Do You Have The Co-Parenting Holiday Blues? Get Out of Your Slump and Create Joy!

Tis the season! Well, for some of us the holidays can bring about stress, high emotions, and a deep-seated void especially when you have to divide up the holidays with your children’s father. I don’t think any of us feel that are kids should not spend time with their father and his family (at least I hope not). I sincerely believe our children have the right to spend time with both their parents and enjoy the holidays without feeling any sense of guilt and we should be instrumental in helping them do this. I know it is hard and when the holidays come around I always get a little blue, because it will never feel natural not to see my daughter on any day especially a holiday. But, we have a choice, we can either fall into a dark hole of grumpiness or we can make the best out of the situation for them and ourselves. What would you rather do, sit around in a slump until the holiday is over or be joyous and have fun with them while you have them? This is a no brainer! So, instead of dreading the upcoming holidays create the experience you desire to have not what the court order says! Here are a couple ways to get over the co-parenting holiday blues:

Create Traditions
I’m super big on traditions! Every year Anya and I have a number of traditions that we do to make the holiday meaningful. Anya is with me every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day until she goes over to her dad’s house on Christmas day around 4:00. So, leading up to Christmas we do Advent, go see the Muppets Christmas Carol then change into pjs and ride around looking at lights while sipping hot chocolate, we see the Nutcracker, I hide Advent boxes, we make cookies, decorate, and so many other things that when she leaves on Christmas Day we are both okay because we’ve spent so much quality time together. Whatever it is you enjoy doing as a family make it a tradition so you and your kids have something to look forward to each year, regardless of the access schedule.

Celebrate Early
Some of you may cringe at celebrating the holiday early, but what’s important isn’t the day it is the time you spend together. Anya will be with her dad this Thanksgiving, so on Wednesday we are both off of school and work. I ‘m cooking all her favorite foods and we’re going to have a Thanksgiving dinner before she leaves. We are also going to bake and watch a few Christmas movies which is what we do every year. Although not ideal, we are still celebrating the holiday together. Do what you have to do and don’t get caught up in the logistics. Make that Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner a day or two early and do everything you would do if you were spending the holiday together.

Spend Some Quality Time With Your Family
If you are able to spend time with your parents or friends while your children are gone for the holiday do so! This is a perfect time to catch up with those you love and enjoy a little adult time. Go shopping with mom, meet an old friend from your hometown for dinner, or go see that Aunt who can’t get out of the house. Nurturing your relationships with your family and friends is great way to feel better and show your appreciation and gratitude for them.

Do Something Fun For Yourself!
Be indulgent! Go ahead book a day at the spa, catch two movies at the theater back to back, go to a hotel for the night, take an impromptu road trip, read in the tub for hours, host a party, anything that is fun I suggest you partake in! You deserve it you’re a mom!! Maybe set aside a little cash during the year to go on a weekend trip with yourself or girlfriends when you know the kids will be with dad on the holiday. It’s okay to have fun also!

Try Something New
Make a deal with yourself that when the kids are gone for the holiday that you will try something new. This is a great way to get out of that slump! Make a list of new things you want to try and take advantage of this free time to mark it off your list.

Volunteer
If you want to give back the holidays are a perfect time to do just that! This is the season for giving and not only physical gifts, but gifts of service. When you serve others you’re less likely to think about your own issues because your focus is outward instead of inward. Volunteering can also remind you of what is important and how blessed you are. There is nothing that takes you out of yourself more than when you’re helping others. Make the commitment and volunteer at your church, a shelter, or anywhere that has a need for your service.

Holidays are what we create them to be for ourselves and our family. I know it is painful not to be with your babies, but this is an opportunity to create joy for yourself and them. During the holidays take time to pray and ask God for strength. Remember you are never alone he is always right there next to you every step of the way. May you have a blessed holiday season!

One of our traditions! Jammies, hot chocolate and cruising to see lights!

Comments

  1. kristy says

    just dropped off my 2 kids w/ their father for an overnight trip to his relatives for Thanksgiving tomorrow. this is the 1st holiday I’ve ever been separated from them.
    we settled our custody order this past Sept. which includes dividing holidays.
    My 13-y-o daughter cried as she got out of my van, and asked her father again if she could stay w/ me, to which he replied ‘no’. She will miss out on our traditional meal w/ my family, and spend her day w/ complete strangers whom she has never met.
    My heart breaks for her as I watch her suffer yet another injustice due to her parents separation.
    Of course I tried to prepare them for days in advance, to see this as a positive opportunity to get to know new people, blah, blah, blah, but we all hate it.
    it is good to read your blog & remember that I am not the only single mom struggling this holiday.
    This just FEELS so wrong to sit in a quiet empty house on the eve of a holiday.
    I miss my kids.

  2. says

    Hi Kristy,
    I can totally empathize with you. We try to make the best out of it, but as I mentioned it never feels natural and it is hard on our kids. Although my daughter is getting ok with it, she still shed a tear tonight and it just deflates you because they hurt. I wish her father could’ve let her stay. Coparenting is messy complex and sometimes it does hurt. I hope there is a friend’s house you can go to tomorrow. I’m going to say a little prayer for you right now and I hope God covers you like a blanket with his peace.
    Chere

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