Mom with baby and toddler

Tips On How To Cope With Divorce As A Mom

Families aren’t perfect, and this is a reality a lot of people know even as children. Divorce has become quite a common term used in daily life—and not everyone understands just how large the repercussions may be, particularly for more than just the couple involved. If the couple involved has children, not only does the divorce have to deal with the couple per se, but the children too. If you’re a mom and you’re going through divorce, you may have a good grasp on just how overwhelming some things are. Not only do you have to go through the emotional and perhaps financial burden of getting a divorce, but you have to remain a helping hand to your children as well.

Given the above, “coping” can be a concept that is hard to fulfill not just as a wife, but as a mother as well. Not only do you have to try your best to keep your cool throughout the situation, but you have to be able to help your children cope with what’s happening as well. The concept can be overwhelming, but not impossible to deal with. Here are some tips on how to cope with divorce as a mom.

According to Psychology Today, divorce is in itself not an easy thing to deal with, especially since this signifies the end of a marriage. This doesn’t mean the love had failed completely, but perhaps the pairing is not something to last for long. Divorce is the acknowledgment that the union between two parties has failed, and they need to separate in order to grow better as individuals. This is easier said than done, and especially so if children are involved. As a mom, coping with divorce can be much harder given there are a lot more factors involved. Here are a few tips:

How To Cope With Divorce As A Mom

Worry Away, Worry Precisely 

For coping strategies, “just worry away” seems a bit counter intuitive. However, worrying can be of great assistance in your situation when used correctly. In the same Psychology Today article, it mentions that it may sometimes help to actually allow “White Bears” to preoccupy your head. White Bears are thought processes in your head that are otherwise intrusive and repetitive. These thoughts are commonly the ones that tend to go unresolved, and as such are thoughts the mind keeps searching for and can keep you annoyed in times of stress. Since divorce can be a stressful endeavor, getting those worries out completely can be of assistance.

  • When you feel as though divorce is become overwhelming, try assessing what’s the worst case scenario that could happen anyway. Try to list it somewhere or grab a whiteboard and write the worst case scenario you could think of that could happen during the divorce. Is this something that can in fact happen anytime soon? If not, start from scratch until you determine the absolute worst case scenario that could happen.
  • Allowing this “worry” to surface can help you get to know yourself better through this process, as you can confirm what you’re afraid of during the divorce, especially for your children, any find ways to prevent that situation from becoming a reality.

Divorce Attorney

Feel Separately, Savoring 

When you undergo divorce, feelings will inevitably be part of the table. This is a part that is undeniable in the process. However, it is very much possible to be able to deal with overwhelming emotions in divorce while being a parent. How? Try to explore the emotions as someone else.

  • When you feel these emotions so intense that you think you could burst, try to feel it from the perspective of you observing someone else feeling them. Why do you think is this person (yourself) experiencing these emotions this way?
  • This also means you shouldn’t refrain from allowing yourself to experience nice things every once in a while. Taking yourself and the kids for a day out, or getting yourself a massage every now and then can help you destress and have a clearer mind when it comes to coping with the divorce.
  • Understanding this can help you explain what’s happening to your children as well. Explaining from the perspective of another person can help them understand what is going on with you and your ex partner during the process.

Think Abstract, Think Long Term 

Sometimes, part of what can bother you during a divorce is what happens in the immediate part of the procedures. You might think of things such as the hassle of organizing how you and your ex partner will be seeing your kids, and who gets to support who in the long run. While these are valid concerns, worrying about them all at once will do you no good.

  • Instead, try to think of what you’re aiming for now that you’re undergoing divorce. Instead of thinking about how much your ex partner needs to provide, or how scheduling works for visitation, try to think a bit more years ahead. Instead of finances and schedules, try to decide what is needed right now and what can be needed in the future. Trying to think long term can also greatly help in coping with your divorce.
  • If you determine the long term goals you want to happen after your divorce, try to assess what’s in this situation that worries you the most and how you can deal with it. For instance, if what worries you is that you won’t have enough income to support your kids, then how exactly can you remedy this situation?

Marriage Over


If there’s anything the tips above have shared, it’s that coping with divorce as a mom isn’t impossible to do. It will take time, effort, and patience to accomplish—and it will definitely be a bit of a painful process—but it is something you can achieve. Remember, don’t expect to be able to cope with the situation immediately, as you should also allow yourself time to grieve and reflect on what’s happening. If you are in need of legal assistance in the matter, you may also click here for more information.

