When going through your divorce you might not give much thought to the holidays but, with the holiday season fast approaching, it can be a scary time for if it’s your ex-partner’s turn to have the children, especially if you’ve always spent the holidays together.
I’m not going to lie to you. It’s not easy, especially the first time and it can seem scary and upsetting to be without your children for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year which is why I’ve put together this article to help you enjoy the holidays, even without your children.
1. Think Positive
It can be really tempting to enter into ‘hibernation mode’ over the holidays, locking yourself away and having nothing to do but wallow in self-pity. It’s ok to have some time to yourself where you can express your sad emotions, it’s ok to watch a film that makes you cry and it’s ok to feel depressed and eat a full tub of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream.
Acknowledging and expressing your emotions will help you on your road to recovery so let them out, don’t keep them bottled up, but at the same time try to think positive. Think about what you might be able to do this holiday without the children home, things that you can't always do when they're around, like; you can have a long-lie in, you don’t have to cook a big dinner and you can go shopping and treat yourself.
2. Consider Your Children
The last thing your children will want is to feel guilty over the holidays for leaving you alone and making you sad and so, as hard as it may be for you, you need to act happy for their sake.
Tell them that you’re happy for them to go and that you can’t wait to hear how much fun they’ve had when they get back home. You can even include them in your own plans so they know that you won’t be bored and alone. Tell them if you’re going out, who you’ll be seeing and that you’ll tell them about it when they come home.
3. Don’t Retreat Into Yourself
As soon as the kids leave don’t put on your pyjamas and crawl into bed. I completely understand that you can feel like you’re completely alone but just remember that wallowing, alone will not help you to feel any better and won’t it be a good thing to tell your children that you’ve had a little fun when they get home instead of them knowing that leaving you alone made you feel sad?
4. Family and Friends
You must make an effort to be around people, be it friends or family. You don’t have to stay forever and they will understand if you want to cut things short but it’s important to spend some time with the people who love and care for you.
Empathy and compassion are great healers and spending time with the people you love can help make your holidays happy again (even if, this time, you aren’t with your children).
If you don’t have any family to spend the holidays with, how about your friends? It’ll be nice to see friends who you don’t always have time to spend time with when dealing with the children and you can cut loose, have a merry drink and a laugh. Even if you’re not feeling up to joining in, your friends will understand, just be polite and retire for the evening if you feel overwhelmed.
5. Throw a Party
Do you have friends and family looking for something to do over the holidays? Perhaps some of your friends are in a similar situation and aren’t sure what to do without the children? Why not invite them around to your house or book a table at a restaurant and celebrate together! Keep things casual and if throwing a party at your home, get everyone to bring food so that you can all share and keep things stress free.
6. Have a second holiday with the children
If the kids are away for any holiday but in particular Christmas, have you thought about throwing a second holiday when they get home (or before they leave)? This way you get to see your children open their presents, you can share a lovely festive meal together and you can invite friends and family around who also want to see you and your children over the holidays. It’s a great way to keep the festive spirit going and to make sure that you and your children can still make amazing holiday memories.
Divorce is hard and spending any holiday without your children can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be unbearable. Follow my advice, think positive, enjoy the holidays and look forward to the next one that you get to spend with your children. After all, your positivity and happiness will spread to your children making the whole process much easier and happier all around.
Take the process in your stride, it is all part of your Believe and Live Again recovery, bounce back and transition journey from being a “we” to becoming a “me”.
If you would like to have an informal chat about it, don't hesitate to get in touch on: +44 208 938 3672 and myself or a member of my team will gladly schedule a Complimentary Believe and Live Again Coaching Discovery session or a no-obligation 30 minute "Forgive and Let Go" consultation and together, we could be embarking upon the Believe and Live Again 5 R's journey to heal your heart, outgrow your challenges and let go of the past so that your glorious future can finally emerge.
Once again, I invite you to contact me or schedule a time to talk, call: +44 (0) 208 938 3672 (24 hours) or click on the pink "Contact" at the bottom right hand side of this page and this will take you into my "Let's Talk" contact form. Kindly complete the form and you will get a call back.
Best Wishes and God's Blessings