As a newly divorced parent, it’s both exciting and challenging to look toward the holiday season.
On one side of things, you’re excited about the opportunity to spend quality time with your children during such a fun time of the year.
Conversely, you have concerns about sharing parenting time with your ex-spouse.
It’s a learning process for everyone, but there are steps you can take to ease the stress associated with the holiday season. Here’s what you should do:
- Plan in advance: Rather than wait until the day before a holiday to talk to your ex about your plans, work through the details a few weeks out. For example, if your parenting agreement states that you’ll spend Christmas Eve with your children and your ex has them Christmas day, talk about when and where you’ll drop them off.
- Don’t be stingy: Even if your parenting agreement works in your favor, don’t be stingy to the point of keeping your children all to yourself. As long as it’s safe for your children to spend time with your ex, include them. It’s not the easy thing to do, but it’s probably best for your ex, and more importantly, your children.
- Don’t look for a fight: If you look hard enough, especially during the busy holiday season, you’ll find a reason to argue with your ex-spouse. Maybe you don’t like the fact that they’re bringing their new partner around your children. Or maybe you have differing opinions about what types of gifts you should buy. You have to stand up for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you should look for a fight. There are times when you’re best off letting a disagreement roll off your back.
These tips can help you get through the holiday season as a newly divorced parent. And best yet, when you have a plan you can trust, you’re making it easier to enjoy yourself during a difficult time.
As you prepare for the holidays, keep in mind that your parenting plan will provide the guidance you need. This outlines your legal rights, which will help you decide what you can and can’t do.