3 Tips on Surviving Your First Holidays with Kids After Divorce

The holidays can be a challenging time for people coping with a recent divorce.  Although you may be dealing with difficult emotions, it is possible to still enjoy this time and to continue to create happy memories for yourself and your children.

Here are some things you can do to help keep your holiday cheer:

1)  Create a Support Network
Relationship and Parenting expert Dr. Wendy Walsh recommends reaching out to others that might be experiencing similar pain and celebrating together.  

She consoles, “It’s okay in the holidays to feel sad. You don’t have to have forced joy. But it’s also important not to wallow in it.  If you focus it on somebody who is experiencing the same pain, and you console and give to them… you’re consoling yourself at the same time.”

2)  Make New Holiday Traditions
You cannot keep all of the same holiday rituals, so use this time as an opportunity to add fun new ones!  Let your kids be involved in creating new traditions.  It will mean more to them if you give them some ownership over new holiday celebrations.  They will be more invested and feel proud of their contribution. 

 “Enjoy the moment you are in instead of thinking about the past. You may end up creating a tradition which becomes a beloved holiday event,” says mom and blogger Karie Boyd. 

3)  Treat Yourself

Take advantage of alone time to do something special that you might not normally do.  Treat yourself to a spa day, a fancy dinner with a friend, or a nature hike followed by a hot bath. 

Don’t forget to also take care of your needs.  This means getting enough sleep, eating well and getting exercise.  When you take care of your physical and emotionally needs, you will feel better and more grounded which will give you the strength to deal with holiday stress and the patience to be a better parent. 

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