Said no one EVER!
Come on. How hard can it be? Surely it’s easier than marriage. It’s gotta be! Right? Not so fast there Sparky. They say the grass is always greener. Well there are just as many, if not more, weeks and thickets on the D-side of that fence.
And if you have kids, there’s one aspect of a divorce that many people seem to overlook. Even though you’re divorced, your ex is going to be a part of your life for as long as your kids are alive.
Let that sink in. … I’ll wait.
Should you decide, as my ex and I did, that you are going to continue co-parenting this is even more true. You will continue to have many of the same arguments; sorry, discussions you had when you were married. If you’re smart you will recognize how important it is to place a very high value on working to develop somewhat similar rules at both households. This is not easy believe me. For either of you. It’s freakin’ HARD. Especially since you can’t be there to back each other up. Instead, you’ll likely sneak in little digs about each other which the kids hear. You both will trust me. And you will quickly learn how good the kids get at playing you against each other. They are masters at editing comments and discussions to their advantage when speaking to your ex. And you will continue to be the first point of blame for everything that goes wrong. (that goes for both of you btw)
Easy my ass.
That’s not to say it’s impossible. But it’s a challenge to say the least and will require you to really stop and rethink EVERYthing you ever thought about divorce … AND marriage.
How difficult it is really is up to you. Like marriage, you’ll enter into your divorce with NO idea how to go about things. You’ll be an idiot from day one and be flying by your pants the rest of the way. Some things you’ll get used to. But every step will present new hurdles and challenges. Each year will offer new levels of growth as well as new levels of frustration as the kids continue to get into deeper social patterns.
If you got divorced it’s likely because you both approached life very differently. Chances are you’re going to approach parenting very differently as well. Now you’re going to do it in two separate homes. Just do your best to minimize the differential divide as it’ll do both you and the kids a great deal of good if there’s consistency. You’ll want to instill your own mark of course. You’ll have certain things that will be different at your house than at mom’s. But do your best to keep the communication open and flux when you can. And you’re going to laugh, but you may actually learn something from each other once in a while.
It may never be easy, but with a little (ok a lot) of effort, if nothing else it’ll make the experience, “easy – er.”