Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re facing it newly divorced or separated then my guess is you’re not looking forward to it. Divorce sucks at the best of times but when you’re heading into a celebration time like Christmas then it’s magnified a million times. To make it even worse trying to negotiate Christmas with kids and your ex can be even worse for some separated couples.
The first Christmas after our split, my ex never came back to see the kids so that was an easy one. The following year we had reconciled and he came home, which was great because I thought we were going to rebuild our lives and I was living in my little happy bubble with my family back together. It was short lived though as I just couldn’t live with the betrayal and we ended up separating again.
So I faced the prospect of sharing the kids once more at Christmas and I really struggled with that.
I just couldn’t face the holidays without my kids, so I invited my ex every year until this year.
It was tough sometimes because he would come to stay and we ended up falling into the same old patterns of when we were married. It felt normal and we always got along really well and still enjoyed each other’s company. But New Year would come around and he would pack his bags and leave to go back to his life with his girlfriend and it confused my heart. I knew we would never be a couple again but it still caused a little sadness because of the happy times we had spent together. This year has been different and I chose not to invite him because of where I am now.
I am standing in my power these days as a single parent and it’s time for me to do what makes me happy.
My kids are at an age they can choose who to spend it with and I fully support them in their decision.
Whatever way you choose to spend the holidays make sure you do what makes you happy. I know some couples still have Christmas together years down the line for the kids and if that works for you, go ahead. There are no rules, just don’t sacrifice your own sanity for one day of the year.
If you are sharing Christmas with your ex, keep it civil for the sake of the kids. There will be happier times in the future so don’t put too much focus on the lack right now and when you do have your kids you can make it extra special.
If your kids are with their dad for Christmas then go and do something you wouldn’t normally do. Get together with friends who are single or book a trip for yourself, volunteer at a charity for a few hours. Just don’t spend it home alone reminiscing about the past.