There’s really never a good time to get divorced. You can argue that any stage of life has its pros and cons to completely starting over, but each stage has the commonality of devastating moments. For me, I was in my late 20’s and everyone around me was getting married and having more babies. Then there I was, meeting with lawyers, signing divorce papers, and all of a sudden a single mom. I’d run into family friends who hadn’t seen me since my wedding and was faced with that fun explanation to give. The upside is that you can start over fairly seamlessly because there are a great amount of people in this stage of life to meet who are still single and wanting to settle down. Age aside, there’s also never a good place to get divorced. At work for instance. How is one supposed to work with such heavy hearts weighing them down?
For most of my divorce, my job was a stay at home mom. It kept me busy, surrounded by my sweet girl, and supportive family and mommy friends. However, toward the end, a “real” job fell in my lap and I knew financially it was necessary. I started a new job and not only had to deal with the stigma of being young and divorced, but I was also still dealing with finalizing the darn thing. I was receiving emails by the hour from our mediators asking me all sorts of sad and depressing questions. Who will claim our daughter on their taxes and what will holidays look like? Insert streaming tears as I try to teach long division.
My three main take homes for getting through the work day are as follows:
- Don’t check divorce related anything (text, emails, phone messages) throughout the day. Wait until your drive home where you can cry in your car or when you get home where you can cry with your glass of wine. This will limit those meltdowns at work where someone who doesn’t know you is trying their best to awkwardly comfort you.
- Look at work as a mental escape. If there’s anything at all you enjoy about your job (which I hope there is), focus on that! Let this be a break from your “real” life. Exercise different parts of your mind that aren’t calculating custody schedules or home appraisals.
- Seek out co-workers who are genuine and won’t take your story to the rumor mill. This one is huge. Keep your private life private. People sure do love to talk. You don’t need this unnecessary drama. Chances are you have PLENTY of drama without the help of newfound co-workers.
As with all divorce related obstacles, take it one day at a time and keep a thankful heart. As difficult as going back to work was, I remained thankful for that paycheck and a reason to get out of the house. You MUST find those morsels to be thankful for.
On a separate, but also related note, I have recently paired up with DivorceForce to share the wealth on how to move on gracefully after divorce. Their CEO just wrote an article for Business Insider on this very topic of surviving the workday mid divorce. Check out his recommendations here!
My prayer is that your 9-5 would be a healthy mental vacation from the many heartbreaking moments of divorce. Remember to ignore divorce related anything during the workday, exercise your mind in a different capacity, and seek out co-workers who aren’t looking to spread the details of your crazy life all around.
Image by Living for Naptime