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"You have an obligation to your kids to stay friendly -- or at least civil -- with your former spouse," says Neuman. So, I tried my hardest and used the greatest gift to divorced parents everywhere: e-mail.Hashing out sensitive topics this way allowed me to cool down before responding.
But no matter how right I felt I was, deep down in my heart I knew: Being in constant fight mode was horrible for my kids, and it was making me even more miserable."It's good to acknowledge your child's feelings as long as you don't add anger to your empathy," says Neuman.You can say "I know it's hard that Dad couldn't come again this Wednesday," but leave out the "That jerk has always been irresponsible! As if this advice isn't tough enough to follow, you've also got to keep yourself from making negative comments to your friends, mother, or next-door neighbor if there's even a chance that you'll be overheard by your kid.I flew through the first couple of months after our separation in an adrenaline-powered blur.But things like finding a place to live and paying for it all by myself, taking care of almost all the day-to-day parenting of two small children, and trying to find a job when I'd been out of the workforce since college terrified me.