Let’s start this by saying you never move on from your kids. They’re yours and with you to love as long as you live. They will bring you joy and grief and sleepless nights as they grow, whether you live with them or not. However, there are ways to move on from the pain of not being around them every day.
It’s not something that will happen overnight, or even in a matter of a few months. Like most things involving emotions, it’s a gradual process, but it’s one you can work through and emerge on the other side.
One thing to help you is setting goals for where you want to be in a year, two years, and five years. Make them achievable – there’s no point aiming for the impossible, especially when you know it’s impossible. Working towards those goals can set you on a path where you can move ahead and leave the past behind. These can be emotional goals, work goals, educational goals, anything you like.
Set up markers for yourself so you can see how you progress. Even if things go slowly, you’re still going forward, and it’s still measurable.
At first you’ll find yourself missing your kids a lot, and wondering how your relationship with them will continue, whether it will suffer from your lack of presence. If you keep in close contact with them, though, and make the most of every opportunity for contact, things will turn out much better than you initially imagine.
However, that nervous feeling is likely to persist for a while, and you might find yourself walking on eggshells around your children, wanting them to be happy with you. But eventually you’ll relax, and simply be yourself with them. If you had a strong bond with your kids before, you’ll find that it won’t go away just because you’re not there every day. Remember, they’re probably as full of fears as you, wondering if you’ll still love them.
Over time you’ll relax around each other, and enjoy things just the way you used to before. In fact, since your time together will really be spent together, rather than in the same house doing other things, you might well become even closer.
A good relationship is an excellent way to move on, but that’s not a reason to rush into one. Take your time and let things develop naturally. Two things you should have learnt from your split is that there are no guarantees in life, and that relationships take work. Rushing things, or trying to move too fast, can rupture something that might have been good. However much you might want to feel part of a couple again, let it grow naturally, if it grows at all. Not every attempt will work, but each one will take your further from the hurt in the past, and you’ll realise other people can still find you desirable.
The constant throughout everything, will be your relationship with your kids. As they grow, inevitably they’ll grow away from you a little, making their own friendships, and in time moving away to start their own adult lives. Remember, though, that would happen whether you were with your ex or not. And by the time it does, you’ll be settled in your new life. It’s a cliché, but ultimately, the only person who can move you on and make you happy is yourself – but your kids run a very close second.