Are you a parent who's getting a divorce during the holidays? Well, you'll soon realize that your spouse is never completely out of your life. You will always be connected through your children, and therefore throughout your life. How?
In the early years it's because of dance recitals, soccer games, and parent-teacher-conferences. It's because of discipline, sickness, paying for prom dresses and touring college campuses. Then one day it's because of weddings and the birth of your grandchildren.
Like it or not, you have to deal with each other and make it so events aren't awkward and so you both at least look like you can get along. So, how are you going to deal with your ex, especially with the holidays quickly approaching?
Even if you're still bitter, when you're a parent you have to do things as a former partner that feel emotionally unnatural – which is raising your children in a positive atmosphere.
If the notion of being friends is too much to bear right now, you'll do a better job at co-parenting if you can treat each other like business partners who are respectful and polite towards one another, but not too friendly.
Tips for managing the holidays during divorce:
It's all about the kids.
Remember, the holidays are all about the kids, even if you're cheated out of your celebrations. Encourage you kids to have fun with the other parent, even if you miss them terribly while they're gone.
Your love is what matters most.
Your time, attention and emotional presence means more to your kids than expensive gifts. Even if you're short on money, you can provide lots of love.
It's not a competition.
Don't treat the holidays like a competition with your ex. Teach your children about the true meaning of the holidays, not about materialism.
Communicate with your ex.
Keep the communication lines open with your ex to ensure that duplicate gifts and back-to-back feasts don't confuse the children. A short voicemail, email or text message today can save days or weeks of fuming later on.
Work out the details.
Work out the details including when, where and how gift exchanges will take place. This will give your kids something to look forward to while avoiding disappointment.
Consider celebrating together.
Consider celebrating the holidays with your children's other parent. So what if some people are shocked when you spend the holidays together; go ahead and shock them!