Being a parent is always challenging, but there is nothing that compares to raising children after the death of your spouse or partner. Where there was once two loving parents making sure the children well loved and taken care of, now there’s only one. Yet whether the loss was a surprise or was coming for some time, it’s imperative that you manage your grief in a way that doesn’t affect the quality of your son or daughters upbringing. Below, we take a look at five tips to help you carry on parenting during the bereavement period.
Take Care of the Essentials
In the immediate aftermath of your partner’s death, you can’t be expected to be your loving, cheerful self in front of your children. Indeed, it would be odd to wear this mask, even if your children are too young to fully understand what is going on. While you don’t have to be one positive ball of energy, it is important that you’re taking care of the essentials. That means making sure that your children are well fed, and that they’re always up, dressed, and ready for wherever they need to be. Try to keep the routines as similar as possible, even if the mood is more sombre.
Secure a Financial Future
There will be practical things to think about. You may have lost half of your household income or more, so will need to take steps to secure your financial future. To begin, investigate what money you’re entitled to. There may be a life insurance policy, or an inheritance, or, if the death was someone else’s fault, then filing a lawsuit may be appropriate. From there, it’s about adjusting your household budget and reviewing your own career to see if there are ways to boost your family’s income.
Live With The Memories
While you’ll want to move on, it’s more about, as the title says, ‘carrying on.’ Don’t try to diminish your deceased partner’s presence in the home, or at least not too much. While it might be tough for you initially, by preserving their memory, you’ll make them an ever-present part of your family home and your children’s lives.
Take Time For Yourself
You’ll need to put on a brave face for your children, but inside, there’ll be times when you feel like breaking down. This is OK, and normal. It’s important that you take time for yourself, away from your children, so you can fully experience the grieving process. You’ll be able to carve out fifteen to twenty minutes a day when your children are at school, with relatives, or in bed.
Remember The Bigger Picture
There’s nothing worse than losing someone close to you. But losing a partner while still bringing up your children is an exceptionally difficult set of circumstances. Be good to yourself, get the support of loved ones, and know that it’ll get easier in time. In the meantime, do your best to live up to the parenting ideals and love that you and your partner established while they were around.