When parents are sharing custody of their child, it can make the holidays feel even more hectic. Timesharing during the holidays can be very stressful, and not just for the parents – often the stress and tension the parents feel is transferred to the children. This is why it is important to remember that the holidays should be about the children. Parents should do whatever is necessary to ensure that their children are not feeling the stress that has come from the parents no longer being together.
With this being said, there are several things you can do to ensure that everyone has a good holiday:
Make sure you have an agreed-upon schedule in place before the holidays. In most cases, the Court will have a recommended schedule for you to follow. Both parents should be following the schedule from the Court or agree on one together so that the children get just as much time with both parents and their families as possible.
Have you considered celebrating together? This is something many parents are able to do if their divorce was one in which feelings weren’t hurt, or when enough time has passed to allow both parents to heal. This can make the holidays much better for the children.
Never make the children choose who they want to spend with during the holidays. It is not fair to them to make them choose, and it can cause bad feelings for everyone. Instead, work together to make sure the children get to see both parents equally.
Always check with each other to ensure that your plans with your family do not conflict with their plans. This can be a huge issue during the holidays. Communication between parents is the key.
As a parent, you need to realize that timesharing during the holidays is going to require both parents to compromise. You need to be flexible and realize that neither of you are going to get 100% of the time with the children.
When your kids are with the other parent, instead of feeling depressed and lonely, focus instead on your family and support system. Also, the holidays are stressful and it is important to have a little ‘me time’ whenever you can.
Timesharing during the holidays can be complicated and stressful. It is important to understand that some of the traditions you enjoyed before the divorce may not be possible any more. However, you now get to create new traditions with your children and family that you will have for many years to come.