If you’re not one to live by a calendar and a planner, chances are you have a pretty carefree attitude towards life and that you just go with the flow of the situations. That can be a good attitude for a single person, but chaotic for a divorcee with a child. Imagine all your plans clashing with your kid’s and your ex-spouse’s events, it’s like an explosion waiting to happen.
It’s better to keep a system both you and your ex-spouse could adhere to to keep a healthy family-work-life balance. For that, I give you two Cs: Calendar and Communication.
Keep a Working Calendar
Let’s start with the easiest. First, you have to settle on a calendar to use. You can utilize online calendars that you can keep on your phones, or you could buy a physical calendar where you can write your plans on and move back and forth with your child. It’s your choice. Once that’s settled, you move on to the next part which is maintaining that calendar. It’s easy to forget to maintain a calendar, especially if you already mentioned the specific event to your ex during a conversation. But you have to remember that the human mind is feeble and we tend to forget things, so it’s always better to put everything in writing.
Input all your personal planned events in the calendar, all your children’s school calendars and summer and holiday breaks, and tell your ex-spouse to do the same. That way, you can visualize the amount of weekends and holidays you can allot and divide for vacations and family events. If possible, try setting reminders for events so that you won’t miss out on any. It may be a handful to keep and maintain a working calendar, but if you get into the habit of calendaring your events, you might ease into the post-divorce life a little easier than when you don’t.
Remember how I said everything is better when in writing? Well, it is better, but it is also crucial to communicate your plans to your ex-spouse, not that you need their permission. But a negotiation might come in handy for when your children have events that need either you or your ex’s presence and both of you are unavailable. You need to negotiate and compromise for the sake of your children. You also need to communicate your plans so that no events would coincide. For instance, you want to take your children on a beach trip during their summer break, but your ex-spouse also plans to take your children at the same time. Calendar and communicate. Compromise on the schedule so that both parents would have equal time to spend with the children.
The post-divorce life is not easy. But you can make it easy if you utilize simple tools and systems to make the whole family’s life easier. All you have to do is find the right routine to solve most of the problems you can avoid when you have a parental protocol. You’re a parent, you can do it!