- Lists. Keep lists of what your child needs to take on visitation. Make lists of what you need to do around the house. Keep lists of what you need to buy, where you need to go, who you need to talk to.
- Me Time. Yoga, massages, pedicures, girl’s night out – whatever you prefer, just make sure you do something for yourself every single week.
- Calendars. Write everything on a calendar. All appointments, all deadlines, all paperwork, and all visitation. Then go back and correct the calendar to reflect what actually happened in terms of visitation after the fact so you have an accurate record.
- Texts. Use them to communicate with your ex without having to talk. Keep tabs on your kids. Stay in touch with everyone without having to make a lot of time.
- The front door. Being able to close it with your ex on the other side is a wonderful feeling.
- Schedules. Dinner is at 6. Laundry has to be done on Saturday. Clean your room on Sunday. Garbage cans must be brought in by 5. Setting expectations lets your kids know what happens when and reduces arguments.
- Distractions. Binge-watching a TV show, reading a book, cooking something complicated, or online shopping keep those empty nights without your kids from feeling unbearable.
- Exercise. When you feel strong, you are strong. Working your frustrations out and finding your focus in your activity of choice helps you be a better parent.
Brette McWhorter Sember is a retired family attorney and mediator and nationally known expert about divorce and parenting after divorce. She is the author of The Divorce Organizer & Planner, How to Parent With Your Ex: Working Together for Your Child’s Best Interest, The Complete Divorce Guide and The No-Fight Divorce Book. Her web site is www.BretteSember.com.