Getting through your favorite holiday can be hard no matter who you are but as a newly single mom, it can be especially hard. Here are 5 tips to surviving your first holiday as a single parent.
How to Survive a Holiday as a newly Single Mom
Staying busy shouldn’t be too hard for a newly single parent, but there are times when you find yourself with nothing to do, and it can be paralyzing.
The truth is that you’ll need to learn what to do with yourself when the kids go to the other parent’s house, and you find yourself alone. But the holidays aren’t the time to learn this skill. And yes, it’s a skill that takes practice!
If you’re going through your first Valentine’s Day or Christmas or any other holiday as a single mom for the first time, ask yourself this question:
What are my triggers?
What memories will make you sad or bring up thoughts that could make you spiral? Avoid those hot spots during your first holiday as a single mom.
Instead, you may need to work during the holiday this year, or if New Year’s Eve was always special for you, maybe you offer to let your kids have a sleepover, and you be the parent that lets other parents have a night out this year.
Don’t reach out to Your Ex
It doesn’t matter which holiday you’re dreading, don’t reach out to your ex. This act will only set back your progress forward.
Many parents who have separated think they can still get the family together for the major holidays, but this often confuses the kids. Holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving can also be emotional for adults, which means your emotions can get tangled up.
Don’t kid yourself into thinking that a small text on Valentine’s day will be the end of it. Put your phone in the other room, stay off social media, and stay strong.
Make New Traditions
One of the reasons we love holidays so much is because of nostalgia. It makes us feel like we belong. When we lose someone from our family, even if we wanted the separation, it adds to the sense of disappointment during the holidays.
One way to combat these feelings is to make new traditions this holiday. Your family may be one less person, but your family is still a family.
You can make new traditions regardless of the holiday.
If you’re missing your ex on Valentine’s Day, you don’t need to find a new partner. Celebrate your love for your children instead.
Maybe you used to go to your Ex’s huge family’s house for Thanksgiving, and now you don’t know what to do since you don’t like to cook.
Order all the food premade from your local grocery store or a themed dinner instead, such as Italian or Mexican dinner for Thanksgiving. Involve your children to make it more fun.
What if you don’t have your children on the holiday? Celebrate the holiday on a different day. No, it’s not perfect, but single parents do this all the time!
Give Social Media a Break
You won’t find anything worth filling up your soul on the holiday when you’re depressed on social media. You just won’t.
Everyone will be posting pictures and status updates about their happiness and families. If you aren’t ready to play the game, then pull yourself out for a couple of days.
Spend that time doing things that fill you up and improve the lives of your children. Whether that be spending time in God’s Word (time never wasted), playing with your kids, or just some necessary self-care can even take the form of lounging in front of the TV on the holiday.
Concentrate on your kids
So you’re a single parent now. You may not have a significant other anymore but what you do still have is your children.
Instead of mourning what you no longer have, enjoy what you do. How can you make the upcoming holiday more special for your child?
I’m willing to bet the more you concentrate on your child’s happiness and experiencing the holiday through their eyes, the more contentment you’ll experience.
The fastest way to resent the life you have today is to keep wishing for a life you don’t have.
Even if that means you’re wishing for a life you used to have. Because that still means you don’t have that life today.
Your first holiday as a single mom will be your most challenging. But it doesn’t have to be terrible. You may even find some joy.