Why Divorce Made Me a Better Parent

24th March 2015 | By More

Divorce made me a better parent 2Divorce sucks. It doesn’t matter if you were the divorcer or the divorcee, it doesn’t matter who was at fault, none of that matters – what does matter is that it’s a time in your life when you are forced to hit a reset button. You can choose to use that reset button for good or not-so-good.

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When kids are caught up in the middle of a divorce, things can get ugly. Fast. One minute everything is fine, you’re deciding who takes the nice dining room table and who takes the crappy one and then, BAM – you’re screaming at each other over who gets Christmas with the kids in even years and who gets it in the odds.

Everyone knows Christmas is better in the odds 🙂

No, but seriously, I hit that reset button, realigned my priorities and divorce made me a better parent. Here’s why…

I am happy – This one is pretty obvious, but before a marriage falls apart, it’s pretty miserable. There’s fighting, crying, ignoring and just a general lack of interest among the spouses. Kids know it’s happening and they feel like it’s their job to keep it all together. But now that I am happy en her dad is happy, she is happy too. The fighting is behind us and she gets to enjoy us as better people.

Guilt is a strong motivator – When she came to me and told me that all she wanted in life was to be a youtuber, I helped her out. Old me might have been too busy, but new me felt guilty enough to make it happen.

And that makes me the fun mom – I want every minute with her to be amazing and I am willing to do anything to make than happen. Even if that means turning my back on friends, chores, whatever else needs to get done (I can take care of that stuff when she’s with her dad!).

More alone time with my child – You know that special warm and cuddly feeling you get with your kids when you tuck them into bed, listen to their stories and just “be” together. I get that all the time now. In the car, on the couch, playing video games, whatever – it’s our special mommy and me time and I love it.

Scheduled breaks – I get to take scheduled breaks from constant supervision of my child. When I do, I know that she is loved and cared for by someone who thinks she is the greatest thing in the history of ever and always has her best interest in mind. During these breaks I can focus on work, the house, my friends – whatever I neglected while my kid was with me.

Public holidays are awesome now – Let me be real here, spending a public holiday without your child just feels wrong. That first Christmas without her was one of the hardest days of my life. But, because of it, I ended up making Christmas extra special. I planned a special scavenger hunt, we started a Christmas breakfast tradition and it was amazing.

And our vacations rock now, too! –  Honestly, before the divorce, we had pretty much stopped going on trips and traveling as a family but now we take mini trips, bring friends along and it’s just more fun.

What this all boils down to is I try harder. I think this is what I am trying to say, really. The thing is, I can never pretend to imagine what it’s like to be from a two-home family and I know it sucks for her, but I’ll continue to try my darndest to give her a good life and that’s what being a parent is all about.

Extracts from an article by Jamie Harrington, which originally appeared on huffingtonpost.com

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Be an Even Better Parent than You Already Are

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Posted by Sinta Ebersohn (Creator of fairdivorce.co.za – Stellenbosch)


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Category: Co-Parenting, Mental, Perspectives, Practical, Resilience, Single Parenting, Spouse

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