PeggyAbout The Author: Peggy Fleming

Peggy Fleming is one of the most promising young law writers of year. She adds a modern take to her pieces on various law topics, which she writes for the common reader. She enjoys playing tennis with her siblings during her free time.


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  1. Divorce is hard. And there are so many different kinds of scenarios. Sometimes the couple splits on mutual agreement and tries to make it as easy on the kids (if they have any) as possible. Other times, though, it can be so hard that you might think it would have been easier to just stay. And yes, it is better to try and work things out rather than just give up. Some people, however, just don’t have a choice because of safety concerns if there is abuse or mental illness. That is when it gets really sad. Not that the other situations are not sad, but trying to not come off as the bad guy when you have removed your kids from dangerous circumstances and at the same time trying not to spoil the image they have of their other parent, can be tricky – and exhausting.

    I have empathy with every person going through a divorce. Even after time has passed, the scars still stay. Trying to keep calm and healthy and happy while attending to all the red tape as mentioned in this article is not easy. It does make it easier though, when you try to keep things logical, in perspective and focus on the main concerns and needs of the children rather than keeping a grudge and becoming a bitter person.

  2. Regardless to the circumstance that built up to a divorce, it’s a sad thing to happen. Divorce has an unusual and complicated mix of emotions. I was fortunate enough not to have been through this process with my parents or in my relationship.
    I have been a support structure for a close family friend who has been through this recently. She has 2 kids and due to the state off depression that she was inflicted by, she had lost custody of her children. This for me was truly the saddest thing that could have happened.
    She has recovered since and is in process of obtaining custody of her kids. The custody battles are the worst by far, they are traumatizing to children. My friend really has been through a lot and I am so proud of her as she has overcome all her battles. She is s stronger person after this experience.

  3. I went through a divorce it took me about 5 years to start settle alone comfortably with my kids. It is quiet hard to go through especially when the other parent is now not their physically but emotionally and financially too. I just had to put the happiness and well being of my kids first while I dealt with my pain in their absense.
    I went through all sorts of emotions, from anger to thinking maybe there was something I could have done better, tried harder.. But then I did all those things.. I had to forgive myself and eventually my ex and when I did that my healing started . To date he is not so present in their lives but they are happy kids and I make a concerted effort to hear them out as much as possible.
    I think divorce is terrible especially when there these precious people involved.

  4. I never thought I would need to read this article … thought I would be married forever. Thank you so much for posting!! I am fresh out of a divorce (two months) and really just still in the beginning stages of coping.

  5. This article just brings me to tears. It is probably the worst thing one can experience in a lifetime. It truly is like a death… I haven’t been through a divorce myself but I can only just imagine how painful this can be. I’ve witnessed many divorce proceedings in the past and two of my own family members are currently going through a divorce. It is so sad for the parents and especially for the children. Especially when they use their own children to hurt each other. Depression is also another thing that can destroy you. It is good to have someone to talk to. Go for counselling to help you cope. FAMSA is a great place to get help. Even if you’re not working, they will help you.

  6. Elize Swanepoel

    Divorce is never easy even if it is on good terms.
    Divorce still means separation and some of the parties involved is going to get hurt in the process and things will never be the same as they were before.
    Sometimes they turn out to be better for all parties involved, but it takes time to get used to the new arrangements and to settle into new routines.

    I was very blessed to have parents that were high school sweethearts and were married for 42 years until my Dad passed away last year. I wish that I could give this to every child in the world, but unfortunately life is full of obstacles and heartaches and sometimes divorce is the only way to go.

    My best friend is divorced for a few years now and they have two children who visit their father every second weekend and during some of the school holidays.

    In the beginning this decision was very difficult for their young boy (the eldest child) and he had a few problems as a result, but now after a few years he has come to terms with it and things are much better than they were before.

    The problem sometimes is that people stay together for the sake of the children but both parents end up being miserable. It is not healthy for children to stay in a home where the parents fight all the time and can’t seem to get along anymore.

    And in most cases, the parents is still young and have the rest of their lives still ahead of them. Having to stay in an unhappy and unhealthy marriage seem to me like the worst punishment someone has to endure.

    I am my husband’s second wife. He was married to his first wife for eleven years until he just couldn’t take it anymore. He stuck around for the sake of the kids but he was so unhappy, that he was having suicidal thoughts in the end.

