Is it really November already?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are right around the corner.
Even though I’ve technically been a single mom since the end of 2012, this is the first Holiday season that I haven’t lived with my parents, and we’re not going to visit them until after the New Year. I recently moved back home after being gone for a decade and I am LOVING it!
All of these tips have not been tried out by me, so we can try some of them together, and hopefully we’ll have a fun holiday season with minimal stress.
I can’t give tips and advice on co-parenting during the holidays… my kids are with me 24/7.
Whatever your situation, I think you’ll be able to implement at least one of these tips into your holiday season.
- 1. Buddy up.
This is not the time to be alone. We were invited to have Thanksgiving dinner with friends and we’ll probably end up visiting several houses before the day is done. I’m glad we were invited because that meant I didn’t have to ask, but I would’ve. If at all possible, get with your friends and see if you can spend the Holidays with them.
You can bring a side dish, dessert, wash their dishes, something.
If you want to play hostess and invite people over you can get a menu together and ask each guest to bring an item.
Whatever you do, please don’t do it alone. You are not in the way, you’re not a 3rd or 5th wheel. Make plans with people who you enjoy spending time with.
2. Watch your spending.
I think this one applies more for Christmas, but applies to Thanksgiving and New Years as well. I know it’s hard when you see all the adorable things people are doing on Pinterest and instagram, and the decorations have been calling your name since the end of September, but DO NOT SPEND A FORTUNE ON DECORATIONS.
The same goes for all you crafty moms, do not spend a ton of money on materials to get your house Pinterest and instagram worthy. There’s no need to compete with suzy homemaker and her decor that changes with every season in every room of her house. Our goal is less stress.
We don’t have cable so I haven’t had to worry about the kids asking for everything under the sun since August. Most single moms I know do not have a lot of wiggle room in their finances. This is what I’ve been doing for the last few years and it works well. You’ve probably seen or heard of different variations of the Three Gift Christmas.
Something they want, something they need, something you want them to have.
See if you can split the list with family members to help keep cost down.
3. Schedule Alone Time.
If you know another single mom, maybe you can swap babysitting services. Ask a friend or family member to take the kids for a day, or half day. Get out of the house, go for a walk, go see a movie, call a friend and meetup for coffee. Do something for yourself so you can relax and recharge. You’ll feel better and your kids will benefit from you having that time away.
4. Mix New Traditions With Old Traditions.
Keeping old traditions gives you and your children something familiar and can be comforting, but starting new traditions can make the holidays even more special for all of you as you continue to settle into your new life.
Involve your children in this process! You can make a list of ideas together and add one or two every year.
A few ideas to get you started…
Trying a new cake or cookie recipe.
A letter to your children: hopes and dreams for the upcoming year.
Pick a different country and holiday every year then learn about that countries holiday traditions.
Go See Christmas lights
5. Allow Yourself And Your Children To Feel.
Like I said before, this is our first holiday season “alone”. I’m trying to prepare myself for the mix of emotions.
And it’s not just my emotions I’ll be dealing with, but my kids as well.
Are you feeling happy, sad, angry, a mix? Go with it. I highly recommend journaling.
There’s something therapeutic about writing down your thoughts and feelings. If you’re on cloud 9, enjoy it and write it down. Are you having a hard time keeping it together? Allow yourself some time to fall apart.
No one will see what you write unless you show it to them, and it’s nice to have that record to look back on.
The holidays can be a happy and fun time, but they can also be sad and hard for a lot of people.
About a month ago, my son(5yrs) said to me “mommy, everyone else has a dad, mamaw, peepaw, uncle, and cousins. And it’s just us here” That was a bunch to the gut. I wanted to cry because he looked and sounded so sad.
I didn’t invalidate his feelings by telling him that we have friends and a church that is family even though we aren’t related by blood. That’s not what he needed to hear.
Let your kids know whatever they feel is ok. Let them know you’ll be their safe space.
It doesn’t matter if they’re five or 15.
I know these are simple tips but I hope they help.
Do you have any tips? Please share them in the comments.