Surviving Your First Divorce: A Mom’s Guide to Self-Care and Sanity


Alright, mama, so here you are, navigating the turbulent seas of your first divorce. It’s like being tossed around in a blender, and the only thing you know for sure is that it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. But guess what? You’re not alone, and you’re definitely stronger than you think. 

This guide is here to help you survive and thrive, with a bit of humor, some practical advice, and a whole lot of empathy. So, grab your favorite drink, cozy up, and let’s dive into how to come out of this storm stronger, wiser, and ready to take on the world.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Step 1: Get Yourself a Good Divorce Lawyer

First things first: you need a good divorce lawyer. Think of them as your personal gladiator in the legal coliseum. They’re there to fight for your rights and ensure you don’t get the short end of the stick. A solid lawyer will help you navigate the murky waters of divorce proceedings and make sure you come out the other side with what’s fair.

How to Find the Right Lawyer

  • Ask for Recommendations: Friends, family, and colleagues can be a great resource. Ask around and see if anyone has a lawyer they’d recommend.
  • Do Your Research: Look for lawyers who specialize in family law and have good reviews. A quick Google search can give you a wealth of information.
  • Meet and Greet: Don’t just settle for the first lawyer you find. Meet with a few to see who you vibe with. It’s important to feel comfortable and confident in your choice.

Why It Matters

A good lawyer can make a world of difference in how your divorce unfolds. They’ll handle the nitty-gritty legal details so you can focus on taking care of yourself and your kiddos. Plus, they can help protect your financial interests, which is crucial for starting your new chapter on solid ground.

Step 2: Let Yourself Feel All the Feels

Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster, and it’s okay to scream, cry, and laugh all in the span of five minutes. Suppressing your emotions is like trying to hold back a tidal wave with a beach towel—it’s not gonna work. Allow yourself to feel whatever comes up, even if it’s a chaotic mess of feelings.

Why It’s Important

Bottling up your emotions can lead to more stress and anxiety down the road. By acknowledging your feelings, you’re giving yourself permission to heal and move forward. It’s okay to have bad days and to not have it all figured out.

Healthy Ways to Express Your Emotions

  • Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings. It’s a great way to process what’s going on and see your progress over time.
  • Talking It Out: Find a trusted friend or family member to talk to. Sometimes, just saying things out loud can be a huge relief.
  • Creative Outlets: Channel your emotions into something creative. Paint, write, dance—whatever helps you express yourself.

Step 3: Prioritize Self-Care Like Never Before

Taking care of yourself during a divorce is non-negotiable. Think of it as putting on your own oxygen mask first before helping others. Your kids need you to be strong and healthy, and you can’t pour from an empty cup. Here’s how to make self-care a priority:

Nourish Your Body

Eating well is one of the best ways to support your body during stressful times. I know it’s tempting to dive into a pint of ice cream every night, but try to balance it out with some real food too.

  • Eat Balanced Meals: Aim for meals that include a good mix of fruits, veggies, proteins, and whole grains. Your body needs the nutrients to keep going.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. It helps with everything from digestion to energy levels.
  • Treat Yourself: Don’t deny yourself the occasional treat. It’s all about balance, not perfection.

Move Your Body

Exercise is a fantastic way to relieve stress and boost your mood. You don’t need to train for a marathon; just find something that gets you moving and makes you feel good.

  • Go for Walks: A brisk walk can do wonders for clearing your head and lifting your spirits.
  • Try Yoga: Yoga is great for both your body and mind. It can help you stay grounded and reduce stress.
  • Dance It Out: Put on your favorite tunes and have a solo dance party. It’s fun and a great workout.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

I know sleep can be elusive, especially when your mind is racing, but it’s crucial for your well-being. Try to establish a bedtime routine that helps you unwind and prepare for a good night’s rest.

  • Create a Relaxing Environment: Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Keep it cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Wind Down Before Bed: Avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, read a book, take a warm bath, or practice some light stretching.
  • Stick to a Schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

Pamper Yourself

  • Yes, you deserve to be pampered! It’s not selfish—it’s necessary. Treat yourself to little luxuries that make you feel special.
  • Spa Day: If you can swing it, book yourself a spa day. If not, create your own at home with a bubble bath, a face mask, and some soothing music.
  • Retail Therapy: Treat yourself to something new, whether it’s a piece of clothing, a book, or a little trinket that makes you smile.
  • Netflix and Chill: Sometimes, a cozy night in with your favorite show is all the pampering you need.

