Q&A: What is the Best Way to Juggle Motherhood, a Career, and dating After Divorce?


Many women find themselves having juggle motherhood and the rest of their lives after and find themselves overwhelmed with how to balance a busy career with being a single parent; and some even have a third aspect of this triad “dating” when divorced. It can be hard to balance all of these aspects of one’s life without feeling like something or someone(s) are getting short-changed – and that someone could be you.

I imagine this is hard to be a mother and to have a career and to be divorced on top of it and having to be a single parent. Dating should add a fun element but I imagine that could add stress as well. But I have no personal experience to draw from as I am not personally in this situation as yet. I do read a lot of blogs and forums and I just have to say that the number one thing to remember is that you will make mistakes and you have to give yourself permission not to be perfect and give yourself forgiveness in advance for making a mistake here or there.

Even celebrities and wealthy women are finding it hard to balance all these aspects of their lives. When you listen to women like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez who have so many resources at their fingertips and yet who admit that even they struggle with it, you really have to become humbled yourself and you really have to give yourself a break. And so you have to accept and to realize that the struggle is just a part of it. No point fighting that.

Being present is important, I think. So when you are with the kids, be there. Don’t let your mind wander off to other things and persons. The kids’ time is their time. You can even schedule time to “worry” into your daily schedule so that when you are with your kids, you can tell yourself “don’t worry, you have two hours before your worry hour.” This is a technique I use for keeping myself focused. I give myself a slot of time just to worry. And what invariable happens is when the time rolls around, often, you are too busy and occupied to take advantage.

Likewise when you are at work, be at work (this is hard, I know). And when you are with your man, for heaven’s sakes, just succumb into his arms and let yourself experience the oblivion.

A big part of the problem, of course, is not you. It is the people who are making the demands: the new lover, the demanding boss, the children. In the case of the lover, he or she could be having a hard time with the side of you that is a mother and that has to spend quality time with your children which will then have an impact on how much time you can spend with them. This is tough. But I was reading online and a lot of women make the point that they and their kids are a “packaged deal.” So anyone who comes into her life must understand this basic and fundamental threshold point.

At work, you may have been out of the work force for a while while you were married or you were only partially employed, juggling full time mommy duties with part time work. Now that you are divorced, there could have been a necessary shift in your work/home life where you are required to work more away from home to earn more money and this could leave both you and the children feeling emotionally stranded. Obviously, it will take time for this new routine to vest and to gel and you have to give it time, but you also have to remain aware that this change could be affecting the children, especially if they are very young children who were very attached to you and are used to having you at their disposal all the time.

Then, finally, you do need a little bit of time for yourself. You can’t just give, give give. You have to replenish and you have to take care of yourself first and foremost so that you can be for everyone else what it is they need you to be.

Being very organized is going to help tremendously. Writing lists, setting deadlines and timeframes, scheduling everything. Asking for help and delegating when possible will be a smart idea. Saying “no” is also going to be something you are going to learn how to do.

NEXT: Dating tips from Meghan Markle

image credit