The Challenges of the Holiday as a single parent.
The holidays can be quite a bit of a challenge both financially and emotionally. What was once considered a wonderful time for your family when you were married can become stressful and emotionally draining. Below are a few tips to help provide support for you and your inner circle.
1 Budget, budget, budget. Do not feel as if you have to overcompensate for there only being one adult in the family. Often children don’t really want things when they can appreciate time spent. This may take a few holidays to teach this lesson, but it is one that will last a lifetime.
2 Create new traditions and hold onto some of the old ones. It’s important to create a couple of new traditions as you begin this new chapter.
3 Ask for help. Many single parents who have a support system along with those who may not, are afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is essential to avoid being overwhelmed. You will find that those around you want to help! Seek support with friends, family or perhaps your faith-based community if you have one. You aren’t alone!
4 Lean into the cry. Sometimes as single parents (or newly divorced parents) we become soldiers of life marching through task after task avoiding processing emotions. Sometimes you may feel sad. In particular, if this is not what you perceived your family would look like. Lean into a good cry. Essentially if we avoid leaning into the cry, it erupts in the most untimely fashion. One time I found myself standing in the checkout line at Walgreens succumbing to the quiet cry. With strangers around me trying not to make eye contact. The kind cashier checked me out as quickly as possible. With tears rolling down my face I attempted to wipe as quickly as they were coming. The emotion was unexpected, and the tears refused to be ignored. Now I lean into the cry. I cry, let it out and often feel much better.
5 Embrace this new chapter. Things may not have turned out the way you thought they would, but everything will end up fine. If you embrace the new normal of what your family makeup looks like now, you will find it is all for the greater good. Be prepared to ignore things that may have seemed really important at one time. I have learned that the new chapter may not “look” as pulled together as it did with two adults in our home but we are fine. My children are happy and healthy, and so is their mother.