We can acknowledge the impact divorce has on both parents without devaluing the experiences of either.
Is divorce tougher on moms? The effects of divorce on men and women has been a common topic of study. While some statistics suggest that divorce is harder on men, divorce has lasting impacts on women as well. When you add children into the mix, things get even tougher. Divorce takes a toll on mothers emotionally, financially, and socially. Knowing the potential pitfalls could help moms empower themselves after a separation.
Is Divorce Tougher on Moms? Here Are Some Things to Think About
Effects on parenting responsibilities
The most contentious issue arising from a divorce between parents is child custody. Mothers often get custody because, more often than not, the mother primarily took care of the children during the marriage. While this is happy news for moms, it’s also a lot of work. Primary custodians have extra caretaking duties, like taking the kids to school every day and dealing with their growing pains. Also, the onus is on you to instill your children with a good moral compass through discipline.
Mental and emotional effects
Divorce can leave you feeling like your kids are all you have. Moms often feel anxious when the kids aren’t with them and fear losing them. You might be afraid that the court will take custody away from you for the smallest indiscretion. Moms could also fall into depression. Some get so wrapped up in their kids that they lose interest in things they once enjoyed and their self-care suffers. Although kids benefit from having both parents around, parents often feel like they’re competing. When dads have less parenting time, it’s common for them to do fun activities with the kids – as they should. But then the children might believe things would always be like this if they lived with the father. Due to this, it’s common for moms to feel insecure about their relationship with the kids. They fear a dissolution of their relationship with their children similar to the dissolution of their marriage. Hearing good things about the father can make moms feel like the kids are drifting away from them.
Post-divorce, women are more likely to suffer financial fallout. In 2018, more than 50 percent of poor children lived in households with single moms. While child support certainly helps, moms often incur extra costs that support doesn’t cover. Many women have to make the tough decision to cut down on their work hours because child care is so expensive. If they can’t afford child care and don’t have anyone to watch the kids, they might not be able to work at all. They’re left to rely on public assistance programs that are difficult to qualify for and may fall short of providing what the family needs.
Both spouses might lose friends in the fallout from the divorce. Relatives might even choose sides. You might avoid certain places you once frequented to avoid bumping into one another or avoid activities that remind you of your ex. The stigma surrounding divorcees with children coupled with age discrimination makes remarrying less likely for women. Plus, mothers with primary custody have to devote more time to their children, meaning less time for dating. They might feel jealous and resentful if the other parent is able to find a new partner.
Divorce is tough on the whole family
So, is divorce tougher on moms? We can acknowledge the impact divorce has on both parents without devaluing the experiences of either. While the main focus should be on helping children adjust, moms must prioritize their own well-being so they can be the parents their children need.