Making It as a Strong Single Mom After Divorce

Making It as a Strong Single Mom After Divorce

For those who are mothers, you know it’s one of the most beautiful roles in the world. It is also one of the hardest. When you add the stress of divorce, the burden of bills and expenses to cover solo, and the feeling of aloneness, it can feel unsurmountable; like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and you’re unsure of where your shoulders have gone. But you must remember, you’ve already conquered some of life’s toughest hurdles. From pregnancy to divorce, you’ve navigated troubling times, proving your strength and resilience. Now, it’s time to remember her, to cultivate her, the empowered, independent woman you are becoming. You are powerful and you deserve to flourish. This article will examine the challenges single mothers face and provide strategies not only for being strong for your children but also for prioritizing your own well-being.

Coping with the Loss of A Partner

Give yourself permission to grieve the end of your relationship and be patient with yourself. Divorce is a major happening that can evoke all the feelings in the universe. As the negotiation fades behind you, it’s important to not suppress the emotions coming up. Find someone you trust to confide in and consider professional help. If there was ever a time that justified therapy it’s now. While it may feel too much to process your emotions while balancing the responsibilities of single motherhood, you have to carve out the time to find yourself. Allow yourself safe space and time to fully experience your feelings, whether it’s taking a day off work or dedicating a few hours to release pent-up emotions through crying or venting.

If you’re struggling with feelings of loneliness, remember that it’s common to feel disconnected from others after the end of a marriage. Just to cope, you may have neglected other relationships. And now with the marriage over, you may (or may not) be mourning the loss of your life partner and the dreams you shared. Or maybe you’re just missing the familiar routines you and he settled into. While it’s important to shield your children from adult issues, reach out to friends and adult family members when you are feeling empty like this. Let them know you could use a hand or that shoulder to cry on. Try to seek out positivity. Identify those who understand what you’re going through and can provide you with the support you need.

Finding Your Community

Reconnecting with your existing friends and support network is a crucial step in overcoming the feelings of isolation and otherness that often accompany divorce. Your friends and family may know of your recent divorce but are unsure of how to offer their support. Get over your shyness and ask for help or simply invite them to spend time with you. Surrounding yourself with loved ones who care can make you feel stronger and reassured. Use this opportunity to reignite old friendships that may have been neglected during your marriage. Invite your friends to join you for lunch, a happy hour, or to explore a new restaurant, or activity. Focus on things that interest you and bring you joy, and don’t underestimate the power of a simple conversation or outing to lessen the loneliness and awaken your spirit.

Consider reading “How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Divorce?”

Building a Supportive Social Network

Expand your social circle and meet new people who share your interests and experiences. As adults, making new friends can be daunting, but online platforms such as, Facebook, and Instagram offer an easy way to begin — by meeting similarly-inclined people in various interest-based groups. Whether it’s joining a neighborhood walking club, attending a yoga class, volunteering, or participating in a book club, there are countless opportunities to meet new people you’ll discover when you start investigating all the interests expressed online. Remember to be patient with yourself and only engage in activities that genuinely interest you. Focus on enjoying yourself and the connections you make rather than feeling pressured to overextend yourself socially.

Additionally, consider seeking out divorce support groups in your area where you can connect with others who are navigating similar challenges. The ideal group provides a safe space to share your experiences, seek guidance, and receive support from people who understand what you’re going through. Similarly, there are support groups specifically tailored to single mothers, offering a sense of camaraderie and solidarity as you adjust to your new role. Having an outlet where you can be vulnerable can be incredibly healing and empowering as you navigate this transitional period post-divorce.  

Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem

Rebuilding your self-esteem after a divorce can be a slow process for many, but it’s essential for recovery. The first step is to practice kindness towards yourself. Instead of blaming yourself for the end of the marriage, acknowledge that it’s okay for things not to have worked out. While it’s natural to be your own harshest critic, it’s equally important to be your own biggest supporter. Look back on your accomplishments, no matter how small, and extend the same compassion to yourself that you would to a friend in a similar situation. Remind yourself of your strengths and positive qualities, both inside and out, by starting each day with affirmations. Reflect on three things you appreciate about yourself internally and externally, gradually retraining your brain, reinforcing self-love and acceptance. Consistently practicing these affirmations can help solidify your belief in yourself and your capabilities.

Once you’ve established a foundation of self-appreciation, it’s time to envision the person you want to be.

Define the qualities, interests, and happiness factors of your ideal self and take actionable steps to embody that vision. Does that sound too lofty? 

Exploring Self-Discovery and Personal Growth

Begin slowly then by exploring ideas and activities that bring you joy, whether it’s spending outdoor time with your children, indulging in personal hobbies, reveling in the joy of a girls’ weekend with your pals, or pampering yourself with small niceties. Embrace changes, whether they’re physical transformations or shifts in personal style, as part of your journey toward the full you. Treat yourself with things or rewards that uplift your spirit. If you’ve always wanted to cut your hair, or dye it, or wear a leather jacket, don’t shy away from trying it out. This is the stage where you are finding yourself and you actually get to try everything out. Prioritize self care after divorce and cultivate a positive relationship with your body, appreciating it for all that it has helped you survive.

