Separation. Divorce. You didn’t set out for this to happen, but here you are. And in addition to coming to terms with your own emotions related to this significant change in your family structure, you are also left worrying about how your kids will handle it. Will it ruin them? It can feel overwhelming.
I know because I lived this. I am living this. Many would assume that as a psychologist specialized in supporting children and their parents, I confidently ventured into my separation and divorce knowing exactly what to do and how to handle it with dignity. But the truth is, there was a whole lot of uncertainty, regret, hurt, confusion, and anger. While I knew intellectually what was needed to support the kids, translating it into real life was very, very hard.
I was acutely aware that my children’s well-being hung in the balance, both in the now and in the narrative they would create from this experience that would play a role in their life course. No pressure! It left me with a sense of urgency to find the strength to step up as a capable guide to navigate this new situation.
Amazingly, as I learned the ropes of my own world of healing and growth, I found the energy and confidence within myself to be the mom they needed, even if I didn’t always have the answers. I pieced together a series of key understandings that helped me stay the course through the darkest of times, and that continue to guide me today in the ups and downs of co-parenting and post-divorce familial restructuring.
This article is a personal one for me. The restructuring of my family as a result of divorce is not something I anticipated when I began my parenting journey. And as a professional in the field of child development, I realized how high the stakes were as my children’s father and I decided to end our romantic relationship. But this experience, as uncomfortable and unsure as I was, allowed me to grow. And I am ready to share what I’ve learned as I came through to the other side.
In my recent piece for EcoParent, I share how to navigate the tumultuous waters of separation and divorce, as well as how to keep relationship and connection at the forefront. Click here or on the image below to read the article.
The Winter issue of EcoParent will hit Canadian newsstands on December 5th, and will be available at various shops near you.
Read more of my past EcoParent articles here.