The time right after your divorce can be very hard to go through. This is especially true as you begin adjusting to the life and times of co-parenting with your ex. Now, not only are you adjusting to life post-divorce, you’re also facing unfamiliar co-parenting stressors for the first time. How do you adjust? How do you cope with this new schedule? And how do you explain it all to your kids along the way? While co-parenting is not easy in any way, there are some ways to overcome the slump and find your co-parenting groove…
Co-Parenting Stressors: Emotional Impact of Divorce
Find some common ground
It’s always hard for a co-parent when their child comes back from being with their other parent and begins acting out. Often times, this is because the house rules over there are much different. This shift in rules makes it hard for a child to adapt, and can ultimately lead to friction from one house to another. Therefore, finding common ground is vital in overcoming those co-parenting stressors. Creating a mutual understanding of why you’re doing this is often a great first step.
The difficult thing about co-parenting is that you won’t have the same exact rules as your ex. However, you can try to come together on some things you both agree on…Maybe this is a set bedtime, when your child should do homework, or how they should behave in general. Doing so can help you and your child adjust to the new parenting style.
Communication is crucial
One of the biggest mistakes that new co-parents make is to not communicate effectively. You’re still upset and that’s understandable. However, when it comes to your little ones? Put those feelings aside and be present in the conversation. By doing so, you avoid unnecessary arguments and additional co-parenting stressors.
Still, this can be easier said than done. Having to talk to your ex, especially either in person or over the phone, can cause emotions to run high. Therefore, consider the effectiveness of texts, emails, and even a shared calendar. By taking this route you can keep conversations brief, business-like, and avoid unnecessary interaction.
Find a way to relax
Even if things appear to be going well, co-parenting stressors can still sneak up on you. If it does, it’s important find acceptable ways to manage it. Find a new hobby, take a five minute break in your car, enroll in a boxing class…. Whatever it is that helps you relax is just the way to combat those feelings.