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Puddle Coach Column, by Patrice Swenson                                                                                                                     Have a question for the Puddle Coach? Submit here

 

Dear Puddle Coach,                                                                                                                                                                                          Patrice Swenson, Puddle CoachDescription: http://www.rainbowinthepuddle.com/sites/default/files/images/Life%20Coach%20Pic%20for%20Business%20Card_2.jpg

I am a single mom, who was recently divorced. I have 3 kids; 5, 8, and 12. This whole process has been hard on everyone and I am really struggling with a lot of guilt. I have a full-time job, my life is so busy and I want to be there for my kids, but I feel like I'm not doing anything well anymore. Even though I asked for the divorce, it was not an easy decision. I never wanted my kids to be pulled between two people, or two houses, but I wasn't happy in the relationship and I needed more. My ex-husband was my best friend, but we just weren't meant to be married. He wants the kids to be with him full time now, because he doesn't want them going back and forth. I'm not agreeing to that, and now we are battling in court to work out the details. My parents were divorced too, and I thought the last thing I would EVER do was put my kids in a situation like I was in. All of this is adding up to a lot of guilt and as much as I felt strongly that it was worse to stay in a relationship where we were basically "going through the motions", I'm not sure how to get peace of mind. I need to figure out how to deal with this. I want my kids to be happy, I want to have a good night’s rest and smile again and I don't want to fight with the guy that used to be my best friend. I'm kind of at a loss and figured I'd write and see what you have to offer. Thanks much!! 

Guilt Ridden Mom~

 

Dear Guilt Ridden, 

You have shown great courage to make a choice that was difficult, to say the least! You are demonstrating to your kids that it is important to be true to yourself, and be authentic. As difficult as it is right now, in the midst of guilty feelings, your kids will grow up knowing the importance of not only thinking of what's best for their kids but also what is best for them. Kids learn to care for themselves through the example they see. Serving yourself well helps them learn how to serve themselves well. What could your kids gain from this situation? How could you create opportunities to make the new living situation fun? How could you give your kids choices in other areas of their lives? 

Guilt is usually about the past. Are you focusing on the choice that has already been made or the ones you can make today to move to a happier life? It sounds like your life is very busy, one thing I would suggest for that is; whatever you are doing, do it 100%. Be present in each situation, with each person. Trying to do everything at once is stressful and might be contributing to the feeling of guilt and not doing things well anymore. Part of your guilt seems to stem from doing something you thought you'd never do, because of how things were when you were a kid, and your parents were divorced. Maybe now would be a great time to reflect on why your parents did what they did; you have a new perspective now. This could be an opportunity for you to heal some things that might be insdie you from that experience.  

As for the ex, it's a hard thing to lose a best friend. Emotions are probably high right now and like your kids have changes that are difficult, so do you; together you can begin something new; it won't be exactly the way it was, but that doesn't mean it can't be great! Hang in there; time will help the situation a lot.

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Thanks for writing and good luck~                                                                                                                                                                                 Back to Under the Umbrella

 

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