The spirit of Christmas is often exemplified when being with and around children. After you have separated, however, not being with your children can be difficult.
Here are #10 things to help you plan ahead and assist in getting through the holidays:
- Make the time count. When the children are with you, focus on the time, joy and celebrations that you are having together, albeit in new and different circumstances. Consider a new holiday tradition that you can create together with your children to signify the change in circumstances. For example, you could go with your children to select and decorate “your” new family Christmas tree. Let the children choose their favourite Christmas carols to be played as you decorate the tree together.
- Have arrangements in place. Having set days and times agreed with your former spouse/partner will assist EVERYONE in getting through an already difficult and emotional time. What is in the best interests of the children is the priority - not just at Christmas but every day of the year. Be reliable and punctual with these times.
- It’s all in the attitude. If you choose to feel sorry for yourself, others around you will pick up on the negative vibes. If you make the most of your time without your children (while missing them) then you can focus on being present and connecting with your loved ones who are with you.
- Support the other parent. Be positive about the children spending time with their other parent and their family. It is important for the children to know that you are supportive of their relationship with their other parent. If you feel resentful, children will know this, which only makes them feel bad about themselves or guilty about not spending the time with you, and this is an unfair burden for them to carry.
- Share the good times. If you are spending time with your family without your children, consider sharing some recent achievements and images of the children. It will help you and your family to feel closer to the children.
- Plan how you celebrate. Are you attending a family function? Can your family change the time of the gathering to celebrate when you have the children? Do you have a friend who you can spend time with? Could you take advantage of the extra pay by working on Christmas Day? Whatever the case, make sure you know how you are spending Christmas
- Focus on you. Do you dread the “why are you single” or “are you dating someone” questions from family and friends? Put it back on them and query why it is that they need to know. Your response may surprise them. Your business is your business, and you don’t need to satisfy their need for gossip.
- Fill your cup. If you have a period of time over the holidays without the children, you might like to consider taking yourself on a trip. It could be as simple as taking a road trip down south or something more extravagant such as an organised tour overseas. There are also single parents who may join you if you put the call out to relevant social media groups.
- The time for giving. Christmas is designed to be a time of joy, giving and gratitude. Even if your children are not with you on Christmas Day, you can still give thanks to your neighbours, friends and loved ones in a way that is authentic to you.
- Finding a way to make the holidays a positive experience for you and your children is imperative for the wellbeing of all. Accept and appreciate that the children need to have an enjoyable time with both parents and their families equally.
If you do not have a plan already in place and would like support with making enjoyable arrangements for the holidays, please contact our office. We look forward to helping you.