Divorce can be likened to an Intensity 8 earthquake. It is sudden and devastating leaving you shattered, shaken, and uncertain. Those who have experienced divorce will clearly remember asking themselves if there is life after it. It becomes even harder when you have kids, especially little kids.
These thoughts and sentiments were going on in my mind when my ex-husband and I decided to separate ways. Despite the pain I was feeling, I was thinking how to face my kids and tell them what’s going on. We definitely did not sit with our kids like you’ve seen in the movies and tell them Mommy and Daddy weren’t going to live together anymore. I guess because my kids were young at that time, the oldest being seven years old.
Be honest without giving all the facts.
It’s supposed to be smooth, except that they are smart and they notice, even at seven years old. So my biggest fear came when my seven-year old daughter noticed and began asking questions why Daddy wasn’t going home anymore. After a deep breath, I simply and calmly told her that Daddy won’t be coming home anymore. When she asked why, I said that I will tell her when she’s big enough. She shrugged her shoulders satisfied with my answer. However, I made good with that promise as they were growing up and told them things they could handle at a certain age.
Keep the pain to yourself.
The pain of divorce and separation takes time to heal. There were times when I just suddenly felt the tears stream down my face as if they had a mind of their own. One time, my daughter caught me crying and asked why with a very worried look on the face. As parents, there is no need for the children, especially young children, to feel the load of your pain. Talk to your friends and cry to them, but be strong and smile when you face your kids.
Don’t bash your ex.
I consider this as the most difficult of all given that I have all the valid reasons to do so. But there was a friend of mine who gave me this difficult advice and I haven’t regretted following it. She too had undergone divorce. No matter how much you’re tempted to say bad things about your ex, don’t. For the meantime, just love your kids, provide for them, and let them feel secure in every way. There’s no use channelling how you feel for your ex to them. Your kids will eventually find out the real story as they grow up and appreciate you for not badmouthing their mom or dad. After all, he or she is still their parent as well.