Image by OurWhisky Foundation from Pixabay

Step 4: Build Your Support Squad

You don’t have to go through this alone. Surround yourself with people who love and support you. Your tribe will be your rock during this challenging time.

Lean on Friends and Family

Your friends and family want to help, so let them. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support.

  • Ask for Help: Whether you need someone to watch the kids, help with meals, or just be a listening ear, don’t hesitate to ask.
  • Stay Connected: Make an effort to stay connected with your loved ones. It’s easy to isolate yourself during tough times, but human connection is crucial.

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, you need more than just friends and family. Consider seeing a therapist or counselor who can help you navigate your emotions and provide coping strategies.

  • Find a Therapist: Look for a therapist who specializes in divorce or family issues. They can provide valuable support and guidance.
  • Join a Support Group: Connecting with others who are going through the same thing can be incredibly comforting. Look for local or online support groups.
  • Connect with Your Community
  • Sometimes, the best support comes from unexpected places. Get involved in your community and make new connections.
  • Volunteer: Helping others can give you a sense of purpose and distract you from your own worries.
  • Join Clubs or Groups: Find clubs or groups that align with your interests. It’s a great way to meet new people and expand your support network.

Step 5: Keep Your Kids in the Loop

Your kids are going through a lot too, and they need your support. Keep communication open and be there for them as much as you can.

Reassure Them

Kids need to know that both parents still love them and that the divorce is not their fault. Provide plenty of reassurance and comfort.

Keep Routines Consistent: Try to maintain their daily routines as much as possible. Stability is key to helping them feel secure.

Listen to Their Feelings: Encourage your kids to talk about their feelings and let them know it’s okay to feel sad, angry, or confused.

Get Professional Help if Needed

If your kids are struggling, consider getting them some professional help too. A child therapist can help them process their emotions and provide tools to cope.

Find a Child Therapist: Look for a therapist who specializes in working with children and can help them navigate their emotions.

Consider Family Therapy: Family therapy can be a great way to address issues and improve communication within the family.

Step 6: Plan for Your Future

Divorce is the end of one chapter, but it’s also the beginning of a new one. Take this time to think about what you want your future to look like.

Set New Goals

Think about what you want to achieve in the next year, five years, or even ten years. This is your chance to redefine yourself and create a life that makes you happy.

Career Goals: Do you want to go back to school, start a new career, or advance in your current job? Now’s the time to set those goals and start working towards them.

Personal Goals: What personal dreams have you put on hold? Whether it’s traveling, learning a new hobby, or just taking more time for yourself, make a plan to achieve them.

Take Control of Your Finances

Financial independence is crucial, so take stock of your finances and create a budget. If you’re not sure where to start, consider meeting with a financial advisor.

Create a Budget: Track your income and expenses and create a budget that works for you.

Save for the Future: Start building an emergency fund and saving for your future goals.

Rediscover Yourself

Who are you outside of being a spouse and a parent? Take this time to rediscover your passions and interests.

Explore New Hobbies: Try new activities and hobbies that you’ve always wanted to explore.

Invest in Self-Growth: Take classes, read books

Image by Tim Kraaijvanger from Pixabay

Step 7: Embrace Your New Normal

Change is never easy, but it can also be an opportunity for growth and renewal. Embrace this new chapter in your life with optimism and courage.

Be Kind to Yourself

Give yourself permission to take things one day at a time. You’re navigating uncharted waters, and it’s okay to feel uncertain.

Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer a friend going through a tough time.

Forgive Yourself: Let go of any guilt or self-blame. You’re doing the best you can with the resources you have.

Celebrate Your Strength

You’ve already come so far, and that’s worth celebrating. Take pride in your resilience and ability to adapt to change.

Acknowledge Your Achievements: Whether big or small, celebrate the milestones you’ve reached along the way.

Focus on Progress: It’s okay if you’re not where you want to be yet. Progress is progress, no matter how slow.


Remember, surviving your first divorce is a journey, not a destination. Be patient with yourself, seek support when needed, and trust that brighter days are ahead. You’re stronger than you know, and this experience will ultimately make you even stronger. Keep moving forward, one step at a time. You’ve got this, mama

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments