Becoming a single mom isn’t easy.
If the moment is fresh, whether it was a slow decay or an explosive exit, it’s going to hurt. But more than that, it can be hard to figure out where you go from there.
Take a look at our guide to figure out what your next steps are as a newly single mom.
5 Essential Deeds As A Newly Single Mom
1. Small things first
Take a deep breath. What needs to happen immediately? Do the kids need to be fed and put to bed? Then focus on that. Worry about the big things when you need to. Make some basic preparations. Can you or someone you trust take over the responsibilities of your co-parent, like picking them up from school?
After that, go to bed. You’ve just been through something very emotional and hard. Anything that doesn’t have to be done immediately can wait until the morning. Making a packed lunch can be skipped for lunch money today.
Try and get as good a sleep as you can so you can face everything else that needs to be done in the morning.
2. Get a lawyer
One of those first things is to get an experienced lawyer. You need someone in your corner to fight for your rights as a parent. If the circumstances around you becoming a single parent were hostile, it’s fair to say that it can escalate, and suddenly the “custody” word is thrown around.
A lawyer will be able to fight for the best outcome for you and can act as the first point of contact for your co-parent so that you don’t have to interact with them.
3. Create a budget
You’ve got one income now. This will be one of the hardest things to come to terms with. Your co-parent is obligated to contribute to your kids financially, but it will depend on your circumstances just how much that is. Take a look at this child maintenance calculator to establish how much you are entitled to.
In the meantime, you’ll have to redo your budget and look for places you can save. The good news is that you have one less mouth to feed at least, but that won’t do enough. You might have to cut back on a few things that are using up your spare cash.
This will really depend on the circumstances of how you became a newly single mom
4. Establish a support system
You’re going to need a lot of support throughout this. You’ll want to vent and you can’t do that in front of your kids. You’ll need practical help, like taking the children to school or clubs. And you’ll need someone to listen when you are stressed.
Even better, you might want to think about getting a therapist. This is going to be a very emotional process, especially so since children are involved. There is likely to be lasting damage from the whole experience, which you can work through with a therapist.
5. Protect yourself
This will really depend on the circumstances of how you became a newly single mom, but if you don’t feel safe, you will need to take steps. Don’t undersell the situation. If you don’t feel safe in your home, you have every right to leave it. You have every right to call the police.
You might think about having someone you trust in the house for the night, or longer if they can spare the time.
If a sibling, friend, or the kid’s grandparents can stay over a couple of nights it would take a lot of weight off your shoulders, to not only have someone safe in the house but someone who can put the kids to bed when you’re perhaps too upset.