Support for you

Date last updated: 21 December 2021

Looking after yourself

Although going through separation or divorce can feel like the start of a daunting journey it’s important to remember you’re not alone.  There are many others who have been through similar experiences and many places to turn to for support.

Looking after yourself

While practical arrangements and your child’s well being may be huge concerns during separation, getting support for yourself is just as important. You can find advice on caring for yourself on our mental health and looking after your emotional health pages.

Getting support from others

Getting advice and reassurance from someone who has been there can help to make your journey easier.  Watch Georgie talk about her experience of separating and how she coped during difficult times.

Georgie's partner left her when her daughter was just three months old. Four years on she is happy and proud of what she has achieved.

Tips from single parents

Asking for help is hard but important

I talk to my son's teacher and my mum, being frank about not being able to cope. Admitting I need help has been a massive thing for me to learn. It’s a gradual thing, being able to ask for support. But things are a lot easier now.

Mum, 1 child aged 9

Remember stigma can be self-imposed

One thing I’ve learned, I went to work full time thinking people were looking at me - 'single parent on benefits'. I pushed myself to work full time and pay my way. Actually no one cares what I do, the only stigma was what I put on myself. I could have saved myself some stress.

Mum, 1 child aged 9

Try syncing your free weekend with other single parents

At the weekends they’re with their dad. Then it’s for me to find things to do. That’s where the single mums at school have come in handy. They have their weekends synced so that they have their time off from the kids together. It means when you haven’t got the kids, you’ve got someone to ring and ask to do something together.

Mum, 3 children aged 1, 5 and 10

Speak to someone not involved if you can

I chose to have counselling. I just knew I needed to speak to someone who was away from my situation, wasn’t involved emotionally or personally with what’s happened and to have someone to speak to. Once it’s out your head, you’re not mulling it over.

Mum, 2 children aged 7 and 4

Write down how you're feeling

Writing down how you're feeling really helps. I write it on a piece of paper and screw it up. It feels like you’ve spoken to someone and not been judged. You’ve thought about it.

Mum, 1 child aged 4

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Supporting yourself

If you have recently separated, it can be a difficult time not just for your children, but for you. It’s important to look after yourself through a separation, and you might find it useful to hear other people’s stories or have someone to speak to.

You can join our Gingerbread forum to speak to other single parents online, or join a group to speak to single parents in your local area.

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