Ways That You Can Make the Holidays Brighter after a Breakup
The holidays can be particularly difficult when you’re divorced. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, there’s a focus on family. When your family isn’t together anymore, the season of joy can ring a bit hollow. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are some simple steps that you can take that can make your holiday season brighter and help minor children feel the Christmas spirit.
Establish a Clear Holiday Parenting Schedule in Advance
Even though your divorce decree will typically address custody on the holidays, it’s important to discuss the details, rather than making assumptions. If the children are with you on Christmas Eve, when will you pick them up? When will they have to go back to the custodial parent’s house? If the holiday falls on a weekend when children would normally be with the non-custodial parent, how does that change things.
When you’re working out the details, remember that the best interests of your children are paramount. As a custodial parent, that may mean allowing them a little extra time with their non-custodial parent, so that they can relax and enjoy that time. If you’re the non-custodial parent, be cognizant of the importance of your child’s primary home during the holidays. The bottom line—as adults, be willing to make compromises that allow your children to have a better experience—it will also improve your Christmas.
Be Prepared for Your Child’s Emotions
The holidays are challenging for everyone involved or affected by a divorce, but probably more so for the children of divorce. Your children may not yet have the tools to understand why their holiday doesn’t look like the ones they see on television, or that their friends have. Your children may act out, or may confront you with uncomfortable questions about why things are as they are. Don’t dismiss their feelings with statements like “aren’t you lucky…you get two Christmases!” Be willing to say “I’m sorry that this hurts…is there anything we can do to make it better?”
Share Your Holiday with Others
When your children go to spend holiday time with your ex, try not to spend too much time alone at home. It’s a season for gathering together…look to other family or to friends with whom you can share the season. Your children are an important part of your life, but you also have others who love and care for you.
Even if you don’t have family close by, odds are that there are others nearby experiencing the same thing you are. Look to see if there are divorce support groups in your area—don’t be surprised if they have special events to help others just like you cope with the holidays.
Consider Creating New Traditions
Particularly when your children are older and have had a number of Christmases with the family unit intact, there can be a desire to keep the old traditions alive. Sometimes that will work and sometimes it won’t. Be willing to do things differently…get your children involved in brainstorming new ways to celebrate your relationship.
Take Care of Yourself
You can’t do a very good job of taking care of your children if you don’t take care of yourself. Cut yourself some slack…take a day off, have a special meal or buy yourself a Christmas present. Take time and make the effort to promote your mental, physical and emotional well-being.
Contact the Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with a knowledgeable and proven family law attorney, contact us by email or call our offices at 844-402-2992. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.