Single parenting is challenging on its own. But when the holiday season shows up, the stress and pressure levels may increase drastically. You may have to do everything alone, from holiday decorations to cooking responsibilities and entertaining guests, while keeping your kids holiday-happy, which can be very stressful. And the holidays can bring old memories and leave you moody, especially if you recently became single. So, how do you manage it all? Here’s how to get through the holidays as a single parent.
Join Your Family Or Friends
There’s still enough time to plan a trip to see family members. If this is your first year spending the holiday as a single parent, you’ll need all the help you can get. And your family members are the best option. Plus, your kids can see their grandparents. Plan a trip to spend time with family and ease the workload on yourself. Also consider inviting your parents or siblings to spend the holidays in your home if you have enough room. Alternatively, you can spend time with friends. Having friends over will make chores less difficult, and their presence will make the season much less unbearable.
Staying busy should be easy for a single parent, but there may be times when you’re left with nothing to do. And this can put you in a bad mood, especially if your kids are away. Find ways to stay busy. Start learning what to do with yourself when your kids visit their other parent’s house. You can learn a new, fun hobby, attend a holiday festival with your friends, or watch an angelic Christmas movie to bring a dose of faith and forgiveness to your holidays. Start making a list of fun activities to busy yourself with, so you won’t get caught in a dull moment. And speaking of moments, the next point is also important.
Prepare Yourself For The Hard Moments
Accept that you may have tough moments even with many exciting activities lined up, and prepare for them. These moments can sneak up on you from anywhere at any time. And the last thing you want to do is ignore them or try to push past them. Allow yourself to feel how you need to feel about them, especially if it’s about grief. Ignoring these moments will only keep them coming back to haunt you. You can also talk it out with someone you trust or make a journal of your emotions to help you deal with them.
Set Clear Expectations
Sit down and decide on expected contributions to the family, winter break plans, food, gifts giving and receiving, and so on. Regarding your kids’ behavior, it’s important to help them understand that mommy and daddy may not spend the holidays together. Doing this will help them manage their expectations and yours. Also, consider working out a fair deal with the other parent about custody issues, if any.