With the winter holidays coming up fast, some newly single parents might find themselves nervous about what's to come. The first holiday season after divorce is usually filled with a wide of emotions. Knowing what to expect and making a plan for things that are occurring might help you to feel more in control and better able to cope.
You will likely need two plans — one for when the kids are with you and one for when you are alone. Giving both equal thought can help you to balance what you have planned for the season.
When the kids are home
Your focus should be on making memories with the children when they are with you. Even if they are with your ex on one of the major holidays, you can still make good memories. Open gifts on Christmas Eve if they won't be with you on Christmas Day. Eat a Thanksgiving feast on Black Friday if they were with your ex on the actual holiday. Think of it this way — you are giving your kids an extended holiday, which they will likely love.
When you are alone
The time your kids spend with your ex might be difficult for you to fill the hours. Just remember that they are making memories with their other parent. You can use this time to focus on self-improvement or doing things you enjoy without the kids around. You can explore the town or head to a party. If they are going with your ex just prior to the holiday, you might use that time to pick up some extra presents or goodies for them.
There might be times the parent without the kids misses them or the kids miss one parent when they are with the other. In these times, communication is the key. You and your ex should be prepared to have open lines of communication for the season, especially the first year when children might be unsure of what's going on. Your parenting plan might even include information to help with this situation.