    Divorce is very difficult but my friend says that she has no regrets. Some days she can’t even imagine sharing a life and bed with her ex.

  7. @loupie, I completely agree with you! Staying in an unhappy relationship because you think it is what is best for your child is extremely unhealthy. My Ex and I did that for a while and towards the end our little one was acting up so badly that I actually got a message from her Ouma one morning (Ouma used to take her to school) begging me to work things out with her son as she could not handle my baby in the mornings anymore.

    So in December 2014 we made the decision to go our separate ways. My Baby Daddy is one of the best fathers I have ever seen, I was extremely lucky in that sense that my daughter had someone she could rely on, always. Ever since she was born, he was such a hands on Dad that sometimes he made me feel inadequate lol So when it came time to discuss custody and visitation and I suggested every second weekend and one night during the week he completely lost the plot. It was at this time, I had to take a step back and honestly think about why I wanted to do things that way. The answer saddened me, I was doing it to punish him, to hurt him the way he had hurt me, for the emotional abuse and the constant other women on social media and WhatsApp. It was at that precise moment that I made my choice. I would never allow my daughter to grow up not knowing her dad. In my youth, I went years and years without seeing my dad, on numerous occasions, but unlike the situation I was facing my mother had ample reason to do what she did.
    Long story short I put my own emotional pain aside and did what was best for my baby. Her Dad and I now co-parent and the three of us are happier than we ever were when we shared a home.

    As for coping with divorce, I think as a mom you want to make things as easy as possible for your children, until you are satisfied with that, for me it was as if I was on autopilot. Only once I knew, my little one was okay and well-adjusted did I even start to consider my healing process, which to be honest is still on going.

    I would not wish this on my worst enemy, as divorce with children often lands up affecting the children in ways that cannot be repaired. All I ask is, if you find yourself in this situation, STOP and THINK before making any decisions whatsoever.

  8. Elize Swanepoel

    @tamara737 I take my hat off to you. This must have been very difficult. People fall in love and get married. When you get married to that person, it’s not with the idea of separating again.
    Relationships are difficult. Even though my husband and I will be together for ten years end of May, it sometimes doesn’t feel that way.
    You would think that with the years things would get better but you have to keep working at it and some days I just let things go the way it wants to go because I just don’t have the energy for a fight.
    Relationships have their ups and downs. The problem is when it seems to be always downhill, then you have to stop and think, is this all worth it?
    You are a strong person and did what any good mother would do. You’ve put your child’s well-being first, so I commend you for it.
    My friend said to me that she felt like a loser, like she failed (shortly after her divorce), but I don’t see it that way.
    It takes courage to make the decision and to go through with it. She and her ex is getting along better than they used to when they were still married.
    So, in the end things turned out for the better.Thanks for sharing your story with me. x

    • @loupie, thank you so much for your kind words. I know exactly what you mean, my ex and I get on like a house on fire now, and people who have just met us cannot believe that we are not together or that we used to be lol. I have said so many times before, I could not ask for a better father for my child than I have, he just did not make a good partner to me and honestly, that is no one’s fault. I know it is not always possible to do things the way I did them, due to abuse or substance and so many other reasons, but wherever I can I always try to get people to see the bigger picture. I am very lucky that my baby daddy is a wonderful father and that just makes things easier. When I was pregnant, I had to have two completely separate baby showers as I could not put my mom and dad in the same room, I was 28 years old and it really did affect me. I would never want that for my baby girl.

  9. Wow thank you for the article the comments has opened my eyes and given me a lot to think about I’ve asked my husband for a divorce several times because I felt unloved we are so different I hurt and cry all the time but I think of my kids they don’t want a broken home they love their dad to bits we try and work things out but I don’t recognize myself I want to be loved romance swept off my feet but my kids mean more so we try to change our attitude and see how it goes. It’s not easy to pick up the pieces after divorce to get back on your feet financially emotionally kids think they have done something wrong it’s their fault divorce is a word that doesn’t exist in the Hindi language sacrifices have to be made who do you please?

  10. This article really hit home for me. I am in the process of divorcing my husband. It was the hardest decision ever made. I thought about my son, who adores his father. I thought about the man I married. I thought about how different life would be, and what pain we would all go through. My soon to be ex husband has made it easier by not being the nicest person. Years of emotional, mental and physical abuse has given me strength.
    At the end of the day, I realised that I could never be the mother my son deserves if I am constantly crying, or depressed, or scared. My son didn’t deserve to live in a home where there was constant fighting and arguing.
    Unfortunately, my husband planned on leaving me anyway and ended up taking my son away. We are now involved in a bad court case, and I can see this is affecting my son.
    All I can hope for is that when it is over, we can work towards dealing with the pain and the hurt.
    I would never want to have my son grow up without his father, because despite the abuse I had to deal with, my husband is an amazing father.

