Life After Divorce


Back in October Hollie De Cruz shared her reflections on splitting from her husband. It was was one of the most read lists from 2017.

But what does life after divorce look like a further down the line? Here, brilliant Kiera from Mama Designs shares her experience 3 years later.


I have been a single parent of two for 4 years now and divorced for 3. This is some of what I experienced and some of the stuff I wish someone had told me.

  • My marriage ending after 13 years together is the hardest thing I have ever been through and the deepest, darkest time of my life.

  • It is like suffering a loss and you go through the stages of bereavement, especially if it comes as a shock, which mine did.

  • It took me about 2 years to feel properly normal again. I remember speaking to a friend of a friend, not long after it happened who told me this and I couldn’t quite believe it.  It is true though. It doesn’t mean to say you won’t be happy within that time but to feel properly normal it was about 2 years.

  • Take time out for yourself, self care is so important. I ran,  every day.  It gave me my headspace. It also got me slim, which is an added bonus!  Meditate, exercise, whatever works for you. Even if it was not something you did before, try it, you might surprise yourself!!

  • Make sure you eat properly, even though it will be the last thing on your mind.

  • Your children will be reason enough to plaster a smile on your face and carry on, even on the darkest days.  Hug them lots. This will be confusing for them too. Make sure they know that you both love them.

  • Telling the children was the hardest thing. I carefully planned the day out with all four of us after we explained and we went to the Julia Donaldson exhibition and then went to town and got a teddy bear made for each of them  and we put the heart in to show them that we both loved them and whenever either one of us wasn’t there, if they felt sad, they could hug their bear. Then we went out to eat and let them choose the location (hello Burger King!?) surrounded by teenagers in town while such a big thing was happening was weird.

  • I always tried to be the better person.  Having an amicable divorce/ break up  was so important, even though I didn’t feel like it at times. I understand that this is not always possible but if it is possible, it is such a good thing, for everyone involved .

  • However bad what has happened to you is, your kids do not need to know that, they can be spared the details. They have two parents and assuming both love them, then they don’t need to be in the middle of an argument or used against one another. It is the children who will suffer.

  • Becoming a single mum is a huge adjustment and it takes time.  I remember in the early days wondering how I would do things on my own with them and then doing it and feeling stronger. The first time the three of us ate out in a restaurant, my new slightly smaller family unit.  How empowering taking my children on holiday felt.

  • Someone recommended a book called “Excuse me your life is waiting” I read that, and “The Secret” and they really hit a chord with me and I discovered the Law of Attraction, something that I would have previously thought of as a bit woo woo.

  • Get in control of your finances.  Especially if this wasn’t something you did in married life. Get a spreadsheet and keep a track of all your outgoings and income. You might be surprised to find you are eligible for working tax credits too.

  • It is ok to keep your married name.  I wanted to have the same name as my kids, I had had my married name for 8 years, I did not want to change it. Do what feels right for you.

  • If you can make arrangements for child care and financial matters yourself and amicably it is a much nicer way to do it but you might want to seek legal advice.

  • You might not always agree on things with your ex. You might have to make compromises.  You do this for the sake of your children and for a happy life. It is not good to have stress and upset in your life. I have always tried to limit this.

  • Some people have different attitudes towards single mums.  The airport customs guard who asked “where is there dad?” to which I shrugged my reply.  He said “you are taking them on holiday on your own lady?” Hell yes!!! I would sometimes get looks from mums on holiday who might think I wanted to pinch their husbands!  I am definitely still aware of this when I take the kids away but mostly people are friendly and supportive.

  • Don’t air your dirty washing in public ie post negative stuff on social media, pick up the phone instead and cry on someone’s shoulder/rant, moan, whatever but nothing will be gained from airing your dirty laundry in public. I never did and it is something I am hugely grateful for. I really cringe when I see other people doing that. I think that they will regret it!

  • You are stronger than you think! I kept telling myself this!

  • Use your friends and family, let them look after you.  My family, especially my mum and my close friends were my absolute rocks.  I will never forget their unwavering support.

  • Your house will feel empty without your children. You might not want to see friends with children when you don’t have yours. Keep yourself busy at first, you will learn to enjoy the time.

  • You might go online dating. It will be horrendous, hilarious and your friends will be constantly on the phone wanting the latest in your dating saga.  I was contacted by everyone from age 21 to 76 I think and some of them were horrendous (Bob Vodka the aging goth, the lollipop man, couples!  I remember laughing till we cried with my friends reading the messages! My tip for online dating is coffee not wine!  Ever heard of coffee goggles? No?  I rest my case!!

  • I have heard of some people becoming consumed by unhappiness and have it define them as a person, people saying “she never got over him/it”. I was determined not to let this happen. Count your blessings. There are still lots of good things in your life and you need to remember this.

  • Put some happy music on and dance around the kitchen to lift your mood. You may feel silly at first, but it will lift your mood and make you smile!

  • Firsts are hard, birthdays, milestones, even parents evenings etc but each time it gets easier and you keep a brave face  on for the sake of your children until it becomes normal.

  • Finding out my children were having a new sibling was hard, really hard but after hearing two friends different stories of how a new sibling was handled I was determined to be like the positive story. My children love their baby brother so I have embraced that and they see me making a fuss over him every time I see him. They would not understand if I didn’t so why wouldn’t I? How it made me feel was irrelevant, my children were and are the most important thing.

  • I miss my in laws, the whole family.  We stayed in touch but it was never the same. My parents were sad. Break ups are sad for everyone as it affects so many people in different ways.

  • You will be happy again, truly happy, but it does take time. It is a journey.

  • I am a much calmer, happier chilled out person (and more self aware) than I ever used to be and I think that this is due to what I went through.


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  • Reply Jodie Thurman February 13, 2018 at 8:52 am

    This rings so true with me, my ex husband also left me four years ago, breaking my heart and my then 8 year olds daughters heart. It’s so bloody hard at first, I would get invited places with other families and just feel so left out, so lonely. But your right, we are more than capable of gaining a healthy and positive life back. Here’s to all us women taking control. Xxx

  • Reply revronbennett February 13, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    What a beautiful family. Remember the incredible way you bless your kids each day by just being there spending time. I was a single dad of 4, it took me 5 years before I remarried. There were hard days and nights but we are blessed we have our children at home. blessings and prayers to you all.

  • Reply Steph February 13, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    I am trying to navigate a separation and feel
    all the guilt despite me not suggesting it. Gone totally into practical mumma mode but waiting to feel all the shit and will take your advice on board. I needed this today. Thank you x

  • Reply Claire Tomlin February 15, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Wow just wow so many more people should take a leaf out of your book and the world might be just a better place for it. Inspiring ♥️

  • Reply Sam February 18, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Thank you Kiera for sharing, It was like reading about myself, especially the holidays part and the new sibling. When I was told my daughters was 3 we had only been apart 6 months and the divorce was in progress, I was silent and tears just rolled down my face like I was greiving, it was just all to soon. It felt like he was waving good bye to our daughter and moving on so quickly.
    I put my feelings aside and embraced her new sister and time does heal.
    Being the bigger braver person is always the best way for your children’s sake, my daughter is 14 now so I’ve survived 11 years being a single parent.
    We as women are stronger and braver then we give ourselves credit for.. 🙌🏽💪🏽

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