Emotional self-care is vital right now. Many people struggle with sleep, losing weight and depression at this stage.
Please exercise, eat right, socialize with people who love you, get counseling and talk to yourself with love and respect. How balanced is your life- social, emotional, physical, spiritual, work, hobbies, family, mental etc.?
Think about preparing for a marathon and then double the distance- that is what this process can be like. It is a slow, long process; this separation and divorce thing. You must take care of yourself if you want to be successful.
Think about children’s needs for consistency. Consistent rules and expectations, bedtimes, routines etc…
Think about your needs. Unmet needs are likely what got you here.
Think about your needs because they matter to you and ultimately you want your needs met and you are modelling this for your children. Ask for your needs to be met, not at the expense of the needs of others.
You are going to talk quite a bit about what works best for all involved regarding the children and when they stay with you, how you drop them off etc. Put yourself in your children’s shoes. They are likely going to forget homework, sports equipment, toys, books etc. at your ex’s place. They’re likely going to, at some point, wake up not remembering what day it is or whose house they’re in. Some kids talk about this and some avoid talking about it like the plague. Put yourself in their shoes- they had absolutely no say in this, yet they are affected by it. It feels unfair to many kids, as if their needs do not matter.
Think about what is best for them in terms of spending time with each parent, communicating with each parent. Talk to friends who have been through this and ask them to walk you through how it affected the kids and the adults.
What strategies did they use to cope with their own pain and the pain of their children?
What schedule would work best for your children?
What options do you have?
What have other people done that worked?