The holidays are a time for family, friends, and loved ones. But if you're a divorced or separated parent, they can also be a source of stress. How do you handle spending time with your kids when their other parent isn't around? What if you can't agree on how to celebrate? And how do you deal with all the pressures that come with the holiday season?
Here are a few tips on how to make co-parenting during the holidays a little easier.
Talk to your co-parent in advance about your plans.
The more notice you can give, the better. This will give you both time to adjust your schedules and make any necessary arrangements. If you have to make last-minute changes, try to be flexible and understanding. Remember that your co-parent is likely dealing with the same pressures and challenges as you are.
If you have young children, consider making joint decisions about holiday traditions.
This can help prevent arguments later on and make things easier for your kids. Discuss things like what holiday celebrations you'll attend, what gifts everyone will give, and how you'll decorate the house. If you have older kids, ask them for their input as well. They may have strong feelings about how they want to spend the holidays and which traditions are most important to them.
Be prepared for some tough conversations.
Even if you and your co-parent are on good terms, there's bound to be some disagreement when it comes to holiday parenting arrangements. It's important to stay calm and respectful when discussing sensitive topics like this. If things start to get heated, take a step back and remember that you're both working towards the same goal: making sure your kids have a happy holiday season.
Finally, don't forget to take care of yourself during this busy time of year.
The holidays can be stressful for anyone, but they can be especially challenging for parents who are sharing custody of their children. Make sure to schedule some time for yourself so that you can relax and recharge. Whether it's taking a long walk by yourself, getting a massage, or simply reading your favorite book in peace, find something that helps you relax and forget about the stresses of parenting for a little while.
IN LIFE, THERE ARE OPTIONS. IN DIVORCE, THERE SHOULD BE OPTIONS TOO.
Co-parenting during the holidays doesn't have to be difficult. By communicating with your co-parent ahead of time and being prepared for tough conversations, you can make sure that everyone has a happy holiday season—including yourself!
If you need help with understanding your holiday custody agreement or preparing to co-parent, schedule a consultation with a member of our team by calling our firm at (212) 466-6015.