Be kind to yourself and simplify this holiday season. Maybe you are known in your family and friend circle to be the person who goes above and beyond every holiday season – hosting the parties, gifting the perfect gift, having a firm handle on everything and anything having to do with the holidays. Give yourself a pass from being the holiday spirit guru this year. Someone else can take that on. This year, take time to simplify your holiday experience. Be more selfish about taking care of you and making sure you have the energy and time to give to the people reliant upon you. You do not need to do everything, you can do the bare minimum and feel okay with it. Next year you will be in a completely different place, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Give yourself this holiday season to heal and care for yourself by not taking on more than is absolutely necessary.
We are in the midst of the holiday season. I hope you are all remembering to breathe and center yourself during this busy time. Parents going through the divorce or separation process may be having difficulty with the gift buying for their children. It can turn into a kind of competitive game, and can be very harmful to your children and to your co-parenting relationship.
Instead of looking at buying gifts for your children as a game, where you have to get the BEST GIFT EVER, try to look at it as an opportunity to strengthen your co-parenting relationship and really work together to make the holidays enjoyable and special for your children. Use this time to work together to create a gift list and delegate which one of you will get which gift. There is no need to separate yourself from your co-parent by making them feel inadequate or sad. The holidays are a time to bring families closer together, not drive them further apart. Step back from the situation and look at the bigger picture of your life and the type of co-parenting relationship you want to have. The sooner you two start to work together, the more peace, happiness, and love you will have in your life.
The holidays can be extremely difficult to navigate when you are going through a divorce or legal separation, or even thinking about beginning the process. When children are involved, it is very important to remain cognizant that you are still a family, you are always going to be a family, just a different type of family. Your children love both of their parents more than anything, and they have no way of understanding the conflict and should be completely insulated from same. They want to spend time with both of you as a family.
The holidays provide you with the opportunity to build a strong co-parenting relationship by scheduling time to spend as a family during the major holidays. Start small, an hour, two hours, but carve out time when you all will be spending time together as a family; and make the choice to enjoy that time together celebrating family traditions.
According to the statute, children typically emancipate when they graduate from high school; however, we all know that parenting does not end when your child emancipates. It is a forever responsibility, and you and your fellow co-parent will be in each other’s lives until the day one of you dies. You have a long co-parenting journey ahead, and it is your choice as to whether it will be wonderful or awful. Choose the high energy choice of your co-parenting relationship being WONDERFUL and start by enjoying some holiday time with your family this season. Your children will benefit greatly from seeing you both spend this special time together with them, as a family, just a different family than you were before.