I love doing and having guest posts. It’s a chance to join together in blog-land and support each other in the endeavor in blogging. Also, I really do believe that one of the problems in our society is that we no longer care about other people. We are very slow to want to understand another person, much less ‘walk a mile in their shoes’.
Today’s guest blogger is also fighting this trend. She is offering up the dark moments of her life for others to more fully understand and learn from: her divorce. It is admirable and I respect her for reaching out to others in this manner.
If you are a regular reader of Kay’s blog, you know that she’s a pretty spectacular lady. She has been a supporter of my blog, Single Mom in the South for some time, and was one of my biggest cheerleaders when I mentioned launching an “Ask Single Mom in the South” feature. When she asked me to write a guest post on how to be a better friend to single moms/friends going through divorce, how could I say no? Although it did end up taking me WEEKS! Hey, no sweat, life happens 😉
[blockquote align=”center” cite=”Kay asked”]How can I be a good friend to someone going through a divorce or facing being a single mom for the first time?[/blockquote]
Helping a friend navigate through a divorce can be a tricky thing if you’ve never been through it yourself, ~Heck, it’s tricky even if you have, because everyone’s experience is so different~ but there are some things you can do in the way of offering support that are universal.
1. Lend an ear. Sometimes all one needs is someone to listen and that can be hard when your friend is in a bad spot, because you know it’s not going to be a positive conversation. She may need to whine and bash her ex and hash out the whole ordeal over and over and over again until you are ready to bang your head against the wall. It’s not always easy to listen to, but for many, it’s cathartic and a way of starting the healing process.
2. Offer to babysit. If you are close enough to this friend, offer her a break. Chances are, she is having to do a lot more all by herself without much support. Even if her spouse wasn’t particularly hands-on or helpful, he was most likely still a warm body so she could get things accomplished without having the children constantly underfoot. She’s probably exhausted. Offer to take her children so she can run errands, go see a counselor, or just take a nap!
3. Offer up your husband: If your friend owns her own home, she is probably responsible for some chores she never had to do before. If your husband has free time, see if he’s willing to go mow the lawn, change the oil in the car or any other thing he happens to be handy at. Even if her ex is doing it for her, give her the option. There is something powerful about being able to say, “Nope, I don’t need to depend on you for _____. I found someone else to do it!”
4. Get her out of the house. If her children are spending time with their dad and she finds herself alone for the first time, give her the option of getting out and force her if you need to. It’s emotionally harder to have them be away with their other parent, even if your friend has been without them before. Make sure she has something to do; dinner and a movie or something else those first few times she is without them because she is sharing custody.
5. Most importantly, take your cues from your friend. This can be hard, because she’s on an emotional roller coaster and she might not know exactly what she needs. Let her know your door is always open or you are only a phone call away. Continue to invite her to do things she used to enjoy, even if she says no over and over, because at some point, she will want to say yes. When she has her feet back underneath her, she’ll appreciate you for being the one she could always count on even when she didn’t have much to give back in return.
If you have questions that you would love Single Mom in the South to answer, please hop over to her blog and ask. She is delightfully sweet and honest at the same time.