It’s no mystery that co-parenting can be complicated. And it’s also not a mystery that the holidays can be a wave of both joy, craziness and stress. However, there are means of coping you can employ to make even the most stressful holiday season happy and full of joy.
When the holidays come around, the number one priority is easing stress and making it a wonderful experience for both children and other family members alike. If you are a parent who has recently gone through a divorce in Maine, staying true to this purpose can often get muddled.
Between stressful communications with your ex and the normal hassles of the season, it can be difficult to not become overwhelmed and not have moments of anxiety. However, in this post we will walk you through 9 tips to make the season an enjoyable time whether you have a partner to help you through it or not.
Tips For Co-Parenting During The Holidays
TIP 1: Open Communication
Communication truly is the key to successful co-parenting. And let me tell you! It’s not always easy.
Make a pact to keep communication open and to talk things out before the holidays arrive. Communicating your needs to your co-parent will not only help the holidays go smoother but doing so will also teach your children about the importance of communication.
“When I was newly divorced and had to go through the holidays as a single mom, it was really hectic. But I promised myself and had a conversation with my ex that I would set a good example for my kids. I’m really glad I did because their memories of the holidays are ones of joy and happiness!” Mary B., New York
TIP 2: Step Away
Learning to step away when things get heated is an important part of co-parenting. During the holidays when people are on edge and emotions can feel even more raw, it’s important to recognize the way you feel and to know when to step away rather than succumb to an angry outburst.
There are many times when you may feel the urge to snap rather than take a step back. However, the best thing you can do for yourself and for your children is to avoid conflict during this rollercoaster ride of emotions.
Take a step back and take a deep breath. We’re sure you’ll feel better within minutes and can go back to the gathering in a better state of mind.
TIP 3: Have A Plan
Having a plan for the day and for when things get rough is a great way to be prepared for the erratic emotions you may feel during the holidays. In this way, you can best prepare yourself for any situation that may arise.
Another benefit of staying on schedule and having a plan is the positive result it will have on your kids. Living in an unstructured way can lead to feelings of instability and uncertainty in your child.
No matter what you do, keep on schedule and have some sort of direction for the course of the day. With a plan we know that things will definitely work out and you’ll be prepared for any pitfalls you may encounter.
TIP 4: Be Flexible
Being flexible is an important part of successful co-parenting. It’s also detrimental to the well-being of your kids.
If you’re feeling nit-picky and inflexible, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You want the holidays to be a good time for your children, so consider confronting your ex in a private setting after the day’s festivities.
TIP 5: Don’t Talk About Money
The holiday isn’t the time to confront your ex about uncomfortable financial and money issues. Those things should be handled before or after the day’s event.
Consider using an app such as the DComply co-parenting app as well. Apps such as DComply make tracking expenses and communications about money easier for you and your co-parent.
TIP 6: Be Good To Yourself
Another important tip that many mothers can forget is to be good to yourself. Practicing self-care and taking time to relax is a great way to treat yourself and mentally prepare yourself for (or unwind from) the holidays.
Here are some simple tips to be good to yourself so you can have a more successful holiday season:
- Get plenty of rest
- Eat a balanced diet
- Talk to someone
- Practice self-care
- Know when to say no
If you follow these simple steps you and your family will benefit.
TIP 7: Embrace New Holiday & Family Traditions
Things are different, yes. However, you can choose to embrace these new holiday and family traditions by making the most of things. Just like in tip 3, you will want to have a plan for the holidays and make it something special you can look forward to for many years to come.
Maybe that means baking holiday cookies with your kids or decorating your home. Whatever it is, make sure it’s meaningful and that your whole family can participate. Over time, you’ll see that these new traditions will hold a special place in your heart that you look forward to year after year.
TIP 8: Divide Your Time
When it comes to co-parenting and the holidays, it’s important to make sure that each parent gets equal time with their child. Depending on the relationship, this can be done in different ways.
In the case that co-parents get along, it might be a nice thing to share the holidays and spend time with children together. However, if that’s not possible, you’ll want to have separate holidays that are free of bitterness and enable your little one to feel safe and happy.
TIP 9: Do Something Nice
Even though the relationship between you and your ex did not work out, it’s a nice gesture to practice kindness and will send a wonderful message to your children. Consider getting your co-parent a gift from your child. This is a great way to instill the idea that you may not be married but that you can still have a civil and happy relationship.
The holidays can be a difficult time, especially as a co-parent. But these tips for getting through the holidays are sure to help if you practice them to the best of your ability.
Being a positive example and practicing kindness is one of the best things you can do for your children. While sometimes it can be difficult, it’s what being a fine parent is all about!