As we approach the holidays, I can’t help but think back to 3 years ago when I was newly divorced and dreading going through the holidays as a single mom. I love family. I loved being married and doing all the fun, traditional things we did together as a family. You know, the tree decorating, cooking baking and Christmas morning excitement with the kids. However, that year was the 1st year of my new, “normal” and it was probably the hardest year of my life.
I clearly remember my very dear friend, Karen telling me that all my, “firsts” were going to be difficult. But, she also said, that once I got through the, “firsts”, it would get easier and easier. Man, was she right! Karen is the ultimate definition of a, “true friend” and woman warrior. She’s not only been through hardship herself, she was there for me through thick and thin. I’m fortunate to have many of girlfriends who were there for me then and continue to be there for me, now.
Since my separation and divorce 3 years ago, I had a couple of girls reach out to me who were going through similar situations as I went through and who were looking for support and advice. It’s sad how marriage is so disposable these days, but unfortunately, some people don’t share the same values.
So, with that said, I was thinking about the people who will be going through their 1st “new normal” holidays. It will be a hard time for them for sure, but I’m proof that time heals, life goes on and holidays get great, again.
Thinking back 3 years ago and each year since then, I wanted to share a little bit on how I got, through it and how to survive your first holidays after divorce a little easier. And, as a therapist once told me, you will never get, “over” that hard time, but you will get, through it!
What to do:
- Surround yourself with friends and family. This is a MUST!
- Continue the holiday traditions you love with your children.
- Ask for help with tree trimming. Make it a new fun tradition with friends.
- Have a holiday tree trimming party.
- Wrap presents with family and friends.
- Have a cookie exchange.
- Go visit family and friends.
- Go on a trip (especially if you don’t have the kids).
- Get the children more involved with decorating for the holidays.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help (something I struggle with).
- Whenever you don’t have the children on a holiday, make sure you spend it with those you love to be around.
- Get involved in a charitable cause.
- Stay active and exercise.
- Start a blog about a hobby you love or something near and dear to your heart.
- Stay busy, busy, busy.
- Start a good book.
- Start a brand new holiday tradition with the children.
- Create a board on Pinterest labeled, “New Holiday Traditions”.
- Make ornaments with the kids.
- Don’t let negative thoughts of “yesterday” take over the new memories of today.