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Drop The Act: You Only Have One Role in the Play “Divorce”

Jan 10, 2022
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When you are going through a divorce and children are involved, there is only one role you have to play: “mother of our child(ren)”.  Your focus gets to be just showing up as the best mom version of yourself.  You don’t need to bother with any other role! Imagine how it would feel if you were able to let go of all the other characters you've had to play in your marriage. 

You could put all of your energy on one focus: being a mom to your kids.

When women get married, they tend to take on new responsibilities - some willingly, some not so willingly. For example, once you are married, you may become a wife, lover, house manager, house cleaner, never-ending laundry doer, secretary, and possibly mom-figure to your adult partner.

However, if you choose to divorce, your requirement to maintain these roles for your ex disappears. Poof! The only role you need to continue with your former partner is “mother of our mutual children.” That’s it. You do not have to be involved in your ex’s life in any other way except to care for your children. And, you get to determine on your own terms what it means to be your best mom version for your kids. 

My best mom version of me for my kids includes (but not limited to) these 4 traits:

Mama Bear

I will make sure my kids are safe and their basic needs are met at all times. I will go “Mama Bear” on anyone who threatens these core boundaries that I hold.

Life Coach

I don’t actually coach my kids (unless my daughter specifically asks me to coach her; and she is actually becoming a pretty good coach at age 10), but I do discuss what I am learning in life coaching to hopefully give them a head start on dealing with complexities of life. For example, I can’t control what happens in the other parent’s house. All I can do is provide my kids skills to process what happens, try to understand it, and have strategies to deal with it. My intention when my kids are with me is to create a house for them that is as calm, welcoming, stable and loving as possible….and some days are better than others in achieving that goal.


I want to show my kids the adventure life has to offer by doing a variety of activities with them. Last year I told my kids I wanted to do a hike for Mother’s Day. Then when Mother’s Day came, I surprised them by taking them indoor sky-diving. We had nervous butterflies, but had a blast. My daughter still talks about the day I switched it up from a normal hike to indoor skydiving. 

Strong, Confident Woman

Showing up as the best mom version of me also means showing up as the best overall version of me.  Being capable on my own and supporting myself financially and emotionally are traits I want to model for my kids. When I can present myself in this way when dealing with their dad, I know I have my own back and am doing the best I can with what I’ve got. That’s really all I can ask of myself.

The only role to play in divorce

Next time you are interacting with the other parent, think about if you are trying to play a role that you don’t need to fill anymore.  Consider the mental energy you could put toward being the parent you want to be instead of this undesirable role you needlessly play.  Who knows, maybe your next interaction with the other parent could be different, even better, if you're no longer pretending to be someone you don't want to be, and instead show up exactly how you choose.


My divorce coaching program helps professional moms "reclaim their brain"- focus on you and your kids, not your ex and the lawyers.

To experience how coaching can help you feel better today, schedule a free Next Steps Call with Dr. Stef.

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