The holidays are a tough time for divorced parents. It’s not easy watching your kids go off with your ex while you struggle to fill that time. And presents? There’s always some sort of competition. Ex-inlaws? New significant others? The list goes on and on and on.
I admit, it is not an easy transition with me. As alone as I often felt during the marriage, at least the kids were always there. Now, I watch my kids go off with my ex while I am alone. Now, you may recall my post on my unconventional Thanksgiving plans. I stand by these plans for Thanksgiving but it doesn’t mean I don’t have moments during the day that are difficult. And it is worse as Christmas draws closer. There are many reasons for this but mostly, I’m sure it’s a feeling all divorced parents can relate to. For personal reasons, I choose not to go into details but suffice it to say, sending my kids off with my ex is not easy.
Divorced Parents: Options for Battling Holiday Loneliness
- Family. If you are able to, do it. Family is so important as a support system.
- Friends. If you don’t have family close by, you can build in extra friend time. Make plans – have you heard of Friendsgiving? – and stick to them.
- Create. I like to turn my emotions around and push them into something else. Over Thanksgiving I write but through the month of December I like to create. I make gifts for my loved ones – especially my kids – and do all of that mending that’s been piling up. Sometimes, I just make a new blanket or painting to spruce of the house
Whatever you do, don’t wallow. Don’t give in to that burning need to curl up in your jammies on the couch. Get up and get out and do something to stave off the loneliness.
Oh, and I know I mentioned it, don’t get into a “presents” battle with your ex. Your kids will end up spoiled or see right through it. It’s really not worth it at all. Don’t bust your bank to get them more just because your ex is. Love is what they need, always. Love, attention, patience. Take the time to bake some cookies with them, include them in decorating the house, do all of the things that you would want your parents to do with you over the holidays.