How Can You Stay Strong and Be a Good Mom During a Divorce?

How Can You Stay Strong and Be a Good Mom During a Divorce?

Here's to all the moms like Shannon Beador and Kelly Dodd who are keeping it together for the kids. 

By Marianne Garvey

The Real Housewives of Orange County's Shannon Beador is navigating her own divorce while being a proud mama to three beautiful girls, Sophie, Stella and Adeline. She stays super focused on mom duty, telling The Daily Dish, "What are my daughters not doing? They play basketball, volleyball, Sophie just took on softball — it's nonstop." And Shannon is in charge of all the carpooling, scheduling, and driving. 

She has her OC pal Kelly Dodd to look to as well — Kelly says her daughter Jolie is actually happy about the divorce, making things a lot easier for her. 

“Jolie’s handling it very well, she actually likes us divorced better than being married because she doesn’t have to listen to us fighting. Michael and I get along way, way, way, way, way better than when we were married," Kelly tells Personal Space. "Jolie’s really, really adjusted really well and she loves us being friends, Michael and I do Sunday dinners together. Not just her birthday, we just do Sunday dinners together and he just cleaned out my garage for me. If I need something from him at all he’ll be right there to help me; he’s still there but you know we’re just not married and not living together, and he’s become my best friend again.”

Unfortunately for many (former) couples, being able to hold it all together while going through a divorce can seem impossible — and getting to a place of successful co-parenting takes time. Some divorcing couples grow so bitter it affects their well being, their kids’ well being, and the whole situation grows so toxic that you even call your own parenting skills into question.

Parenting expert and author of Motherhood Is a Bitch, Lyss Stern, says she has a million friends going through a rough divorce and she’s offered up advice on how to keep it together for the kids.

“Even though you may be going through horrible time, try not to show it to the kids and don’t let them know how your ex is really treating you,” she says. “It’s still their father, even if you hate each other.”

Stern says that there are ways to take care of yourself if things have gotten rough and you still need and want to be a good mom.

“Moms need a little extra self care,” she says. “Plus they need to be mentally strong. I suggest for moms going through a hard time, get that exercise in there, see your girlfriends, talk to them about what’s going on, let it out, go for a walk. Let friends and family know you need to lean on them a little more.”

It’s impossible sometimes to not let yourself have a full meltdown, but, Stern advises, it’s better to redirect your frustration and anger into a yoga class or meditation.

“It’s inevitable, you’re going to get lawyers and receive bad texts, and so on, remind yourself as a mother you need to be strong for the kids,” she says.

Also, diet is important too. “Eating healthy foods, not going on a drinking binge, to stay a great mom you need self care,” Stern adds. “Especially if you are a working mom, you have to put on a smile during the day, that can be very hard and challenging.”

A few last things to remember:

Stern says to try to be present with your kids, even if your mind is on the divorce. Don’t talk bad about your ex in front of the kids. If you’re dating don’t bring the newest partner home to the kids until everything is settled.

If — and when — you do have to be together for the kids, smile for the sake of the children. “Hold your head up high and be a lady even though you wanna cry, breakdown, scream at him,” Stern says.

Credit: Shannon Beador/Instagram

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