Getting the kids bit "right"!
At the start, we worry about how we can possibly share the news that will explode their lives, we fear that their pain will be unmanageable, their futures destroyed and we are scared that we will lose them in some way.
As time goes by, we have to navigate co-parenting and single parenting, often in co-existence. Children learn to optimise their situation and can often be seen playing parents against each other and for parents, learning how to discipline in this environment can be hugely burdensome.
Alternatively, solo parents have to pick up the load all on their own; they have no sounding board or support from anybody else. Self-doubt can be a common visitor in this situation.
Even when offspring become adults, the challenges continue. Significant life events require us to co-parent and step up to the role we signed up to when they were born.
The dilemmas are well documented and it never ends!
We are required to be diplomatic, patient and pragmatic at all times and of course, we must always put the needs of our children first.
The pressure of getting this "right" can be overwhelming. What happens if we get it wrong? Will our children be terrible adults? Will they resent us? Will they want to run away as fast as they can once they are adults?
There is a wealth of information and support available from parenting experts and suchlike and whilst their advice is undoubtedly useful, it often piles even more pressure onto parents navigating a new and often unwelcome situation.
So how can we get it "right"?
How do we make sure that we make a situation that will never go away, be the best that it can be?
The truth is that there is no "right". There is only the best that you can do.
If you are following your instinct at any given time and in any given situation then you are probably on the right track.
When making decisions, if you are considering what's best for your child rather than the impact on you or your ex, then you are in the correct ballpark.
If you are seeking input from your children and actually listening to what they say, then you are there or thereabouts.
Of course, putting your kids at the centre of your approach rather than in the middle of your relationship with the ex will always serve you well.
Doing the best you can is an admirable goal when it comes to post-divorce parenting and one that you should be proud of. Your children will no doubt grow up to appreciate your efforts, even if in the moment it seems unlikely and that you are always doubting yourself.
Keep going! Talk to people in the same situation, seek experience and know-how, learn from those who have gone before you.
Most crucially, if you know that you did your best for your children despite whatever odds you are up against, then be proud of yourself - you are doing a great job!