Holidays can be a stressful time; they can be overwhelming when you are dealing with divorce. Emotions are amplified when it feels like everyone else in your life is celebrating with their significant other. Here are some tips for surviving your first holiday season as a single parent:
Create new traditions for you and your kids.
Creating new traditions can be difficult, especially when you feel like you’re not quite ready to move on from the old ones. Consider blending old traditions with new traditions and make them your own for yourself and your children. They don’t have to be big grand plans or even standard holiday traditions, find something and make it your own. It’s important to have something to look forward to in the years to come.
Communication with your Co-Parent is Key
Holiday planning can be challenging when you’re going through a divorce and dealing with the holidays. It’s essential to communicate with your co-parent about holiday plans and what needs the kids have, so you can ensure that they have an enjoyable time without any stress or tension. If your children are older, check in with them to see what is important to them this year. You might also want to consider using tools like Google Calendar or Apple Reminders to avoid missing important dates! As long as you both have the children’s best interests at heart, your holiday season will be enjoyable for everyone.
Make New Memories
It is easy to reminisce during the holiday season but letting the ghosts of holidays past ruin this year and the years to come does not help you or your kids. Get out there, make new memories, and focus on creating new happy memories for your children and yourself.
Different Isn’t Wrong
You will be doing things differently this year.
Different isn’t wrong, it is just different. Please do not feel guilty about it! If you are depressed about how things are different, the children will pick up on it and mimic that behavior. Embrace your new traditions, and show your children how wonderful your new normal can be.
Reach Out to Your Support Network
Your kids will spend time with their other parent at some point, and you will be alone during the holidays. DO NOT spend the holidays alone. Reach out to family or friends and plan when and where you will be when the kids are away. If you don’t have family locally, volunteer to deliver food to homebound people, serve food at a shelter, or do something else in your community to give back. Do not make the mistake of focusing only on making the holiday great for the kids and forgetting to take care of yourself.
It’s important to remember that this time of year isn’t about being perfect—it’s about enjoying each other and spending quality time together. While it may be difficult at first, with some thoughtful planning, you can make it through this holiday season knowing that all will be well in the end.