For some co-parents, the most wonderful time of the year can feel like the exact opposite. It may be the time of the year where you have to see or communicate with your ex the most. It can be the time of the year where you are most reminded of the way things used to be before a divorce. It may be the time where you feel hyper-aware of wealth differences, with presents and feasts on the table. However, it doesn’t have to be.
Here are the five myths we commonly see about co-parenting during the holiday season, and what the truth really is:
- You have to spend more time with your ex. It is essential to communicate clearly with your ex during the holiday season, but that does not mean more communication. In truth, clear communication can lead to firmer boundaries set between the two of you. As long as there is a plan in place and both parties know the details on when they are spending time with the kids, there’s no need to talk anymore than you normally would.
- Your time is only for your child and you. Obviously, the vast majority of it is. However, if you have your child on an actual holiday and your ex wants to video chat with them, don’t be afraid to let them spend that time. It can give you a moment to yourself to breathe, which is equally important during the season.
- Everything has to be perfect. Take the pressure off of yourself that every single moment should be magical. The holidays are about your family spending time together, not illustrating to your child that life should always feel like a storybook. It is also important to remember that during the holiday season, you can pick and choose your battles with your ex. Not every single thing has to be done the way you would do it, since your child loves both of their parents and your differences.
Traditions Must Be Upheld. The hardest thing for some families post-divorce can be the change in holiday traditions. Maybe every year you would wrap the gifts and your ex would make breakfast. This is a great time to remember that those traditions were just things you did and liked. You established them in the first place, so you can make new ones! The differences don’t have to feel empty, but can feel exciting instead!
- It’s About Who Gives the Best Present. Remember that your life is about you and what you can do, not comparing and contrasting yourself with others. Free yourself from the guilt or shame of feeling lesser than your ex or other families around you. No matter what presents are under which trees, what matters most is the time you spend and the love you give. Don’t compare and despair!
There’s no need to go into the holiday season filled with dread about your ex. With a little bit of clear communication and a lot of quality time, this year can be the best you’ve ever had. At the Divorce and Mediation Law Firm, we believe in providing you the clarity and freedom that you are looking for. If you know you need to make a change in your family situation, please contact us today!