Christmas is coming up and while it’s a happy time for many, it can be difficult after one’s separation. Are you down about not being around family for New Year’s Eve, or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or some other special day? You’re not alone!
To help make your holidays special, here are some things you can do:
Ensure your schedule is specific.
You and your ex-spouse should confirm well in advance when each of you will have the children. If you don’t have specific times already agreed, negotiate the days and times as soon as possible. There are too many other sources of stress in December so try to nail down your times with your children now.
Surround yourself with positive, supportive people.
If your family or friends are negative, remind them the season is all about gratitude, love and appreciation. Park, you own negativity and search for the positive in everything and everyone, even your ex-spouse.
Don’t fight over which days you have your children.
Whenever you have them, make it special. If you really need particular days, offer to trade days with your ex-spouse or give your ex-spouse those special days next year. Treat your ex the way you would like to be treated, even if it isn’t reciprocated.
Support your children in having a good time with their other parents.
If you need to speak to someone about your sad feelings, talk to a friend or therapist – not your kids. The children don’t need to hear it. They need to hear that it is okay to have fun with their other parents too.
Create new traditions.
This is a new beginning for you and your children so don’t try to replicate the past. Find new ways to celebrate the event. You can preserve some of the past traditions but find new ways of celebrating too. You can also create a tradition of doing something special for yourself!
Know that in time the holidays will become easier to get through and more fun. Just take a deep breath and get through your first set of holidays. Next year, it will be better. Trust us!
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