Single Parent Empowerment Advice

Written by Debbie Cohen

Here's advice on how to heal yourself and your family after a divorce. First, you have to forgive yourself.

In her book The Courage to Become a Single Mother: Becoming Whole Again After Divorce Sheila Ellison uses her own breakup, as well as stories told by dozens of others, to empower women overcome by the demands of being a single parent.

Ellison refers to the book as a milestone for starting her new life. "But then I'm getting older and my life is moving in a new direction," says Ellison, who now has a new love interest and is already at work on another book about relationships after divorce.

The following advice comes from Ellison's recent divorce workshop on the Oprah Winfrey show.

1. Remember that you are OK. Accept and forgive yourself. Even if you don't know who you are right now, give yourself unconditional love.

2. See you and your children as fine. You are still able to do and grow together as a family, and the bonus is you are not dealing with an angry marriage.

3. Don't make the mistake of giving away your power of authority to your attorneys during the divorce process. Many women want attorneys to make all of their decisions, the way their husbands made so many decisions for them in the past.

4. You must be organized to have a clear picture of the legal process;  it will empower you and save you money.

Ellison, a firm believer in support groups, feels single moms need a place where they can voice their pain, confusion and anger without exposing their kids to negative comments. She hopes sharing her experience with other single moms can jump-start the healing process and help them put their lives back together again.

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