Christmas And The Importance Of Creating New Traditions.
For many newly separated parents their first Christmas as a single parent is the hardest time of their life. The disconnection from a former spouse, trying to understand who are and who are not their friends, in the post separation shake up, and of course trying not to compete with their former partner in the roulette of Christmas presents for the kids – these are all potential battle fields in the landscape of separation.
However, amid this Armageddon of a time, there is the opportunity to move forward. Creating a successful life after separation is largely about adapting. Where before, every Christmas you may have visited with your former brother in law, now things will simply have to be very different. The parent that adapts to this new landscape better is the one that will do well. This is why it’s so important to start creating ‘new traditions’ that can happen from here on in.
It may well be that you take the kids to a sports event on the day you have them during the Christmas break, if you are the Dad. Or as a Mother, you may decide to try something you never did with your husband, taking the kids skating or to see a movie on Boxing day afternoon. It’s a matter of coming up with something that you didn’t generally do with your partner.
The successful tradition will be one where the kids later say, “We started doing that after Mum and Dad split up,” and it’s fun and you know you can sustain it. You might want to think of it a little like something I encourage many of my clients to do – creating new good memories, after the end of the marriage. You never want to feel that “We did xyz when we were married – but now we don’t do anything…”
The end of marriage leaves a large and awkward emptiness. What a great opportunity to fill it with exciting possibilities.
Have a great new year,