Facing the Holidays Alone When You’re a Divorced Parent
One of the saddest consequences of divorce for parents are the alone-times when your children are visiting their other parent. Parents alone during the winter holidays need to get creative and absorbed in activities that are fulfilling for them.
One of the biggest challenges divorced parents face is feeling overwhelmed with grief or self-pity. Dwelling on what used to be, and on holiday memories of the past, takes us into a downward spiral that leads to more pain and sadness. Expressing these feelings can also make your children feel guilty about not being with you. That detracts from their own enjoyment of the holidays. And most times, it’s really out of the children’s control.
Finding new outlets for pleasure and fulfillment can be a blessing for parents as well as their children. Here are some suggestions:
- Create a Journal of holiday activities you can share with the kids when you next see them. This may include a travelogue of places you’ve visited, people you’ve met, movies you saw and activities you participated in. You can bring home a souvenir from each place as something to show and talk about with the kids when they visit such as a paper restaurant menu, post-cards, tee shirts, brochures, photos and videos.
- Send an email or text message of the day to the kids with a theme. Perhaps it’s the Staying Warm Tip of the Day, Best TV Show Choice of the Day, Favorite Candy Bar of the Day, Sledding Tip of the Day, Best Football Play of the Day, Favorite Frozen Yogurt Flavor of the Day – whatever interests you share together just to stay in touch.
- Step out of your self-focus. Join a Toy distribution or holiday meal drive over the holidays to help needy children and families in your community so you feel valued while connecting and bringing joy to other children.
- Make plans to see the same movie as your kids on the same day and then schedule a call to discuss the movie together and share the experience in your own way.
Be creative. Think out of the box in healthy ways and your children will appreciate you – and the holidays – without guilt, shame or sadness. You’ll also find you have a life of your own to live and much to offer, even when the children are not around!
Written By: Rosalind Sedacca
About the Author:
Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a Divorce & Parenting Coach, founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! For Rosalind’s free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies for Getting It Right, plus Rosalind’s free ezine and other valuable resources for parents, visit www.childcentereddivorce.com.