Even though it seems like 2018 just began, the holiday season is upon us once again!  For many, the holidays are a time to see relatives you haven’t seen in a while, indulge in delicious food, and enjoy the feeling of togetherness that only the holidays can provide.  For recently-divorced parents, however, the holidays can be intimidating and seem impossible to manage.  Below are some tips to help you navigate your first holiday season post-divorce that will help ensure that you and your children maintain the end-of-the-year joy.

  1. Plan as much as you can

Planning makes every event easier, but it is particularly important with divorced parents.  Look ahead on the calendar to see what days you’ll have the children.  Go see extended family, or have them come visit you during those times.  Try not to plan events that will interfere with your possession schedule to avoid conflict with your ex-spouse.  It will ensure that your child spends time with both parent’s extended families, and also prevent unnecessary back-and-forth transfers with your child.

  1. Focus on the children, and be flexible

Though planning certainly helps, on the other hand, children tend to have a lot going on at school around the holidays;  there may be a choir concert, parades, holiday parties, or any combination happening all within a short period. Maybe your child wants to go to a Christmas parade in his or her other parent’s town during your possession time.  Try to be flexible and allow your child the enjoyment of getting into the holiday spirit; something else might come up when it’s not your time and you’d appreciate your ex-spouse being equally as flexible!

  1. Take time for yourself

Almost as important as ensuring that your children are able to fully enjoy the holiday season is ensuring that you get the much-needed R&R that the holidays bring.  When your children are out, go to your work’s holiday party, or shop for gifts with a friend.  Taking personal time during a hectic season will allow you to decompress, and will help keep your mind off of going into your first post-divorce holiday season.

  1. Make resolutions

As the year concludes and we enter into the last year of the 2010’s, it’s important to stay forward-looking, while also reflecting on how far you’ve come.  Going through a divorce is never easy, no matter how contested it may be.  It’s going to take time to adjust to the new normal.  Take it step-by-step, and set goals that you want to attain in this next year.  Maybe you got a new job and you want to move up, or maybe you moved into your own place and you want to decorate and make it feel more like home.  Whatever your particular goals may be, be sure to set them.  It’s easy to feel like you’re lost, but setting goals and watching yourself attain them will make you realize your post-divorce progress

Living post-divorce is never easy, and going into the holidays might make you even more anxious.  By planning, looking forward, and taking time for yourself, you too can enjoy a fantastic end of the year.  We here at Duffee + Eitzen wish you a very Happy Holidays!