Under ideal circumstances, the holidays can be a stressful time of the year. For co-parents, it becomes even more so with competing schedules, family gatherings and school breaks.
But, with some planning, you can reduce the strain and achieve your ultimate goal of having a joyous holiday with your children.
Tips for holiday planning
- Early planning gives both parents time to make travel plans and coordinate with other family members. It also makes it less likely you will have last-minute conflicts or misunderstandings.
- Communication is crucial for co-parenting during the holidays. Both of you want to be with your children, but finding a common ground and working out any differences is essential.
- Flexibility is essential. Plans may change due to unanticipated circumstances, which may mean making compromises or adjustments.
- After a separation or divorce, it’s natural to want to hold onto old traditions. However, creating new traditions may help your children adjust to their new reality and create new memories in each household.
- Try to prevent excess holiday activities. It can be exhausting for children to move between two households during winter breaks constantly. Try to limit long trips and visits with various relatives to reduce stress for everyone.
- Keep your child’s needs at the forefront of your holiday planning. Ensure they have quality time with both parents.
- Remember to take care of yourself. Not being with your child on a holiday can be extremely hard. Practice self-care and indulge in activities you enjoy.
Navigating the holidays with a co-parent may be challenging and stressful. Keep the focus on your children and what is best for them. Over time, new traditions will emerge, and your family will have fond memories of time spent together.