Going through a messy divorce can take a lot out of you and your spouse but you cannot take any of your anger, frustration or resentment out on your children. Remember that the children had nothing to do with the problems that cropped up between you and your spouse and they are not the reason for your unhappy marriage. Therefore, your child or children should never bear the brunt or burden of your divorce.
Being a good parent or co-parenting after a messy divorce can be quite difficult especially if you and your partner aren’t on good terms anymore. Battles in court between divorce lawyers don’t make things easier either. However, here are a few tips on being a good parent after a messy divorce –
Tips On Being a Good Parent After a Messy Divorce
• Take out some alone and quality time – just you and your child/children – whether you spend 10 or 15 hours at your job make sure you spend at least 1-2 hours a day with your child. Ask him about school, his friends and his day. Help him with his homework or take him outside a play a bit of catch. Children don’t feel wanted or loved unless you spend actual physical time with them in person.
• Be nice to your divorced spouse in front of your child – never shout, berate or put your spouse down verbally in front of the children. Try not to raise your voice or say negative things to or about your spouse in front of your children as this will influence their behavior towards that parent too.
• Don’t tell your child how you feel – use another outlet to get your feelings out – a friend, a confidant or a counselor but never go to your child for counseling or therapy. Don’t pull your child in the middle of your problems as a child can never take sides when it comes to his or her parents.
Single parents often struggle to keep the balance between work and family life equal when they have sick children. Work can get hectic, and deadlines are constant. Yet, kids that do not feel well cannot attend daycare or school. So what is a single parent to do? Consider setting up a proactive sick plan with the following tips.
Single Parent, Sick Children, Work: How To Balance The Equation
First, have a proactive discussion with your supervisor before your child becomes ill. Know what the company’s work-at-home policy is, and prove that you can be trusted to abide by it. Technology is a great aid that can help you accomplish your work while playing nurse. Conference calls, web meetings and Skype are all great tools. Also, know your options in regards to flex-time to help you find that balance. If you have to take off on a Tuesday, can you make up the hours by staying late or coming in on a Saturday? Having a discussion will help you develop a last-minute plan when your child begins to feel ill.
Next, stay realistic about time expectations when you have a sick child. Prioritize your work tasks and set personal deadlines. Be productive when your child is asleep or watching a movie. If needed, put in extra hours at night or early morning. To go along with this, let your only distractions be work-related and your sick child. If you were in the office, you would not have the ability to catch up on laundry or dishes, so do not let working from home be an excuse to do chores. It is important for your boss to know that you are being productive as possible from home.
Some parents have back-ups plans for the days their child falls sick. Grandparents, friends, and hired sitters are great alternatives when you have to go to work, but your child cannot go to daycare or school. Think ahead and try to have a list of contacts to call in case you get in this sticky situation.
Overall, a plan is the best thing single parents can have when they have sick children. Find that balance. Talking to family, friends and supervisors will help establish a solid plan. Continue to check back on NHPSC’s website for more blog articles about parenting and divorce.