Try to say yes to serving nutritious family dinners, scheduling regular bedtimes, and being prompt for pickups and drop-offs.For a while, it was overwhelming, but we eventually created chaos lite.When my kids and I first moved into our own place, it soon started to resemble a really nice frat house.
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I flew through the first couple of months after our separation in an adrenaline-powered blur.
But things like finding a place to live and paying for it all by myself, taking care of almost all the day-to-day parenting of two small children, and trying to find a job when I'd been out of the workforce since college terrified me.
Though I had always paid lip service to the "It takes a village" idea, it turned out that, while there might have been some "village" people out there, we had been too wrapped up in our own lives to get to know them. I was driving through a bad snowstorm with my little boys. I decided to check in every night with another single mom.
Then I made a conscious effort to invite friends over for dinner, ask a neighbor to help me move my couch, and chat with the other moms at drop-off.
I felt like a flake -- not a strong, capable mother who was going teach her children to succeed despite the obstacles ahead.
When I was married, we were just like all the other families: our own tiny self-sufficient universe.So I began to really focus on figuring out what mattered and what didn't.Forget organized closets, spotless bathrooms, and ironing."It's good to acknowledge your child's feelings as long as you don't add anger to your empathy," says Neuman.You can say "I know it's hard that Dad couldn't come again this Wednesday," but leave out the "That jerk has always been irresponsible! As if this advice isn't tough enough to follow, you've also got to keep yourself from making negative comments to your friends, mother, or next-door neighbor if there's even a chance that you'll be overheard by your kid.When my sons, Jacob and Isaac, were just 3 and 1, my husband and I separated.