‘How do you get over a very painful breakup, especially if a baby is involved?’ One lady asked from a WhatsApp group. Her tone felt bitter and desperate. I felt her pain from deep down. It reminded me of my experience.
See, I broke up with my baby daddy almost two years back. The experience is not really the sweetest in the world. This is a guy I had loved, sacrificed and invested my time, love and resources. I had seen a future with him. We even had a child together! Despite our differences, the break up hurt terribly.
Then came the insecurities, how would I support the child? With much stigmatization of single parents, how I protect my son from the society? What would I tell the family that the wedding was canceled? ( Yes, we were 8 months to you tying the knot )
By the time I wrapped my head around all the drama, these facts are what helped me get my first steps back to my feet.
1. It’ never that serious.
Most times we get hurt so badly that we tend to be short-sighted. We actually feel that our world’s might just end. But am here to let you know Sister, things will get better sooner. You’ll learn to live withut him, and you’ll be fine.
2. Take a break.
Take time to heal. Like if you can literally take a holiday for a week away from people, please do.
Heal first because if breakup is fresh, a lot of turmoil will come both from external ( Pity party, frenemies, family, church, community) and internal (Child could be constantly asking for the dad, don’t dare or get tempted to yell at the child no matter the tantrum)
3. Realign your life.
Take charge of all of your finances. Responsibilities will fall on you and if you don’t readjust earlier, you may end up over spending and falling into debts quite fast.
4. Talk to the child, and tell the truth.
You can get a counselors help to explain why daddy won’t be around any more. Whatever you tell the child, don’t point the dad’s flaws to the child and don’t deny that he’s the father.
If he wants to support, for your Sanity’s sake (and order in your life), go formally. I advice that you go to Children’s department (Ministry of labour) and have formal agreements on the support and Child visitation.
5. Plan for the rainy days.
Always have a fallback plan financially and emotionally. Don’t push yourself too hard. It’s ok to be human. It’s normal to lack, sometimes.
6. Know yourself.
Get a journey of self discovery. Get to learn yourself and your worth. Live a day at a time, achieving a goal at a time. Learn to forgive yourself first, then forgive him. Get a book and write your thoughts daily, it helps restructure your thinking.
7. Cry cry cry.
It’s normal and actually healthy to cry. Don’t box your emotions in. Let them out until you have had your heart’s fill.
8. Talk to your friends and parents.
Talking is another best therapy of healing. Just don’t allow negative talks about your baby daddy in front of your child. Let the child grow to know his/ her father’s flaws at their own timing.
9. Don’t do extravagance.
Cut down extra and unnecessary expenditures at the moment. Get the difference between needs and wants. Dont use outings and treats as a compensation of lacking a father. Reduce those weekend trips and extra treats to a child and explain why you won’t be going out every weekend but once a month, to save expenses.
10. Include the child when making decisions and changes.
For children of ages 3 and above, they get the vibe. They know, they see, they hear. Discuss with why you are making changes before you actually take the step. This ensures inclusivity and the child won’t feel neglected.
11. Know your child better.
Create a special bond now more than ever. This helps you councel the emotional pressure your child may be going through. In the case where there’s visitation, dont turn the child to be a spy of your ex.
12. Ask for help and accept it.
It’s ok to be insufficient. Ask help from close family (mom/ immediate sisters). When or If they offer it, accept it. They won’t be perfect but they’ll boost you through the toughest patch.
13. Don’t get a rebound and No to revenge Sex!!!
Don’t rush to relationship for rebound, or anything. No to revenge Sex! It never gives you the pleasure that everyone talks about. It will leave you more spiraled and shittier (if there’s such a word). Give yourself time minimum 6 months. Learn yourself first before you jump back to relationship world. Recharge first.
14. Live your life by your pace.
Life isn’t a competition. If you are in a situation people are pushing/pressuring you to talk about your ex and you are not ready, just tell them so. You are free even to skip weddings if they bring emotional turmoil. You owe no one nothing, but yourself a good piece of mind. So, do you.
15. Control your Emotions
Despite all, you don’t have the permision to vent out to everybody. Not your parents, not your relatives, not your friends, definitely not the child.
Don’t you dare vent out to your child!!! Every tantrum in a child has a reason. All you have to do is find the reason why they are throwing tantrums.
Best part of it: Stick to God, He doesn’t disappoint. He never dissapoints. He’ll help you push through in ways you cant imagine. He’ll accept you as you are and help you push through it.
It all seems simple but it takes time, eventually you’ll pick up. It may take a week, month but you’ll get through.
I pray for the best of you and strength in this season.