Taking on sole custody after divorce can be a big adjustment. It can seem overwhelming if you’ve been living together and suddenly are the only guardian. However, it’s important to remember that both you and your children will adjust in time to your new schedule. The most important thing is to get support. Hire a sitter or childcare provider so that you can take breaks sometimes. Listen to your children and their needs. Give yourself some slack and remember that things don’t have to be perfect all the time. It’s okay if the schedule gets a little messy for a few weeks or even months. Your children will bounce back quickly. And finally, have a backup plan in cases of emergency so that you are prepared for anything. Sole custody can seem overwhelming at first, but you will adjust soon enough.
How to Take on Sole Custody: A Big Adjustment
The first thing to do when taking on sole custody after divorce is to get support. If you’ve been in a situation where there were two parents and now it’s just you, you’ll need some breaks. Plan to enroll your children in daycare or preschool, even if just part-time. If not, you could hire a nanny or babysitter to give you some breaks during the week. If you have any local family members, maybe they could watch the children now and then to give you a break. It’s important to take time for yourself to preserve your mental health. You can’t take care of your children as well if you’re completely exhausted.
Listen to Your Children
Another thing to remember when taking on sole custody after divorce is to listen to your children. Divorce is stressful for kids too. It’s a big upheaval for their lives as well. They may be emotional or have times when they need to talk to you about their feelings. Be a good listener to them and remember that this adjustment can be hard for them as well. It’s never good to bash your ex in front of your kids. Instead, continually remind them that they are well-loved and that their schedules will seem normal to them soon.
Give Yourself Some Slack
Taking on sole custody after divorce can get overwhelming, and parents can get bogged down easily. Don’t sweat the small stuff for a little while. The adjustment period is not the time to worry about whether your children are getting exactly the right nutrients or going down for naps at the same minute every day. Let them have a little extra screen time. Order takeout if you’re feeling exhausted. Try to remember that kids bounce back quickly from changes to their schedules. It’s ok to let things slide for a few weeks while you adjust to your new schedules.
Make Back-Up Plans
Finally, when taking on sole custody after divorce, make backup plans. You never know when you will get knocked down with a stomach bug or have some emergency come up at work. It’s good to have a solid list of caregivers you can call on if you need help spur of the moment. In addition, while it’s not fun to think about, it’s important to make legal plans as well. Update your will to reflect what will happen with your children if you were to become incapacitated or in an emergency. It’s important to have backup plans in case unpredictable things come up.
Winning sole custody after divorce can be a huge win. However, it does come with its stresses. Suddenly you are the sole caregiver to your children. Enlist some support from helpful friends and family or a babysitting service. Listen to your children to make sure that you are taking care of their emotional needs as well as physical needs. Don’t stress about everything on the schedule being perfect, just get through the adjustment period. And finally, make backup plans in cases of emergency. Sole custody can seem overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that it will seem normal to you in a short time. You and your children will adjust quickly to your new schedules.