced mom (or dad, for that matter) may be keeping it together on the outside but dealing with much more on the inside. You may think someone has an easy divorce or a good situation when the reality could be different.
4. How the kids will adjust.
Children vary in their response to divorce, but when the kids are having a hard time, no one wants to raise her hand and say, “This is hard.”
Of course, it’s crucial to get family therapy and/or support to help everyone make a good adjustment in this new life after divorce, but it can be difficult to share with others. Kids are resilient and they adjust to divorce and so do parents. It just takes time, care, and a little extra TLC.
5. The legal battles hurt.
Everyone knows that legal battles of divorce can hurt — and be draining — but the level of hurt can be unrelenting and, sometimes, people just don’t want to talk about it. There’s already enough on their shoulders to deal with on a daily basis.
6. A marriage could have looked great and really been terrible instead.
I have said it myself to folks: “You seemed so happy!”
Life behind closed doors is rather different than what you see on the stage called public life. A marriage could be abusive—abuse is not always physical—or marriage could be incredibly toxic and no one would really know.
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If a divorced mom is getting out of this type of situation, she won’t be racing to talk about it.
7. Hearing “You need to stay together for the kids” is maddening.
When people tell a mom who is getting a divorce how she needs to stay married for the kids’ sake, she wants to scream! Most parents are divorcing for the kids’ sake — not against!
Most parents want the best for their kids and that means providing them with a happy home. If you can’t do that together, at least you can do it apart. A married home is not always a happy home!
Laura Lifshitz is a former MTV personality. She’s written for the New York Times, PopSugar, Mom.Me, Women’s Health, Worthy, Working Mother, and numerous other sites.
This article was originally published at PopSugar. Reprinted with permission from the author.