Peace on Earth: Tips for Celebrating the Holidays Following a Recent Divorce
Thanksgiving is upon us, and now is the time to finalize your plans for the big day. There is excitement in the air thinking about all that delicious food, time with family (either in person or virtually), and a long afternoon nap from the turkey. For those who have been recently been through a divorce and have newly blended families, the holiday season can actually bring about more stress than fun. Thanksgiving and Christmas now focuses more on making sure the children are in the right place at the right time per the court’s decision, rather than enjoying a laid-back day of peace and thankfulness with ALL of your loved ones. This year’s stress levels are even higher thanks to the current COVID reports and the various rules and regulations associated with that.
It’s true, dividing time equally between parents is one of the most difficult parts of having a blended family around this time of year. However, this stress doesn’t have to define your holidays forever. There are ways you can alleviate the strain, and make the holiday more enjoyable for all involved, especially your children. If you are calculating the best way to keep everyone happy this holiday season, consider trying one of the following tips:
- Have a plan in place in advance. While not every divorced couple gets along as friends post-separation, the holidays are a time to put your differences aside and work as a team on behalf of your kids. Try to have a discussion at some point before the holidays and determine what setup works best for your family this year. By overcoming the uncomfortable conversation and having a detailed plan in place for drop-off times, pickup times, and locations, the day will go much more smooth and your kids will know what to expect.
- Be understanding and work together if possible. Perhaps your ex’s new family travels for Thanksgiving and will need an extra day to get there in time for turkey. It could be worth relinquishing one of “your” days and trading them off for the weekend after, or even for another holiday (like Christmas), so you can enjoy several consecutive days of quality time with your kids. If you are the one needing special accommodations, and your former spouse is understanding and agreeable, be sure to remember that the next time they ask a favor in regards to scheduling.
- Stay positive. No holiday is fun when children are listening to their parents bicker or criticize the other parent behind their back. Stay positive for your kids, at least on the outside, and save the venting for a friend or close family member. Even better, breathe through it, and enjoy some stress relief on your own once your kids are with their other parent. Your kids will appreciate that you made the holiday a happy one, and their pleasant demeanors will drastically improve everyone’s moods.
Thanksgiving is about appreciating our many blessings and enjoying time with the ones we love, especially after all of the difficulties faced in 2020. Even if divorce has divided your household in the past, this is the time to come together as a unified front for your children and make the holidays special for them. By handling the situations that come your way with respect, understanding, and compassion you are not only making the season less stressful, but also serving as a good example for your children of what the holidays are really about.
If you are currently going through a divorce or preparing to separate from your spouse in the near future, Sessums Law Group is ready to help you with the transition and the process. We make sure you can focus on yourself (and, if applicable, on your children) instead of stressing about the details of a case. Our legal team STANDS FOR YOU in your divorce, so you are left with the best possible outcome. We are proud to be your trusted lawyers throughout the greater Tampa Bay area. We are continuing to see clients both in person and virtually and are happy to make accommodations that keep you comfortable. Call us to discuss your case and move forward with getting the results you need.