As a single parent, we have enough on our plates already but add a few holidays into the mix, and it’s almost too much to deal with. Some help for single parents at Christmas must be provided by the people around to make us feel even better.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all the fun and festivities, but it gets overwhelming when you’re alone, trying to make Christmas a magical time for your young ones.
Now that my son is a teen and I’ve never remarried I feel like I’ve had enough experience to share a few of my coping mechanisms.
1. Don’t Stress Over The Small Stuff
Maybe you were too busy to fill out Christmas cards and mail them off this year. Or perhaps you forgot to send in the requested treats to school for your child’s Christmas party.
While things like this might seem to be a big deal now, you can’t beat yourself up over it. Dwelling over a small mishap only adds more stress (that you don’t need) and I’m sure there’s plenty of other things you need to be focusing your attention on at this time of year.
Besides, everyone is so busy they may not have even noticed that they didn’t receive a card this year and more than likely the other 20 parents sent in treats and there were more than the kids could eat anyway.
So, take it one day at a time and don’t dwell on the minor things or you might forget something significant that’s coming up.
2. Fight The Loneliness
Admit it; even to the most independent people, it’s hard to be single during the holidays. It seems like everywhere you go you see happy couples in love celebrating the season and here you are trying to hold it all together alone.
Try to be optimistic, just because you’re alone this Christmas it doesn’t mean you’ll be alone next Christmas. You only haven’t met your special someone yet.
I’m sure as a single parent you’re already super busy but if you start feeling lonely, fight back. Remember that you’re not the only one who’s feeling alone at this time of year.
With social media keeping us more connected than ever maybe you have a single friend who’d like to go out Christmas shopping with you.
Or call up a friend and get your nails done together or for the guys, shoot a game of pool. Doing something that isn’t Christmas themed with a friend helps to ward off the blues.
3. Take Some Much Needed ‘Me Time’
Do something nice for yourself, just because you deserve it. There are so many different things I’d like to try that I’ve never done before.
Here are a few ideas for ways to de-stress: Schedule a therapeutic massage; an hour of having the tension worked out of your muscles might be just the thing you need.
Salt Cave Therapy is supposed to improve both health and mood; this is one I’m hoping to try soon! If you’re watching your budget, one of my favorite ways to unwind is to light a few candles and take a long, hot bath.
Add some Epsom salt and scented oils for a spa-like experience that you can do anytime in your own home. Even Christmas breaks for single parent families can be utilized in a really fun way.
Anything that helps you unwind and relax can be extremely beneficial to your peace of mind.
4. Start New Traditions
Since Christmas is different this year than it was in prior years, you need to embrace it and take it to a new level. Start new traditions for you and your kids.
It can be something as simple as a trimming the tree party or baking cookies together as a family. There are so many fun directions you can go with this one, and it’ll add a touch of excitement for you and your kids to try new things and make it your way of celebrating year after year.
5. Don’t Spend Christmas Alone
For those of you who share your children with your ex, make plans beforehand. If the kids are spending Christmas Day with your ex, don’t sit at home alone moping.
Go to your family’s Christmas party and visit with your loved ones that you don’t see often enough. Or contact some of your single parent friends and see if they would like to do something because they might not have their children either.
The theatres are open on Christmas, so it might be a good time to catch a movie you’ve wanted to see, or you could have a movie marathon at home on your couch with Netflix and plenty of snacks.
Whatever you do, make sure that you’re not sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and reminiscing about the way things used to be.
6. Buy Yourself A Present
Yes, you heard me right, and it’s exactly what it sounds like!
I know you’ve seen something on sale that you wanted while you were out shopping for everyone else. So, buy it! Treating yourself to something nice is essential because you’ve worked so hard planning the perfect Christmas for your kids.
And let’s face it, you’re not spending the money buying your ex a present this Christmas and without a significant other there really won’t be much under the tree for you this year.
You can wrap it and put it under the tree from “Santa” or you can have someone give it to your kids, so they will have something else to give to you along with the Santa Shop presents they bought for you at school.
Most of all, be kind to yourself this holiday season. Christmas is a happy time for celebrations with those you love, and your children love you more than anyone else on this planet! I’m sure many of our readers have some wonderful tips I haven’t included as well. What are some of the ways you cope during the holidays?