Winter holidays with the kids can be cumbersome for parents for many reasons. But, for single moms, things can get especially tough. Some single moms find this time of the year more stressful and overwhelming, making it more difficult for them to cope with the everyday issues of being a single parent.
However, with the right ideas, guidelines, and time-saving tips, holidays can become fun, eventful, and practical. We’ve compiled a kick-ass survival guide to surviving winter holidays with the kids.
Coping with the Blues of Winter Holidays
It’s okay not to feel okay during the holidays, given your difficult situation. You may not realize it, but more people feel as lonely and hurt as you. So what’s the best thing to do? Don’t feel guilty about acknowledging your feelings. Do not put pressure on yourself and pretend. Release your burden and say, “I am not in the mood to celebrate.” Try it and see how it frees you from within.
Making the Holidays Fun
Most of the time, going out can bring back the holiday cheer. But what if you’re stuck at home with your child? Bond with during the winter holidays your kids by trying out some of these activities:
- Try snow-sledding together.
- Make paper snowflakes.
- Enjoy cups of hot chocolate together.
- Start a snowball fight.
- Draw the winter view.
- Buy a miniature shovel and have your kid help you clear the driveway.
- Mix coloring into water, pour them into bottles and write letters in the snow.
- Make a snowman together.
- Build a little house using boxes and sheets.
- Draw pictures of one another.
- Watch snowfall by the window together.
- Make snow angels outside.
- Make winter crafts with your child.
Like it or not, your ex will always have a say in decision-making with your child, especially for events like the holidays. Here, arguments are inevitable, so if you want to win the discussion, you want to know these pointers first and foremost.
- Come up with a parenting plan that agrees to your family’s holiday schedule.
- Anticipate a “yes” or a “no.” Know that your holiday plan is just that – a dream. So it’s best to prepare yourself for either a positive or negative reaction.
- Decide on what you exactly want. Don’t be too general or contradicting your ex-husband’s plans so he will have a hard time is not a good thing to do. Instead, be specific on what you like. For example, if you want your kid to be part of a family party, be sure to discuss it with your ex.
- State your goals well. Nothing beats being honest, especially when you have to talk things over with an ex. If you have specific reasons for the schedule change, explain them reasonably well to establish a favorable negotiation.
- Know your ex-husbands’ plans. Of course, his plans matter as well. This kindness helps to avoid any possible schedule conflict. Know their goals or other things that matter to them. Show them you have respect and appreciate the time he spends with your children.
- Stay calm. Always listen to what your ex-husband has to say. Do not cut off what he is saying, even if you’re dying to disagree.
- Try to make a compromise. For example, you want to take the kids out, but it’s your ex’s schedule to spend time with them. In this scenario, you can suggest a solution, say, give up some of your time on a different day. This way, you both can get what you want.
- Spare the kids. You don’t realize it, but it’s most probably best that you don’t tell the change of plans with your child. This is because you and your ex’s issues will only put pressure on your kids, ruining their bright idea of the holidays. Let your kids be and keep them out of the negotiation.
- Don’t let your kids decide by themselves. It’s not ideal for letting your kids choose between mommy and daddy. This will put too much responsibility on their hair. You and your ex are the grown-up ones, so act like it by showing a willingness to negotiate.
Holidays are more fun and soothing when you don’t feel any pressure on your child, former partner, as well as your wallet. To curb too much holiday spending, make sure that you don’t use your credit card for buying gifts. Think about the 20% interest they put into your purchases. Cliché as it is, it’s the thought that counts, so an inexpensive gift with “I love you” or “Thank you” will suffice.
As for your children, with sales here and there, it’s easy to give in to their desires each time they see something amusing. However, it’s better to teach your children that being thoughtful doesn’t have to cost too much. What matters is that we appreciate the gift, and we show the person that we genuinely cherish their presence in our lives.