It’s common knowledge that going through a divorce is difficult for children and that splitting the holidays between two parents is tough, especially for the first few years. However, it’s also important to remember that child visitation during the holiday season can also be very hard for parents. While some parents may spend part of each Christmas holiday with their children, others may not see their children at all every other Christmas.
Here are a few pieces of advice for newly divorced men and women who are facing their first holiday alone while their kids spend time with their other parent:
- Start a new holiday tradition. Treat yourself to a day at the spa. Go for a hike, ski, or snowshoe. Volunteer to help the needy during their tough holiday season. Think about the activities you love most, and integrate them into your solo holiday.
- Feel the love of your extended family. Look at this Christmas as an opportunity to spend time with parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Don’t be afraid to let them know you are looking for plans for the holidays.
- Celebrate on your own schedule. Pick a morning other than Christmas morning to gather around the tree and open presents with your kids. Even if it’s a week or two from the actual date, you will still feel the joy of the day and get your special moments.
- Realize that it’s okay to feel sad or lonely. Often, there’s a lot of pressure to have the perfect holiday filled with love and joy. But, the reality is that divorce is emotionally tough and being away from your kids is not ideal. It’s fine to acknowledge that. Just be sure that it doesn’t drag you down.
Too often, a perfect Christmas holiday is associated with a nuclear family gathered around the hearth. However, the reality is that you can have a Merry Christmas no matter what your family structure is or who you are with. Be creative, be kind to yourself, and don’t forget what the holiday is all about.
Are you faced with tough Washington State child custody decisions and need the guidance of a Seattle family law attorney? Call Bellevue lawyer Molly Kenny for assistance today.