We are divorcing and have a 3-month-old baby. Here’s what I did

Life, as they say, is full of unexpected twists and turns.

One moment, you’re floating in the euphoria of welcoming a new life into the world, and the next, you’re grappling with the harsh reality that your marriage is crumbling despite the fresh presence of your three-month-old.

How do you navigate such a tumultuous transition? How do you prioritize your baby’s needs while also dealing with your own emotional upheaval?

Drawing from my own experience and the wisdom I’ve gathered through this challenging journey, I’ve pieced together my story. It’s a tale of resilience, introspection, and ultimately, finding balance amidst chaos. If you’re going through something similar, I hope my experience will provide some guidance and reassurance that you are not alone.

Embrace the reality

The first step in any difficult journey is acknowledging the path ahead.

When my ex-partner and I first realized that our marriage was on the rocks, we were in a state of denial. It felt like a nightmare we were desperate to wake up from, especially given the fact that we had a newborn to care for.

But the truth was, our relationship had been deteriorating for a while. The arrival of our baby, rather than bridging the gap between us, had only exacerbated our issues.

Coming to terms with this harsh reality was painful but necessary. Acceptance is key because only then can you start to focus on what needs to be done next: looking after your child and looking after yourself. It’s not easy, but it’s the first step towards navigating your new normal.

Don’t rush the healing

In a world where we’re often encouraged to “move on” quickly, it’s easy to feel pressured to bounce back immediately from a divorce.

Contrary to what many might tell you, rushing the healing process is not the answer. In fact, I found that allowing myself time to grieve and experience the full spectrum of my feelings was instrumental for my healing.

Divorce is a significant life event, and it’s okay if you don’t feel okay right away. This is especially true when there’s a child involved. Your emotions are bound to be complex and intertwined with concerns for your baby.

By giving myself permission to feel, I was able to start processing my emotions instead of bottling them up. As counterintuitive as it may seem, slowing down actually allowed me to move forward more completely and healthily in the long run.

Put your child first

As your world falls apart, it’s natural to become absorbed in your own pain and overlook the little life that relies on you for comfort and security.

In the midst of my divorce, I had to constantly remind myself that my baby needed me.
Regardless of how I was feeling, my child’s needs had to come first.

This meant ensuring that our baby had a stable, loving environment, even when our family structure was changing.

I learned to separate my personal feelings from my parenting responsibilities, which wasn’t easy but was absolutely necessary.

Putting my child first also meant maintaining civility with my ex-partner for our baby’s sake. It’s not suppressing your emotions or pretending everything is fine; it’s creating a nurturing environment for your child amidst the chaos. This approach helped our infant and provided me with a sense of purpose during a particularly tough time.

Seek support

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s even more true when you’re going through a divorce.

During this trying time, I quickly realized that I needed help.

Whether it was friends offering to babysit, family members lending a listening ear, or joining a support group for single parents – every bit of assistance was invaluable.

It’s a well-known fact that humans are social creatures.

We thrive on connection and community, and during difficult times, these bonds become even more important. When you’re navigating a divorce and caring for a newborn, having a support network can make all the difference.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or lean on your loved ones. Seeking support isn’t a sign of weakness, but a demonstration of strength and resilience.

Allow yourself to falter

I won’t sugarcoat it – there were days when I felt like I was drowning. Days when the weight of divorce and single parenthood felt too heavy to bear.

I experienced a gamut of emotions – anger, sadness, loneliness, fear. There were moments of utter despair and times when I questioned my ability to be a good parent.

And you know what? That’s okay. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed.

It’s okay to have moments of doubt. It’s okay to break down and cry.

Being strong doesn’t mean being impervious to pain or never showing vulnerability. It means getting up each time you fall, wiping your tears, and continuing to push forward, for your child and for yourself.

So, give yourself permission to falter. To feel. To be human. Because in those moments of raw authenticity, you’ll find your true strength and resilience.

Find joy in the small things

You can not avoid becoming consumed by the negative during a divorce. The hurt, the anger, the loss – these emotions can be overwhelming and all-encompassing.

But amidst all this darkness, I made a conscious decision to seek out light wherever I could find it. And often, it was in the smallest of things.

It might seem illogical to seek happiness when your world seems to be falling apart.

But I found that focusing on the simple joys brought a sense of balance and perspective during this tumultuous period.

Whether it was my baby’s first smile, a kind word from a friend, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee in peaceful solitude – these moments served as gentle reminders that there was still goodness in life.

By acknowledging and appreciating these small pockets of joy, I was able to counterbalance the heavy emotions that accompany a divorce. It may seem counterproductive, but finding joy amidst sorrow can work wonders for your emotional wellbeing.

Plan for the future

When you’re in the thick of a divorce, it’s hard to think beyond the here and now. The emotional toll can make it feel as though you’re just surviving, rather than living.

But in the chaos, I realized the importance of planning for the future. Not just for my sake, but for my baby’s as well.

This meant making practical arrangements like setting up a savings account for my child, addressing custody issues, and ensuring that my baby would be financially secure in the event of any unforeseen circumstances.

It also involved envisioning a future where I was not just a single parent, but a happy and fulfilled individual. This broader perspective kept me grounded and focused during the toughest of times.

Planning for the future amidst a divorce may seem daunting, but it’s an important step towards securing a stable life for both you and your child.

Understanding the bigger picture

Divorce is never easy. Add a baby to the mix, and the situation becomes exponentially more complex. However, it’s essential to remember that even amidst the confusion and chaos, there are possibilities for growth and transformation.

When you look back at this period of your life, you may see it not only as a time of great challenge but also as an opportunity for personal development. You’re learning how to navigate the stormy seas of divorce while also figuring out how to be a new parent. These experiences are shaping you into a stronger, more resilient individual.

It’s crucial to keep this bigger picture in mind. While it may seem like your world is falling apart, keep in mind that this is just a chapter in your life – it’s not the whole story. You have the power to influence how this chapter unfolds and what the next one will look like.

While going through the divorce process, you’ll encounter a range of emotions – anger, sadness, relief, confusion – all of which are normal. It’s a period of transition, and it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers right now.

The same goes for parenting. There’s no perfect way to be a parent, especially when you’re dealing with your own emotional upheaval. What matters is that you’re doing your best for your child, providing them with love and stability in an unstable situation.

This journey is not solely focused on surviving but also on thriving despite the odds. It’s centered on finding balance in imbalance, peace in chaos, and strength in vulnerability.

Ultimately, what matters most is that you and your baby come out of this experience healthier and happier. It’s not winning or losing a battle but creating a future where both of you can thrive.
So take one step at a time. Be patient with yourself and your ex-partner. Remember to breathe, to laugh, to cry, and to live. This chapter of your life may be tough, but it’s also making you tougher. And you’re not alone. Reach out, seek help, and stay strong. You’ve got this.
Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Tina Fey is a nomadic writer with a background in psychology, specializing in child development. Born and raised in diverse cultural settings, she developed a deep understanding of human behavior and the intricacies of parenting. Driven by her passion for helping others, Tina now contributes to Careful Parents, offering practical advice and insights drawn from her expertise and experiences. Through her articles, she aims to empower parents with effective strategies for nurturing healthy relationships and fostering their children's growth.

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