One of the toughest parts of a separation or divorce is getting through that time when you don’t have your children with you. Wondering if that empty feeling will ever go away, wanting to numb yourself out in order to get through, missing your children beyond belief and hoping that they are happy and safe doing whatever it is they may be doing.
Missing the Kids
This time can be especially tough if you have or had been the primary caretaker and were used to being busy with your children most of the time. If your identity has been merged with your children, if your identity has been created around parenthood. Let’s face it, the minute you become a parent, your life has changed forever, it will never be the same. You become someone’s mom or someone’s dad. You become that person who you will give your all to in order to keep them thriving and smiling.
As a parent life becomes busy and stressful and tiring as the hours of sleep dwindle. And it becomes challenging to keep it all together and sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t do it. Which brings you to today, where you sit, longing to see your children again, waiting for the time when they run into your arms and cuddle in your lap.
This is when you will realize that your identity has been disturbed, that you don’t know who you are anymore without your kids, without your marriage; because your children are the beings who have kept you going, who have brought you happiness and peace. Who have kept you company, who have kept you from feeling utterly alone when everything became so disconnected.
Grieving the Loss of Your Old Life
During this time when you are crying alone in your new home, you are grieving the loss of one life, you are grieving the what should have been’s, the if’s and the but’s. You are grieving the changes. Allow yourself to grieve. Allow yourself to feel all there is to feel. If you don’t allow yourself to feel it and to grieve and to be angry, those feelings will become bigger and bigger until you have no safe place to land and you start spinning out of control even more than you are now.
This is your time. This becomes time for you. Time to rediscover who you are again. Not as a parent or a spouse or a lover or a partner, but who are you? Just you. It is time to reconnect with yourself again. To find and do what makes you happy. Not for any other reason but to believe that you deserve to be happy. That you are worth it. And now your schedule has built in time so you can rediscover who you are as a person, as a human being.
And if you feel selfish, thinking about life this way, always remember that the more connected and happy you are within yourself, the more connected and happy your kids will be. Stressed parents make stressed kids, sad parents make sad kids, happy parents make happy kids. Model for your children as they look to you to learn. Model happiness and self- security, model love and respect, model self- esteem and self- worth. In order to model it, you need to find it and that is what this time is for. To find all that within. That is how you keep your children laughing, smiling and thriving. That is how you start to create a life that is whole and fulfilling. That is how you start to find yourself again.
The Divorced Parent’s Guide for Peaceful Parenting?
It’s the key to keeping your children laughing, smiling and thriving.