Today I’m discussing how to answer the question that a lot of families roll around in their minds: Are divorced parents still a family?
No one goes into a marriage thinking about divorce. According to the American Psychological Association, almost 90% of people in Western cultures get married. 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. Even though it is common, divorce is one of the most stressful life events. No wonder there is so much confusion about whether a divorced family is still a family.
In this episode, we talk about…
[1:31] Confusion and stressors related to divorce
There’s a lot of confusion. When people go through highly stressful or traumatic events, our brains cope that way. Nothing is the way it was. Everything has changed. Here are some of the potential stressors:
- Custody and visitation
- New living quarters
- School schedules
- Work schedules
- Money issues
- Shifting friendships
- Shifting family relationships
There are tremendous shifts that occur in the lives of everyone involved in a divorce.
[2:00] What we consider family
So then we wonder, are divorced parents still a family? Well, what do we consider family? Are we there for our kids?
No matter what, are we providing them with a place to go home? Do we make it through hard times together? Do we heal through tears? It might be impossible to have a working, co-parenting relationship with your ex or you might have an adult mutual understanding. Either way, your kids will want to consider both parents as parents.
No matter if you’re in two houses or one, the experts at Solo Parent Magazine would say that all families are families, no matter what shape our families look like.
[2:36] Thinking of generational goals
Even if we all don’t get along; even if we can’t sit on the same bleacher at the softball game or bear to wave at one another at graduation, our kids need us to be there for them.
No matter where our heads are at, we owe them. They will remember it when they begin their own family stories. So if you can try to think big, try to think generationally, try to think of the legacy that you will leave your family, it might provide some goals to work for. Acceptance of the way things are is a good start.
Being there for your kids is another good start. It’s not easy, but it’s important. You can’t control your ex’s life and you can’t go back in time, but you can set an intention to work for peace – if only for your own peace and a peaceful place for your kids to come home.
Check out soloparentmag.com for more articles about family life after divorce. We want to be a resource for you because your family matters.
We might be solo, but we’re not alone.