Sun, sand, sea, lazy days, fun days, fresh air and freedom; summer and everything that comes with it is fantastic. We love summer! In the UK we never seem to get much of one and so we love to go all out and make the most of it while it lasts.
But, as much as you look forward to it, the summer holidays can be a difficult time when you’re a newly divorced parent.
You’ll face new challenges like scheduling childcare arrangements with your ex-partner, how to enjoy time alone when you’d normally be with your children and travelling as a single parent.
It can seem daunting but don’t fear, I’ve put together my top tips to help you and your children make the most out of the summer holidays.
Plan in Advance – Organising things early on will help to keep everyone happy. Set up a meeting, mediation or phone call with your ex-partner, well in advance of the summer holidays so that you can plan who will have then children and when each parent will be taking them away.
Building a clear plan that both parents can follow will help to relieve any stresses and worries you might have.
A great idea is to have each parent put up a duplicate summer calendar that everyone has agreed on and can be used as a point of reference for both parents and children to help things run smoothly.
Communicate – Communicating with your ex-partner and your children will ensure that everyone is kept in the loop and will help to avoid any upset or arguments. You will need to talk with your child’s other parent directly to discuss important issues such as; Who is financing any trips or holidays? Times and dates of departures? Contact details in case of emergency and to stay in touch?
As hard as it may be, you need to put any personal feelings aside and treat the situation as a formal, almost business-like arrangement with your children being your main priority.
Put Your Children First – When making decisions, don’t think of yourself or the other parent, you need to put your child’s best interests first. You need to realise that this is a difficult and stressful time for your children who may struggle with the transition from parent to parent.
Your children will feel comforted and relaxed seeing their two parents getting along amicably and will lessen the upset and guilt they will feel when leaving you.
Enjoy Yourself – Time away from your children doesn’t need to be spent fraught with worry and anxiety. You can relax, you can have fun.
Why not take a trip by yourself or with a friend who may be in a similar situation? Go see a play, book a short holiday, visit the zoo, have a picnic, read a new book, discover a new hobby like gardening. The possibilities are endless, just step outside your comfort zone and feel good being by yourself.
Follow this link for more advice on how to be happy with your own independence.
Stick to a Budget – You don’t need to live beyond your means this summer in order to impress your children. Single or divorced parents often feel the need to buy their children extravagant gifts or take expensive holidays and trips to try and compete with the other parent.
The thing to remember is that children don’t work this way. When they grow up, your children won’t remember the gifts that you bought or the places you visited, what they’ll remember are the times spent with you, doing things together.
The summer holidays don’t need to be expensive. You can have great fun doing crafts, playing in the garden, visiting the park, visiting relatives, taking low-cost day trips to the beach or local zoo. There are so many things that you can do with your children just be creative and have fun!
The important things to remember are that if you’re planning a trip with your children this summer be sure to include your ex-partner and your children in the plans to avoid disagreements and stepping on toes. Try to think of things from everyone’s perspective so as not to hurt feelings and make sure that share details of the trip with the other parent. There’s no need to compete with your ex-partner, a trip to the local zoo can be as exciting as a fancy vacation as long as you make the effort to be happy and your children will love spending quality time with you.
Whatever you do, 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.
In the meantime, until next time, Keep Smiling, Keep Strong and Keep Believing.
Best Wishes and God's Blessings