- posted: Nov. 12, 2021
The holidays can be a wonderful time for families, but for others, it can be the most stressful time of the year. Specifically, if you are spending your first holiday without your children. Having a difficult ex can increase stress and this is why it is so important to have a parenting plan that outlines each parents’ holiday timesharing with the children.
If this Holiday Season you do not have the children, the following are tips to ease your transition to co-parenting during the holidays.
1. The Kids Celebrate Two Thanksgivings!
If you do not have the kids for Thanksgiving this year, plan the holiday a little early. Plan your Thanksgiving dinner the Saturday or Sunday a week or two before Thanksgiving and explain to your kids that you are not going to miss out on Thanksgiving with them. Instead, the kids will be having two Thanksgivings this year! You can also do this for Christmas on the years you are not spending with the kids.
2. Use Zoom to Enhance Communication With the Kids.
Most parenting plans have a provision specifically for communication between the parent and children when they are in your ex’s care. If you are spending the holiday with extended family and the kids are with your ex, call the kids via Zoom or FaceTime to wish them a happy holiday from yourself and your extended family. A Zoom or FaceTime call from you and their grandparents is an excellent option to have a warm greeting on that special holiday. It is always best for the kids to have more love and contact from both parents, grandparents and extended family from both sides of the family during the holidays.
3. Spoil Yourself This Holiday Season.
If this is your first holiday without the kids, or if you are struggling without the kids this year, take the time to do some self-care. Go to a movie. Take a walk on the beach. Go to the spa and spoil yourself. Take a yoga class. Spend time with your other single friends. Take a trip to a place you have been longing to travel to.
4. Volunteering Can Open Your Heart To Gratitude.
If you are feeling down, helping others less fortunate than yourself can help you gain perspective and appreciation. Some of my favorite places to volunteer in Tampa, Florida are: Metropolitan Ministries, Trinity Café and The Humane Society of Tampa.
5. Don’t Give Your Ex The Power To Ruin Your Holiday.
If you have an ex that is difficult and they try to engage you in an argument during the holidays, focus on the relevant issues and do not engage. Let your attorney deal with the legal issues. Do your best to feel grateful and find the joy in your life and be your best self not only for yourself but as an example and role model for your kids.