Don’t Dis the Coffee Klatch
Stay at home mom after divorce faces complications working sisters may not. For the top five single-parenting woes, a good old-fashioned coffee klatch may provide some solutions. Here are five ways that a stay at home mom after divorce might benefit from a caffeine-fueled co-op.
Problem #1 for the Stay At Home Mom After Divorce: Finding Work
Most divorce settlements require the non-working spouse to make progress toward finding gainful employment. For many women who have been out of work for a decade or two the job search alone takes a ton of time. Rewriting the resume, reaching out to former colleagues, and arranging interviews is seriously time-consuming. It’s intimidating and downright scary for a stay-at-home mom to put herself out there. Even though there are laws against discrimination, there may be hesitation in hiring a newly-divorced mom.
Coffee Klatch Solution: Other divorced or married moms returning to the workforce may have current experience with job searching. They may even have an established network. They can review cover letters, give suggestions for interview outfits, propose companies that are mom-friendly, and help with tax questions.
Problem 2: Home Maintenance
With divorce, some wives lose their home-maintenance partner. Even if all the husband ever did was replace a few light bulbs and take out the trash at least she had that. In addition, the stereotypical husband often mows the lawn, stains the deck and replaces faucets. Faced with those chores on top of the regular cleaning, cooking and driving kids around, solo home maintenance is daunting – especially for moms returning to work.
Coffee Klatch Solution: A home maintenance co-op means that when one person realizes that the driveway needs resurfacing, most likely everyone’s driveway needs some work. Often service providers will offer a discount for multiple homes in one neighborhood. The same goes for gutter-cleaning, window replacement, and leaf raking. One person can coordinate the service and invoice neighbors. A co-op arrangement can check a few items off the list and potentially even save some money. The other solution is teenaged children of newly-divorced co-op members that may be looking for work shoveling snow, babysitting or painting a fence.
Problem 3: Childcare Emergencies
When moms go back to work after divorce, they not only have less time available for orthodontist appointments, they may have lost their dependable parenting partner. Pediatric ear infections rarely jive with a working mom’s schedule. When pink-eye strikes and it’s mom’s custody day, she goes to the eye doctor. Even sympathetic bosses may become wary of frequent absences by new hires.
Coffee Klatch Solution: Often as newly-divorced moms are transitioning into the work world they start slowly with a part-time job. Each might have a day or two a week when they are available for spontaneous childcare. Quite often, teachers and government workers will have snowdays when other professions do not.
Problem 4: Emotional Support
Emotionally-speaking, divorce, single-parenthood and returning to work are big adjustments. In addition to losing a spouse, sometimes the couples’ mutual friends are forced to choose sides. Loyalties are challenged and sometimes friendships are severed.
Coffee Klatch Solution: A coffee group or book club is made up of Girlfriends. If they adhere at all to the “Girlfriend Code”, they will stand by and support other Girlfriends through thick and thin. They will most likely be perfect for commiseration, cathartic complaining and free therapy. Bunco, garage sale clubs, and walking partners can provide healthy companionship. Some Moms’ groups will chip in babysitting fees to hire members’ teenagers to babysit the younger kids so the moms can go out for a night. It is a win-win-win for all parties.
Problem 5: Moving
Often, after divorce, the parents either decide or are forced to sell the family home and relocate to two smaller homes/condos/apartments. After already suffering the loss of a spouse, now the former stay-at-home mom will also be moving away from the support network that many neighborhoods provide.
Coffee Klatch Solution: Think of the move as a fresh start. There are certain neighborhoods that are especially attractive to single moms. Within these neighborhoods divorced moms might discover other women in similar situations. If so, it can be advantageous to get out and meet the neighbors and form a new coffee klatch. Even if the old neighborhood was a positive social environment, it will be refreshing to meet new people that don’t know the whole epic divorce drama. Some people cling to old friendships after divorce, but sometimes married acquaintances may not be able to identify with new single-parent challenges. Getting acquainted with other single women may be a closer fit to the new lifestyle.
It sounds simplistic, but a classic Girlfriend gathering may address many of the issues that stay-at-home moms encounter when divorcing.
The staff of the Law Firm of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates is dedicated to helping clients thrive after divorce. For more post-divorce advice, visit our website at www.kssattorney.com or contact the Milford, Michigan office at 248-685-8888. Our experienced attorneys help clients with family law, divorce, custody, adoption, estate planning, and probate cases throughout Southeastern Michigan. We handle cases in Milford, Highland, Hartland, White Lake, Waterford, Wixom, Commerce, South Lyon, Holly, Grand Blanc, and many more local communities.
Written and Posted by Christine Donlon Long
Communications’ Specialist for Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates