Life doesn't always go the way we expect it to, and you can end up being thrown some curveballs along the way. Going from being in a relationship with a solid support system to being newly single is hard. This is uncharted territory for you and it's normal to feel overwhelmed. Arizona is full of great resources for parents to help you navigate your new journey. No matter what you're feeling now, understand that it will get better.
Going through a divorce can be rough, but it can make things a bit easier if your lawyer has a lawyer answering service so you're not always waiting for a call back during your custody battle. It's easy to feel stressed, angry, and even sad. Your life is changing in a way you never anticipated and it's scary.
The one thing you don't want to do around your children is express negativity. You can be angry with your ex and the situation, but that's still your children's other parent. Children love their parents and think highly of them, and no matter what the situation is, you should never put your children in the middle and have them choose who they love more. This is also a new and difficult adjustment for your children, so take time each day to be positive and show them that everything is going to be ok.
Create a Support Group
There's a saying that it takes a village to raise children. Single parents should have a solid support system and they should not be afraid to ask for help. If you never reach out for help, you're going to feel overwhelmed and may end up taking it out on your children unexpectedly. Whether you've lived in Arizona all your life or have moved here recently, there are many opportunities for you to create a group of friends that will help you.
It's a great idea to make other mom friends because it gives your children other kids to play with. This is also a good opportunity for you to connect with other adults to talk about your frustrations.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of your children should not be your only priority; you should take time each day for yourself. As a mom, it's only normal to want to place the needs of your children above your own, but making sacrifices should not mean neglecting yourself.
Your mental, physical, and emotional needs are important and you should take the time to meet those needs. If you're struggling to find time to practice self-care each day, wait until the children are asleep, or wake up a little bit earlier than your children do to enjoy the quiet. Some things you can do during this time include taking a bath, reading a book, exercising, and writing in a journal.
Boost Your Savings
Life is full of many unknowns and it's helpful to plan. You never know when an emergency will arise, and it's good to have extra money to fall back onto. You should take money out of each paycheck to put into savings. If you make just enough money to cover the bills, consider getting a side gig to make extra money, or create crafts that you can sell.
Create a Routine
Being a single parent can be hard, especially at first when everything is still so new. It's helpful to go ahead and create a routine now to enforce structure and give your children stability. Schedule time in that routine to spend with your children and show your life such as reading with them, playing, or even just listening to them talk about their day.
Having other single moms to turn to can help you feel less alone. Arizona is packed with places you can bring your children to and meet other parents such as local parks. Life might feel uncertain now, but take a moment to breathe and know that you're going to be ok.