The holidays are supposed to be a time for thankfulness, family, friends, festivities, and fun. However, big holidays can be maddening with all the preparations and lack of time to get everything done.
Holiday stress can really start to build up for the single parent trying to prep for all the events and navigate everyone’s schedules. Not to mention, it’s likely you and your ex have to split time with your kids.
We want to help you reduce the stress of holiday planning with your co-parent. Here’s our step-by-step guide to building your holiday in a different way.
Ah, the best-laid plans of mice and men, am I right?
You may have hoped and dreamed of something similar to the following holiday scene:
Little Jill and Johnny are sweetly playing with their new toys on Christmas morning while you and your partner, locked in a half-embrace, sip your steaming mugs of coffee and watch them with satisfied smiles on your faces.
But let’s get real: Jill and Johnny are already complaining about being bored, you burned your mouth on your hot coffee, and you and parent #2 are no longer together!
Nobody has a perfect, cookie-cutter Hallmark holiday except for Hallmark.
Forget what you expected holidays to look like around your house, and accept them as they are. So, your family doesn’t look like it did this time last year? So, you have to share custody with your ex?
Your attitude is what the children will remember. Put a smile on your face and find something in the moment to appreciate. A grin and an attitude of gratitude are proven to lift your spirits.
Technology has made communicating and coordinating amicably easier for you and your co-parent. Planning holiday schedules calls for cool heads, effective communication, and proper organization.
Luckily, we live in a day and age where we can achieve so much with the touch of a button. Download an expense-sharing app like DComply to help you track your spending and request and pay costs related to your children. You and your co-parent can even share the expenses on big-ticket items for the holidays.
Other divorced family apps can help you create, share, and track custody schedules for more harmonious coordination. Practical co-parenting apps for use on androids and iPhones can conveniently go anywhere you go.
Your work schedule or children’s school calendar are great places to start when planning the holidays. Utilizing texts, emails, or your divorced family apps, you and your co-parent can prepare for big celebrations, like Thanksgiving or Winter and Spring Break holidays. Don’t forget to plan for the shorter holidays that give them an extended weekend out of school. Consider how to celebrate the following:
Next, use one or a combination of the ideas below to create a holiday plan you can all be happy with. The right one for you and your family is the one that you can all get behind.
Want more tips and motivation to help you and your children cope with and thrive after a divorce? Our blog has lots of helpful shared parenting tips dealing with everything from co-parenting with a difficult ex to spending the holidays together to some popular divorced family apps. Check back monthly for new advice on issues concerning shared parenting.