Many of us look forward to the holidays and associate it with fond and cheerful memories. It is a time when we all tend to make more time to spend with close friends and family to show how much we appreciate and love them. However, if you are divorced and share children with your ex-spouse, celebrating the holidays can get a little tricky, especially if it is your first time navigating this situation. Just because you are divorced, does not mean you need to be sad this holiday season. This can still be a time of cheer and happiness.
Below is a list of some tips that can help you and your co-parent not only survive the holiday season but thrive during it:
- Make a plan: Since you and your spouse went through the formal divorce process, you likely have a parenting plan in place that also includes how the holidays are meant to be shared. Use your parenting plan as a tool to keep things focused. If you feel that you need to make new arrangements this year and it is not your first time co-parenting during the holidays, do not save this for the last minute. Make a plan, stick to it, and you will encounter minimal stress this holiday season.
- Be flexible: Compromising might not be easy, but it is an effective way to make things easier for your children, assuming they are only minor adjustments. If your ex-spouse needs to change a drop-off or pick-up time, try to meet him or her halfway. It is far more beneficial for the family as a whole when both parties are willing to exhibit some flexibility in their planning.
- Communicate: Traditions change after a divorce, but you should still try to be on the same page about things like religious services or Santa Claus. If one of you tells them there is such a thing as Santa while the other tells them it is a myth, your kids could end up heartbroken, so try not to contradict one another. You might get along, or you might not, but you should agree on one thing – that the happiness of your children is your first priority.
- Agree on gifts: Speaking of being on the same page, you two should also agree in advance about holiday gift-giving. This is not the time for the two of you to try to outdo the other by attempting to win the kids’ affections with lavish gifts. Having a discussion about gifts will also help avoid any duplicates.
- Do not let them push your buttons: Some co-parents enjoy rather healthy relationships with one another. However, if you have a toxic ex-spouse, the best way to respond to him or her is to not let any snide comments or criticism make you lose your cool. As long as your ex-spouse’s actions are not impacting the health, happiness, or safety of your children, ignoring these barbs is your best course of action.
- Take care of yourself: The holidays can be hard even for those who are not recently divorced, so do not begrudge yourself some self-care. Try to make some plans for yourself that do not involve the kids, even if it is just to sit at home on your own, binge-watching TV shows. A little time to yourself can do wonders for your mood and help you get through the holidays with a little less stress. As much as you might want to make the holidays perfect for your kids, you cannot forget yourself. The happier you are, the smoother the holiday season will be.
Family Law Attorneys in Clarksville
Regardless of the family law matter you are facing, you will need to seek skilled legal guidance to ensure you are able to effectively tackle it. At Patton & Pittman Attorneys, our Clarksville family law attorneys are dedicated to assisting clients move forward with fair and practical resolutions. We understand that these matters are often incredibly sensitive, which is why we provide support that is not only knowledgeable and insightful, but compassionate as well.
Get started on your case today and contact our law firm at (931) 361-4477 to request your free initial case evaluation.