Get Ready For The First Holiday Season After Your Divorce
By Duncan E. White, Owner
Inkpointe Divorce Solutions, LLC
IRMO, SC – Is this it? Is this the first time since the birth of your babies that you will be forced to spend at least part of the holidays without your children because of separation or divorce? It’s no fun and the first year is definitely the hardest. It doesn’t have to be all bad – but it will be very different. Let me offer you a few tips:
- Realize that life is different now and will never be the same again … and that’s okay! You have to embrace change!
- Plan early! Don’t wait until the last minute to coordinate with your former spouse what the schedule will be. Remember, the kids want to spend time with both parents.
- Christmas does not have to be December 25th! If you won’t be with your kids on the 25th, simply plan a “Special Christmas” when you will be together. There’s no reason to look at it like you are giving something up, just rearrange.
- If this is your first Christmas without the kids, reach out to friends and family to see what they have planned. Invite yourself if you have to! Do not spend it alone! That is a recipe for disaster!
- Start new traditions. To help both you and the kids embrace the new reality, start some brand new traditions that you’ve never had! Rent a house in the mountains or at the beach. Go to an amusement park. Anything to make it different! Because it is!
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. If this is your first holiday season as a single person, you are still in the grieving process and you can expect to have some emotional ups and downs. Do your best to think about your new future and try not to dwell on the past. Think of new possibilities. Are there activities that you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time? Now’s the time to make it happen! Take an art class! Schedule a weekend trip out of town with a friend or a spa day all by yourself. Of course, I’m a financial advisor so make sure it’s within your budget.
Speaking of budgets, don’t let yourself fall into the “best parent” trap of trying to outspend your ex on presents. The kids see through it and, trust me, they don’t care. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll love all the gifts, but kids want your time, not your money. Pass on the iPad and buy a board game that will force you to interact with each other for an extended period. These are the memories your kids will treasure, and so will you!
Good luck this holiday season. Remember, it doesn’t have to be defined as the end unless you choose to look at it that way. So, choose to see the beauty of a new beginning. You can do it!
Duncan E. White is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) and has been a licensed financial advisor since 2010. He leads a Second Saturday Divorce Workshop each month for the benefit of those seeking information about the divorce process.
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Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. LPL Financial and Inkpointe Divorce Solutions do not offer tax, legal or mortgage lending services or advice.