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  • Olivia Sanders
    Olivia Sanders

    Moving On After a Breakup When You Have a Kid

    No one ever said co-parenting is easy. It takes both parents to raise a child and for that, you need to find a way to get along post-breakup, even if you don’t always agree. But when you have the added challenge of moving on from a previous relationship while taking care of a kid together, it can become even more challenging to maintain that balance.

    While it might be tough to imagine right away, there are ways to move on and prioritize your child as best you can in the process. It might take some time, but if you focus on self-care and taking small steps to heal, you’ll eventually get there.

    The first and most important thing is to make sure your child is safe and your needs are met. Navigating the fine line between parenting together when needed and putting healthy boundaries in place is essential. It can be hard to shift from being a couple to a parenting team, especially if the separation has been overwhelming.

    Try to practice gratitude and understanding when it comes to communication with your former partner. It might be beneficial to think through each conversation before it happens and make a note of what you would like to discuss, so it is not a surprise when it comes up. Putting yourself in their shoes can also help create more positive interactions.

    It’s important to remember to give yourself some credit too. Raising a child is no small feat, and the stress of divorce is draining. Working to understand the elements of codependency and releasing toxic behavior helps you find the confidence to live an independent life outside of being a parent or your former relationship. Some people find therapy or counseling methods helpful in gaining clarity on how to reclaim their sense of individual identity.

    In time, you may find that having a different relationship with your ex helps you focus on your child without getting tripped up in trying to undo the past. While the transition might feel like it is taking forever, focusing on living in the present moment and the future can be a useful tool. Working together to create systems, such as deciding together on a custody schedule or arranging play dates can create a sense of stability for your kid.

    In the end, being able to move on from an ex requires patience and understanding from both sides. Setting ground rules within reasonable parameters (such as no discussion of new romantic partners at drop off) can support a healthy environment for your kid. Learning how to transition from being interlinked with someone to being an individual can be the most meaningful lesson of all.

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