    Divorce was never an option to me. I tried to work on all of our problems. In my case, the abuse was too much and I saw the affect it was having on my son. He became aggressive and moody. He wasn’t doing well at school. Since my son is no longer in the abusive environment, he is excelling at school and doing better in general, and much happier. Yes, he does ask me why Mommy isn’t around anymore but I try and explain as best I can without tarnishing his image of his father. It kills me to not be with him, to know my husband lied and fabricated things to get it right to take my son away.

    To any moms out there going through this, and contemplating this for whatever reason – Yes, it is scary as hell, and yes, you feel guilty for what you put your kids through. Depending on your circumstances, you need to take care of yourself otherwise you cannot possibly hope to take care of your kids. Children need their moms to be strong, to be loving, to carry on day after day. I felt useless, and worthless and had dark thoughts towards the end.

    For the first time in years, I have hope that when this is all over, I can provide my son the loving, caring home he deserves. I can give my son the strength, the support, the mother he deserves.

    Hang onto that hope. Never ever lose faith in yourself. This dark time will end, and with love and support and strength, you and your kids can get through this together.

  11. Elize Swanepoel

    @sami87 thanks for sharing your story with us.

    It must have been devastating going through this.
    I applaud you for going through with it and for being so level headed about the whole situation and most of all for not giving up.

    I am so glad that you had the courage to end it and not be a victim of abuse anymore. No one deserves to live like that. Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. And people that do this to another person is the lowest form of human kind that you can get (my opinion anyway).

    Children sometimes see and acknowledge more than we as adults give them credit for.

    My husband’s ex could be very vindictive at times. She loved using the kids against him and he would retaliate in his own way. Then I always urge him to keep his side clean. You don’t have to stoop down to that person’s level.
    At the end of the day we all are responsible for our own actions.
    Your son will see that his Mom is a strong woman that never bad mouthed his father or tried to turn him against his father.
    Kids grow up and they remember.
    Your son will remember you as a kind and supportive mother.
    And most importantly you will have his respect.

    I hope and pray that the truth will prevail and that you will have full custody of your son again.

    As you say, things can’t get much worse than it already is and can only get better from this point on.

  12. Elize Swanepoel

    Oh no @pamkann, your situation sounds very complicated because not only is your kids well being at stake here but you have to deal with the spiritual or religious side of things as well.

    You are such a beautiful lady. I just don’t know if it is worth staying with someone that is not appreciating you and treat you the way you deserve to be treated.

    You know sometimes these things are not planned out and one day you might just decide that you’ve had enough and need to get out of this marriage for good.

    I don’t envy you. It’s easy for people to give advice and tell you what to do when they are not in your shoes. Sometimes things are much easier said than done.

    I would like to say to you to keep your head up and be strong. Don’t let anyone walk over you and make you feel like you are not worth it.

    • Thank you so much for those comforting uplifting words yes I know what you say is true but he comes from a very ugly past of abandonment from his biological parents who up to this day he doesn’t know and feeling of not fitting into the family who adopted him and his twin sister seeing the love and attention given to their own kids and not to them they clung to each other that all they have that’s why I weigh all this and try and understand him and tell him forgive and let go

      • Elize Swanepoel

        Yes, people’s childhood and upbringing have a lot to do with how they turn out to be as adults.
        It is better to try and save a marriage and work on the problems before considering divorce.
        I hope for your sake that things work out for the better and that he will change his way of thinking.
        Having a difficult past makes it very difficult for people to trust other people and fear of abandonment and getting hurt influence the way they act. It is so sad that children have to go through what he and his sister had to go through. It certainly gives another perspective to your situation and the circumstances surrounding it.

  13. Thank you for the article. Divorce is very hard especially when children are so young. I’m coming out of a divorce mom and dad was very hard for me growing up without your parents staying together I never want to put my kids through this but I know sometimes it just have to be done if the parents can’t live with each other anymore but the kids suffer alot of times. It’s like mom and dad divorce you also and it shouldn’t be that way. But ya I’m married have 3 beautiful kids and a loving husband i just thank God for that

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