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Lost Your Sense of Self Since Having Children Post-divorce?

21/08/2013 16:34 BST | Updated 20/10/2013 10:12 BST

Post divorce, do you go to bed at night exhausted, wondering where the day went?

In an interview with Alternative Divorce Directory Confidence Coach Jessica Hylands, she provides some top tips on how to avoid severe loss of esteem after having kids, particularly relevant to those who are dealing with divorce and family breakup.

"What did you do for yourself today? Maybe there wasn't time. For a lot of parents, from the time they wake up to the time they finish the lunch boxes for the next day and fall into bed, it's all about the children.

It can sometimes feel all encompassing and as though you've lost your individuality when you have this role. This feeling can be particularly acute when you have been through divorce or family breakup.

Don't feel that having time to reconnect to yourself is an indulgence. It's a necessity for some relaxation time and also so that when you are in company, you have things to talk about other than the children. The latter is very important for your sense of self.

Here are some post-divorce tips to feel that here is still a 'you' while being a great parent at the same time:

Value yourself. If you are a stay at home parent it might feel as though you aren't doing as important a job as some of your friends who are out working. But think about it. Imagine that you are applying for a job and write a CV, including all of the skills you possess and tasks that you carry out on a regular basis, transposing them into a work-speak. For example:

  • Communication
  • Bookkeeping
  • Negotiating
  • Organisation
  • Cleaner
  • Cook
  • Taxi Service
  • Teacher
  • Team management (you imagine that being in charge of 10 children at a party is easy?)
  • Motivational speaking (you'd be surprised how often you do this)
  • Resolving conflict
  • Maintenance (you are the site manager of your house when anything needs doing to it)

....and all of this whilst supervising the children, so multi-tasking in the extreme!

Add up what it would cost you to employ someone to do each of these tasks for you on a daily basis. Not many of us could afford to have that many staff! And when you have been through divorce or family breakup, that extra pair of hands to help you is not always at hand.

Take time for yourself. Whatever a treat might be for you; a massage, having your hair done, going to a café and reading the papers, meeting with friends. This will give you time to relax and think - just to be 'you'. If money is tight, swap with friends: you have my children for three hours on a Monday morning and I'll have yours on a Friday morning.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. This doesn't mean that you aren't coping, it simply means that your life would be a bit easier if you weren't doing everything yourself.

You have to know that you are a fantastic person to be able to carry out this role and should be proud of yourself."

Interview was by Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller with Confidence Coach Jessica Hylands