Going through a divorce was one of the hardest things I have ever done, emotionally, legally, and financially. It seriously helped to have family and friends in my corner. There are so many things you can do for a mom going through a divorce, to make the experience less painful and to help her emerge from the experience healthier and happier.
When I left my now ex-husband, I didn't know where to begin. This was uncharted territory for me, and I knew only a few people who had been through divorce. Then again, I was lucky. I had amazing people in my life who were willing to listen, give objective advice (when I was so not capable of being objective) and even give me a place to stay and help with child care, as I slowly put my life back together.
Although fairly common, divorce is still looked down on in our culture and people who divorce, especially moms, are seen as selfish and bad parents. The truth of the matter is, of course, that divorce can actually be the best thing you can do for yourself and your family, especially when staying married would be catastrophic.
How can you support a mom going through a divorce? Listen and validate her feelings. If you can, offer your thoughts and support from an outside perspective. Refer her to experts for information about issues related to legal, matters like custody and domestic violence, where bad advice can be dangerous. Lastly, help with practical and logistical needs, like school drop-offs and child care and even bringing the girls' night to her so she doesn't have to find a sitter.
There are so many things you can do to make her life easier. Here are some things that really helped me.