It does not matter who you are or whether or not you are the one doing the breaking up, you are going to find it difficult. You will be filled with a whole range of emotions, and you are going to have to get used to a new normal. However, a break-up can be made even more difficult if children are involved. You are clearly going to have to set your own feeling aside and concentrate on theirs so that you can mitigate their anxieties. When children are young, they will be able to understand what is happening, but the reason why will be confusing for them. They may end up blaming themselves, which is something you definitely want to ensure does not happen.
Talk to Your Children
It is very important that you sit down at an appropriate time and in an appropriate place and discuss with your children what is happening. If possible, you and your ex-partner should do this together so they get a fully rounded view of the situation. You should not assume that they are too young to understand and not talk to them. However, you must talk to them in language they will understand. You need to be calm, honest and consistent, and able to answer any questions even if they are uncomfortable to hear. This is new news to your child, and you cannot predict how they will feel. So be patient and take everything in your stride. If you need to take a few moments to calm yourself, do it by popping to the loo and have that cry. However, ensure they know it is not their fault and that they are loved by you both.
Ignore what Should Have Been and Focus
This is a time of great turmoil for all involved. It will involve moving and negotiating childcare responsibilities. If some of the people you come into contact with keep reminding you of what could have been, maybe it is a good time to limit contact for a moment. You need to focus on the practicalities. If things are frosty between you and the ex and things are not progressing, it may be an idea to get a family lawyer who can helo in divorces and spousal maintenance. Above all, you need to focus on keeping the worse parts away from the kids, like you and your ex hating each other. To protect them, you need to be sensible. Don’t bad mouth and only make important calls etc when they are out of earshot, or preferably not even in the house.
Focus on the Children
Yes, it is a bad time, but you never know, if you focus on the children they may end up liking this change more than before! If you spend time on them and with them and talk to them regularly, to will be able to understand exactly how they are feeling. This will help you take the stress out of this new parenting method which in turn makes you a better parent.