Beyond physical attributes, prioritize nurturing your inner self. Dedicate time each day to detox from tech, that is disconnect from digital distractions and read, write, or listen to music or motivational podcasts. Whether it’s delving into inspiring literature, journaling your thoughts, or immersing yourself in music, these experiences activate your brain in a way that fosters self-reflection and personal growth. By experiencing and exploring new things, you’re taking proactive steps toward rewiring your brain and releasing old messaging.  The new message needs to be said, time and again, you are strong, capable, and deserving of all the goodness life has to offer.

Managing Your Finances

Your financial situation may have drastically changed after the divorce. While it’s tempting to ignore the numbers, it’s crucial to assess your financial standing promptly, both for yourself and your children.

Even if you receive spousal or child support, being a single parent can strain your finances. You might need to work longer hours or seek new job opportunities to provide for your family adequately. Take a look at what your expenses are and review your bank statements meticulously. Consider seeking guidance from a financial planner or friend who is money savvy to gain a clear understanding of your financial landscape. They can provide valuable insights and help you plan for the future. Additionally, it’s essential to have an open conversation with your Ex about coparenting responsibilities and financial arrangements for the children. Ensuring their well-being should be a top priority for both of you.

If it relates, check out “41 Things to Remember When Coparenting with a Narcissist.”

If you’re solely responsible for raising your children, communicate with them about any necessary adjustments to your family lifestyle. Reassure them of your love and commitment while explaining any changes, such as cutting back on certain expenses. Involving them in the process early on can help them adjust more easily. Establishing a new routine is key, and involving your children can make them feel included and important. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. Whether it’s delegating household chores to your children or seeking support from friends and family, letting people know your needs can ease the transition. 

Establishing a Healthy Parent-Child Relationship

Being a strong mother involves caring for your children’s emotional well-being. Regularly check in with them to see how they’re coping with the divorce. Even when the divorce is finished, they may be struggling, and it’s important to provide them with a safe space to express their feelings. Consider seeking counseling for both your children and yourself. Your strength is not diminished by seeking support. At SAS for Women, we’d argue that getting help enhances it.

Hear from other women like you. Check out “8 Things Divorced Moms Want Divorcing Moms to Know.”

Divorce can cause children to act out as they seek attention and stability. Reassure your child of your unwavering love while setting clear boundaries. Even on busy days, take the time to connect with your children and maintain open communication. Coparenting discussions with your Ex are essential to ensure consistency in rules and routines between households. For instance, if one parent allows the children to stay up late, it can create confusion and resentment of the other parent’s household rules. Additionally, some children may attempt to manipulate one parent against the other. Working together with your Ex fosters unity and stability, ensuring a supportive environment for your children.  

But if you and your spouse cannot agree on “universal rules,” let the ideal go. And make sure your kids are clear about the rules in your house.

Maintaining good communication with your children is also important when you might (or might not) consider re-entering the dating scene, too. The last thing your child wants is to feel replaced in your heart, but having honest conversations with them about your openness to dating again can help prepare them. 

Ultimately, being a powerful and compassionate mother means being there for your children emotionally, providing guidance, and setting boundaries. Your love for them is unwavering, and by nurturing a strong parent-child relationship, you empower them to thrive despite life’s challenges. Set an example as a powerful and fierce female role model for them to emulate.

For inspired steps to take, check out “100 Must Do’s for the Newly Divorced Independent Woman.”


Being a single mother presents numerous challenges, but with resilience and determination, you can overcome them. Begin by allowing yourself to grieve the end of the relationship. Suppressing your emotions will only hinder your ability to move forward. Embrace the opportunity to celebrate the emergence of the new, empowered you. Surround yourself with a supportive community to aid you through the grieving process. While it’s essential to initially process your emotions independently, seeking support from others is equally important. Whether it’s your existing social circle or a new group of like-minded individuals, find a community where you feel understood and supported.

Next, focus on cultivating self-love and acceptance. Whether through internal growth or external changes, strive to become the person you aspire to be. Invest in yourself and embrace the journey of self-discovery. Additionally, prioritize your financial well-being by evaluating your expenses and creating a realistic plan for your single life. Seeking guidance from a good financial planner person can offer valuable strategies for managing your finances effectively.

Especially, prioritize your children’s well-being. Maintain open communication with them, regularly checking in on their emotional state and spending quality time together. Establishing a healthy coparenting routine, if possible, can provide stability and consistency for your children in their dual household environment. 

Remember to practice self-care to ensure you can fulfill your role as a strong and resilient single mother. By taking care of yourself, you empower yourself to be the best parent you can be for your children.


Teresa is a third-year law student in Chicago committed to advocating and supporting survivors of gender and power-based violence. With a longstanding interest in family law, she aspires to pursue a career in this field after graduation. Her goal is to create a meaningful impact by being a voice for those who may struggle to find their own, providing the necessary support and empowerment they need to navigate the legal system and achieve justice.


Since 2012, SAS for Women has been entirely dedicated to the unexpected challenges women face while considering a divorce and navigating the divorce experience and its confusing afterward. 

SAS offers women six FREE months of email coaching, action plans, checklists, and support strategies for you, and your future. All of it, delivered discreetly to your inbox.  

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*SAS continues to support same-sex and nonbinary marriage. In this article, however, we refer to your spouse as husband/he/him.

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