Being a single parent at Christmas can be tough. Christmas is a special time of year, where the image of happy families buying presents, visiting Santa and sharing traditions are impossible to escape from. In reality it’s often the most stressful time of the year for families, any families, including single parent families. Whether separated, divorced or bereaved, how do you survive this time of year?
Christmas Past or Christmas Future?
If this is your first Christmas going solo then like Jacob Marley, you’ll probably be plagued with memories of Christmas’s past; maybe even with rose-tinted glasses you’ll recall the traditions you have shared as a family and even start to wonder what your ex is doing. First rule of survival is to look forward not back – this is a new start so make new traditions. Let the kids chose what they would like to do and embrace being free to make your own decisions.
A little help from our friends
Make sure your support network is on board and keep busy meeting up with friends for adult times as well as with the kids. At Single With Kids you are amongst many friends who know exactly how you feel so join in with events, or come online and chat on the forum if you find yourself alone. This is one of those times when ‘the more the merrier’ is true; it will lift your mood and distract you from any negative feelings.
This is also the time when co-operation is key. Whatever your relationship with your ex, try to focus on the kids and don’t be drawn into long arguments. Be clear about what is possible and accept some compromise. Planning ahead means that these discussions are sorted before Christmas so that you both know when you will have the kids and can make sure other relatives get to see them too. It also means you can make plans to fill your time when you are on your own; accept those party invites, go shopping with friends or even throw your own party.
Time for you and the kids
Have a look at the Single With Kids events and join in; you may decide that you want to get away and be with people who really understand what you are feeling and where your kids can make friends and have fun. For a truly magical break we have our fantastic Lapland Adventure complete with reindeer safaris, husky sleigh rides, tobogganing, enchanting hotel with tropical pool and spa and a visit from Santa himself. Or maybe you fancy some sunshine on our Fuerteventura holiday staying in a 4*hotel on the beach. Want to see in the New Year with new friends and a new outlook? Try our New Year in Stratford break complete with dancing, karaoke and party. All of our holidays are accompanied by a Single With Kids Coordinator who organises opportunities for everyone to get together – you decide what you chose to take part in.
Above all, be kind to yourself. Buy a fake tree if you can’t manage a real one; buy in food rather than cook; accept that you can’t buy everything the kids want and don’t feel guilty. This year treat yourself to your favourite food and drink, perhaps even buy yourself a treat and tuck it under the tree.
We’ve lots of stories from our Single Parents who have been in your position and decided to join us for Christmas and/or New Year find out how they felt from the testimonials on our breaks. We’ve even had some find romance – I guess it’s true that it happens when you least expect it!
Happy Christmas to all single parents– you’re doing amazing!
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