If you think after the divorce is final its all going to be easier, here’s a reality check.. it won’t! Now I am not saying that is true for everyone I just wish someone would have told me how hard it really is.
Even though divorce is many times the best option, it does have consequences… and often times those consequences are anything but enjoyable. And while they’re often unavoidable, it can be good to know ahead of time. Here are some things I have learned along the way.
You miss out sometimes. When you divorce, you almost always split time with your kids between you and your ex. That means you’ll get some time to yourself… time to regroup and re-discover who you are. But it also means you’ll miss out on part of your kids’ lives. Every other spring break and Christmas vacation and every Wednesday after school and two weekends a month… that’s how most shared custody agreements work. And that means you’ll miss out on having those experiences with your kids. You might miss their first loose tooth or teaching them to ride a bike with no training wheels or their first date. And if you re-marry and have more children, your kids will get less time to bond with their new siblings.
Family traditions will never be the same. All those Saturday morning bike rides to get donuts, 4th of July weekends spent at the lake, and cutting down your own Christmas tree… those traditions will feel strange without your ex and could bring up old memories that would be painful after the divorce. Creating new traditions with your kids will be important to helping your kids’ transition from life with two parents who are married to life with two parents who are divorced.
You get less input on how your kids are raised. When you’re married, you often parent as a team and when you have disagreements, you usually try to compromise. When you’re divorced, you don’t really get a say in how your kids are parented when they are with your ex. If the rules at your house say homework comes before playtime and no dessert if you don’t eat your dinner, your ex can make rules that contradict those completely.
There will be times your kids want both parents at the same time and you can’t give them that. At the highest and lowest points of your kids’ lives, they will want to have both parents by their side. Sometimes that will be possible…. a dance tournament, the first day of kindergarten, high school graduation. And other times, you won’t be able to make it happen… a trip to the ER for stitches, surfing for the first time on vacation, their first broken heart.
So there you have it. The raw side of divorce. The side that spurred me on to create something that would hopefully help, in some small way, spare kids the heartbreak I went through witnessing my parents after divorce. After all its not the end after divorce, its just the beginning.