Last year this time, I had to start preparing to spend my first holidays without the kids. Of course, I was very angry, because the divorce was definitely not my idea. Thankfully, I had a friend who had gone through a bitter divorce just a few years ago and she helped me by giving me some great advice, which I'd like to share with you today.
Remember, thousands of other moms have survived holidays without their kids and you will too.
Getting Through Your First Holidays Without the Kids
The situation is what it is and the sooner you accept the facts and allow yourself to acknowledge it, the better. You may be looking forward to a little time on your own and that's fine - no need for guilt. Talk your feelings out with a professional or with a friend. Don't try to deny the fact that you will be spending the holidays without your kids and don't try to change it by fighting it. While you may not like the idea, it will be easier for you and the kids alike if you accept it. Try to look for positives, such as sleeping in and having a few days to recharge.
Once you've accepted the situation, you could find ways in which to create new traditions. Out with the old and in with the new!
If the kids are old enough, discuss ways in which they would like to celebrate holidays with you. Choose a date on which you will all be able to be together and plan on how you would like to spend it.
Make sure they know that you will be okay while they are away and discuss how often you will speak on the phone. Reassure them that you have plans for while they are away and let them know that you wish for them to have a good time.
Once the kids are set, you can start planning your alone time. Don't over-schedule, especially on your first year alone, because you're bound to get pretty down in the dumps. People will understand if you decline invites to gatherings that may be too painful.
Keep a finger on the pulse of your emotions during the holidays. Always choose thoughts and actions that bring you the most peace. Don't feel obliged to attend a party, or to stay late when you really want some time alone. Acknowledge your feelings and act on them.
When you speak to your kids, be kind by not sounding miserable and dwelling on how lonely you are without them. Even if they are having a good time, they will feel bad for you, but by being kind to them, you can ensure that they don't feel guilty about you.
Before you know it, the holidays without the kids will be over. They will be back home and you will enjoy a sweet reunion and your own brand of celebrations. You may have to adapt your plans if they are too tired to celebrate, or if they received too many presents.
Holidays without the kids is a good time for you to get more in touch with yourself and your spirit. This quiet time is ideal for meditation, rest and renewal after a difficult year.