Written by Feba Maryann 

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for families to come together and create unforgettable memories. However, this time of the year can turn out to be overwhelming for recently separated or divorced couples. 

Navigating separate households, family expectations, worrying about child custody can be stressful and frustrating. Despite this, your children deserve all the happiness and love they can get. No matter what else you and your ex might disagree on, chances are you’re both on the same page here. Let’s take a look into what you can do to be a better co-parent this festive season: 

Stick To Your Holiday Plan 

Usually, the child custody agreement will contain a holiday schedule as well. Try to stick to this to avoid conflicts. If you want to make any changes, make sure you inform your ex-partner in advance. Consult your lawyer before adjust your schedule. 

Sharing your kids with your ex can be very difficult time for you. However, try to be empathetic and think about how your ex-spouse may be feeling too.  

If you don’t have a holiday plan, communicate with your ex-partner and come up with a plan. If you find it difficult to face them, consider using an intermediary, this could be a mutual friend, a relative or a lawyer. 

Understand That Things Are Different 

Holidays are usually built around the time we spend with our family. A recent separation can cause emotional outbreaks and out bursts which can impact your children as well.  

Change is inevitable. The sooner you get accustomed to it, the better it will be; not just for you but for your kids as well. Being polite to your ex-partner isn’t particularly easy, because let’s admit it, it isn’t easy to go through a breakup. However, it is vital to communicate with your partner and ensure that the both of you are on the same page to prevent any conflicts during the festivities. 

You may also think that life is never going to be the same and it never would be perfect. Well, you are right, celebrations and festivities are not about being perfect but rather about trying to achieve perfection.  

Gifting Is Not A Competitive Sport 

Some co-parents keep trying to out-do their ex-partner’s with more expensive and better gifts in an attempt to compete for their child’s love. This is not healthy. This attitude not only increases friction between you and your ex-spouse but also takes a toll on your mental health. No matter you buy for your kids, it is not going to change the fact that their parents are not together.  

Instead of competing, try to coordinate the gifts with the other parent. This ensures that your child does not receive the same gift twice and also that you are spending equal amounts of money in raising the child. 

Consider What The Kids Want 

Understand that divorced or separated households can have a huge emotional impact on your child. It is necessary that you validate their emotions and take their preferences into consideration before making a plan. Inform your children about your plans you might make beforehand.  

Sometimes old traditions may trigger emotions for you as well as your children, so it is wiser to come up with new traditions. This ensures that you and your children have fun without reminiscing about past times. Yes, this Christmas is going to be different but you can still make it magical for your kids. 

Practice Self-Care 

With the above Holiday plan in place, chances are that you won’t have a very hectic time. Take extra time to take care of yourself. A divorce can be emotionally and physically taxing, its easy to ignore your needs.  

Find some time to exercise, start eating healthy and get good sleep. This will also improve your mood and help you deal with any anxiety you may develop. Talk to someone about how you feel and do something that you like in the free time you have. Go watch a movie or plan a night out with your friends. 

This festive season focus on compromising and being compassionate. Embrace the change and strive to be a better version of ourselves.