As a newly divorced parent, splitting holidays and vacations with the other parent takes getting used to.
The holiday season is upon us and stress and anxiety rise as we hustle to prepare for holiday dinners, parties, and guests. Sometimes, through the lack of experience or because of the added excitement that comes with this season, we forget to carefully plan for the changes that are taking place during a divorce or separation. The most important thing we can do for our children to make sure they enjoy their holiday during this challenging time is to thoroughly and adequately plan for such occasions.
A few questions you will need to ask and get answers to are:
- Are my holiday and vacation “agreements” written out? And if so, what is the schedule for holidays and vacations?
- Have I given my ex-spouse or partner plenty of notice regarding my plans for the holidays and have I delivered it in the proper format and allotted time as spelled out in my “agreements”? If no time frame has been defined, give notice within the time frame you would like to receive a notification if the roles were reversed. Keep a record of all your requests, all requests made to you, and the results.
- Have I specified my intended plans, including arrival and departure times, transportation, and contact information? Am I following the schedule outlined in any standing “agreements”?
If you are still in the process of setting up a holiday and vacation schedule be sure to define what constitutes a holiday. Make a list in your agreement. If it isn’t on the list, then it isn’t a holiday. It is also essential to define the parameters of the holiday and vacation schedule. Your goal should be to clarify any potential confusion or possible interpretations that will change the regular schedule of your children.
You can get more information about making the holidays easier for you and your children here. Also, we invite you to download our free holiday planning guide to better help you (and your children) get through the holidays. We hope it makes things a little easier for you.
Download the full guide here: Myres & Associates Holiday Planning Guide
The emotions that divorce brings can be overwhelming. Sometimes it replaces the happy or excited feelings that we once felt around the holidays. It is normal to feel this way because the holidays may have been happy moments that you and your partner once shared. But, this is also a difficult time for your children. They may be torn between parents, wanting to spend the holiday with both parents or they may fear the change of holiday traditions or activities. It is important to remember that these emotions do not have to control you during this beautiful time of year.
These are the memories that your children will always remember. It is up to you how they remember them. By properly planning and taking extra care, you can rest assured knowing you did your best in helping your children have the best holiday or vacation possible.