Going through divorce can feel lonely. You’re not alone. I went through a divorce too. I have decided to share a little about my experience hoping that maybe someone else will feel less alone in the loneliness of divorce, particularly as the holidays come to amplify that loneliness.
There have been many single parenting moments that have left me in a humble puddle having to acknowledge my limits. One was the first Christmas after my divorce when I took the kids by myself to buy a Christmas tree. My twins had just turned four and my oldest was ten — I was stupidly excited and had no idea what was ahead.
We got to the tree lot and I was watching all three children, wildly outnumbered, navigating fights about which tree to buy and then having to wait in line to purchase ours when I realized what a mess I had stepped into. My twins were running around like moving obstacles for people carrying trees unable to see them, and they were climbing objects not meant for climbing while I was waiting with the damn tree. I watched other families calmly getting their trees while I yelled across the lot like a lunatic with very little impact. When it was time to leave, it really sunk in just how screwed I was — I had three kids and a freakin’ tree to secure to the roof of my car. I wanted to cry. A kind family saw me and took pity. They offered to help and then I did the smartest thing I could do that day — I said yes. And we managed to make it home with the tree. When we got home, I cried. The following year, I thought ahead and asked my sister and her then-boyfriend (now her amazing husband) to come along. It was a totally different experience that did not end in tears (thank you, Alison and West).
The reason I share this story with you is this: if you are a single parent, especially if you are new to being a single parent, you need to ask for help to navigate the holiday season or you’re going to be crying A LOT. And even if you do get help, you may be crying sometimes. There’s no way around it. This is hard. You need social support from friends who will laugh and offer adult conversation. You need emotional support as you navigate new family traditions. And you may even need physical support with tasks like getting the f’ing tree and tying it to the roof of your car (or whatever other rituals have meaning to you).
I’m excited to be starting a new Facebook Group called “You Got This: Healing Through Divorce.” My goal here is to create a community of support from women like me who are going through it or who have been through it, sometimes with tears and sometimes not. December’s theme is “Getting through the Holidays post-Divorce.” If you’re going through a divorce and this resonates with you, I highly encourage you to join us and take a step toward healing through it. Here’s a link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/healthroughdivorce/.
Divorce is hard. But you got this.