After celebrating her first New Year’s Eve as a single coParent, Debbie Ficarra never forgot how she survived with her head held high.
Ficarra, a mother of three teenage girls, was single for the first time in 12 years. Her narcissist ex refused to coParent and cut off all communication with the family. She sat with her mother and daughters on New Years Eve, at a restaurant. Their table was surrounded by couples. Not an ideal uplifting environment. Her daughters had party plans. It was then that Ficarra thought up a list of top tips for other coParents on this occasion. Her first was this…
1. Don’t expect your children to fill a void. Ficarra realized that she pushed her daughters to go out to dinner with her. Tears falling on the table, one of them asked her, “what’s wrong with you?” It was then that Ficarra realized she did not want her daughters to witness her anger or sadness. She needed to make herself happy and find new activities to ease her sadness and increase her confidence.
2. Be open to new love. After the dinner, Ficarra decided to finally reclaim her own happiness and have faith in finding love again. That night she returned home, signed up for internet dating and answered a message from a man who she then married.
3. Reclaim your happiness. It’s time to reboot. Ficarra said, “I looked at the new year as being my year. Yes, you are divorced and that sucks. But try to focus on trying something new. What are your passions?”
4. Stay busy. Plan ahead. Create a new tribe. Think about activities you like and make plans to do them. Make plans with friends. Host dinners with friends. The trick is to not get stuck at home all the time.
5. Embrace your aloneness. Take time for yourself. “You will cry of course and take the time to do that,” Ficarra added. “Spend time to do this. There were moments I would mope around in my sweats and do nothing. I needed to do that. Then I emerged out of a shell, feeling much better. This is your time to heal.”