SOLO Parenting: Resolutions, Especially for Divorcees

by Cynthia MacGregor

Myself, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, don’t make ’em, and never have. I think self-improvement should be a year-round effort, not just a once-a-year thing. I don’t believe there’s anything magical about January 1 that makes it any easier to keep vows of self-improvement made on that date than on any other.

That said, however, I recognize that many people do like to make New Year’s resolutions—and some folks even manage to keep some of them. Okay, if you’re one of those who believe in making New Year’s resolutions—and making a sincere effort to follow through and keep them—let me make a few suggestions for possible resolutions specifically for you, the divorced solo mom.

I don’t say you need to make all of these resolutions. I hope you don’t! You know which of these improvements you need to make and which items you’re already good with. Here’s a list of suggestions:

I will not speak badly of my ex to the kids.

I will not speak badly of my ex to others when the kids might overhear me.

I will not be resentful of my ex because he has remarried or otherwise moved on with his life and I have not.

I will not let my bad former marriage and/or my bad divorce sour me toward men in general.

I will not withhold visitation or in any other way use my kids to punish my ex for his misdeeds, however egregious.

I will not ask my kids to spy on their father nor will I debrief them after visits and ask them to report on their father, his actions, or his possessions in an intrusive manner. If they volunteer that he has a new girlfriend or bought himself a boat, of course I will listen, but I will not use them as spies.

I will not ask my kids to carry messages to my ex. If I have information or a request to convey to him, I will deliver the message myself, whether it’s by phone, email, IM, Skype, or text.

I will not share my sour attitude toward marriage with my kids. Now that my ex is gone, I will not turn my kids into my confidantes, nor will I emotionally lean on them.

Now that my ex is gone, I will not turn my kids into confidantes, nor will I emotionally lean of them.

I will not let my own inner turmoil or sorrow keep me from being there for my kids when they need me.

While it’s fine to give my kids more chores now that it’s just them and me, I will not overdo it and burden them with more tasks than is reasonable, or with a task that’s unfair to ask of a person of that age.

While it may be necessary sometimes to point out to the kids that we simply cannot afford such-and-such an item or activity, I will not frighten them with my money worries and woes.

Which of these resolutions do you need to make?

Cynthia MacGregor is a multi-published author. She has over 100 books to her credit, of which roughly half were published conventionally and the remainder as e-books. They includeAfter Your Divorce, Divorce Helpbook for Kids, Divorce Helpbook for Teens, Solo Parenting, "Step" This Way,and others. Forthcoming books include:The One-Parent Family, Why Are Mommy and Daddy Getting Divorced,andDaddy Doesn't Live Here Anymore. She hosted and produced the TV showSolo Parenting,which was broadcast in South Florida over WHDT. Cynthia is a contributing expert for,,, and Contact Cynthia, and see her website at