Jan 13, 2014
Guest Blog 2: Love Child
Blog, Child Support Mediation, Divorce and Children, Divorce and the Home, Divorce Trends: Children and Divorce
So for you mathematical and logistical people, you were probably trying to figure out my equation. Well to put it simply….. Christmas plus divorce equals two Christmas’.
I was too young to really remember how exactly I felt during the first holiday season after my parents’ divorce. As far as I am concerned, that is a good thing. When people choose to mediate, their children are impacted. If they choose litigation, they are often traumatized. Lucky for us, our parents mediated their divorce. At age 6, I understood the fact that Mommy and Daddy did not love each other anymore. But, I also understood that they were my parents, and nothing would every change that.
My parents did their best to make this transition easy for my brother and myself during the holiday season. This is how:
Continue Traditions: I am sure you always hear of people saying, “Start new traditions” after a separation or divorce. This is a great idea, but for my family we kept our old traditions. The only difference was we got to bounce between two homes. At my Mom’s we did our usual shortbread cookie baking extravaganza! We made mounds and mounds of cookies. Mixed, baked, decorated and boxed them up for friends and family. And, my dad always loved the burnt shortbread cookies! How strange right! Well, my mom is a cool mom and she would always bake a special batch of burnt cookies for me to take to my Dad. We also decorated a tree with both parents and drove around to look at the neighborhoods full of Christmas lights.
Alternate: Parents decide on various types of custody arrangements and parenting plans. What worked for my family was a split 50/50 custody. So, this meant Christmas Eve into Christmas morning was alternated each year. My parents wanted to do things in the fairest way possible and this worked very well.
Christmas Day: One thing I remember the most is Christmas Day. For children, this is usually one of their most favorite days of the year. It is such a happy, cheerful, positive day spent with family. Unfortunately, my brother and I had to have two Christmas celebrations in one day. Bummer….. Just Kidding!!! We were the luckiest kids around! My best recommendation is to allow your children to wake up Christmas morning at one parents house, allow them to enjoy a yummy brunch and enjoy sitting by the fire or watching a Christmas movie and then around lunch time take them over to their other parents home to see what Santa brought over there! One of my funniest memories was when I would literally load up the car with what I got from Santa in the first round of Christmas so I could show my other parent what I got! My parents hated when I did that, but they knew how I excited I was to share my special Christmas morning with the other parent.
Friends & Family: So what did the other parent do on the holidays they did not have us? Luckily, they had friends and family to enjoy the holiday with.
Stress: Christmas does not have to be stressful. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, but try to let your children see it. Plan arrangements ahead of time, create a budget and use various resources that are available to you. Check out these articles from our resource center:
Show Love: My parents realized that they were better as friends and did not love each other anymore. BUT, they did LOVE us. They knew they were great parents, which is why they had a great Co-parenting relationship.
Two Happy Homes: My parents worked hard to make sure my brother and I had a roof over our heads, a cozy bed to sleep in, nutritious food to eat and a proper education. Specifically around the holidays, they would both get a live Christmas tree, decorate the house, put lights up, play Christmas music and make delicious food. I loved having two homes, but that is because my parents made the effort to make their home welcoming.
– Love Child