When you’re divorced, the holiday season can be more stressful and complicated, especially if you have kids. Will you go to a holiday party if your ex-spouse will be there? Will you and your ex-spouse celebrate together with your kids, or will you have separate celebrations? How will you divide your time with the children?
To ensure that you and your family have a happy holiday season, you and your ex-spouse will need to plan ahead. I’ve compiled several suggestions from a recent article in WebMD to help you plan for the holiday season with your ex.
Do you and your ex get along? If you do, it may make sense for the two of you to have one holiday celebration with your kids. If, however, you know that you and your ex cannot be in the same room without fighting, it may be better to have separate holiday gatherings.
Whether or not you decide to have separate holiday get-togethers, make sure that your plans are determined in advance. Setting your plans in stone well before the holidays can avoid needless arguments about who gets the kids and when. In addition, your kids will feel less anxiety regarding the upcoming holidays if they know what to expect.
While planning, you and your spouse should take your kids’ wishes into account. Make an effort to maintain the traditions that are important to them. When your kids have a say in the family’s holiday plans, it gives them reassurance and some sense of control.
Of course, some holiday traditions won’t be the same because of your divorce; however, that doesn’t mean that your holidays will be any less enjoyable. Starting new traditions with your kids can ensure that the holidays remain special.
According to clinical psychologist Edward Farber, PhD, “It’s not the specifics of the arrangement that matter so much as preventing your kids from being stressed, because they are seeing you in conflict with your ex.”
If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed during the holiday season, remember to take care of yourself and seek support from friends and family. I wish you and your family happy holidays!