Spending the Holidays Alone? 5 Tips To Help You Through It! | Epic Mommy Adventures

Spending the Holidays Alone? 5 Tips To Help You Through It!

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Can you believe that it’s already November? Where did the year go?

It dawned on me that the this year’s holidays will be a little bit different that last year’s, especially with the new custody arrangement in place.

Micah will be spending Thanksgiving and the day after at his father’s house this year.  It will be incredibly difficult for me to deal with the absence of my son during this holiday focused on family and togetherness.  Additionally, he will be with me on Christmas Eve and most of Christmas Day, but will be headed to his father Christmas afternoon.

I am finally getting used to the transition of Micah being gone every other weekend, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to share the holidays.  This one is especially important, as this is Micah’s first holidays where he’ll actually understand what’s going on.

I was hoping to make this a very traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas, allowing Micah to have the full holiday experience.

This started to make me very sad, so I decided to be very optimistic about the entire situation.  After all, I was getting what I always wanted.  I am able to offer Micah what I believe will help him significantly in the years to come — a relationship with his father.

Thinking this way, I decided to prepare a few guidelines to help me and other single moms get through the holidays…

Alone During the Holidays

  1. Focus on the purpose of the holiday, not the day of the holiday.  If you don’t have your child on a particular holiday, don’t fret.  You can still celebrate the holiday with your child before or after the holiday.  Just because I won’t have Micah on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate with him.  I can celebrate on the weekend and allow Micah to celebrate the holiday for a couple of days.  He loves food so he would definitely enjoy it! The day itself doesn’t matter as much as you and your child enjoying the time together.
  2. Show a little togetherness.  If you and your child’s father are under good terms and both of you have no special plans for the holidays, why not celebrate as a family for the sake of your child.  It may be a good thing to get everyone together and let your child know that although separated, both of you are willing to enjoy the time together for the child.
  3. Keep a brave face at all times.  Just because your child will not be with you doesn’t mean you have to make him/her unhappy about it.  When Micah leaves to spend the time with his father, I will keep a brave face, give him a big hug, and tell him to have a great time.  But the brave face doesn’t end there – spend some time with your friends, go shopping, treat yourself; do something that will make you feel good and enjoy yourself.  I know it’s the hardest thing to do, I have trouble doing it myself.  But it is so worth it to make yourself happy during these times; you’ll be miserable otherwise! And it will leak into your time with your child – don’t let that happen!
  4. Prepare for the return. Beyond making some time for yourself, prepare for your child’s return.  Think about the things that you want or need to get done.  Get the laundry done, do the dishes, get some long-needed dusting completed – that way, when your child returns home, you can spend that quality time and not waste time trying to do all the things you should’ve done while your child was gone.
  5. Lastly, and most importantly – just ask to keep your child! You know what I did? I asked Micah’s father the other night if he was taking Micah for Thanksgiving.  You know what he said, “You can keep him.” Now, I didn’t exactly ask him but I did lead the witness.  And he agreed that it would be best for Micah to be with me for Thanksgiving, especially with this being Micah’s first in memory.  I was surprised by his response, but I would have just been going crazy wondering instead of just asking.  You never know, sometimes it may work! Not all the time, but sometimes it will.
Hope this helps you single moms (and dads!) that may be going without your children these upcoming holidays.
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This post is part of the Ask Epic Mommy series, focused on providing tips to help single parents…and all parents overall.
I hope you enjoyed this post and future posts!

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One of the things that I’ve heard from fellow single parents is that they fear judgment from others, whether through blog comments or in person. I want to create somewhat of a safe haven for fellow single parents and other parents to share their thoughts, issues, and concerns without fearing judgment. Because we always need somewhere to go to talk to someone that understands what we’re going through. Every week, it will be a little different. I will be sharing my own posts focused on single motherhood, co-parenting, and much more, along with advice for other single parents. Additionally, I’ll be sharing stories from other single parents, and we can all learn and grow together. If this series becomes popular as I plan it to be, I intend to open a Facebook group for even further discussion and inspiration. I’m also looking for contributors on this series, so if you’re interested in joining the team, please let me know!

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About Natasha

Hi, I'm Natasha! I'm a 30-something Program Manager and blogger at Epic Mommy Adventures. Most importantly, I'm a single mom to my adorable son, who drives me nuts in one moment and melts my heart in the next. I enjoy sharing our epic stories, giving advice to other single moms, and sharing my co-parenting woes. I also share blog hops, giveaways, product reviews, and so much more. Join the fun!

Comments

  1. Your first suggestion is my favorite – you can still celebrate, just on a different day. Kids will love having 2 versions of the holiday, one with each parent!

    • So true! We tend to get stuck on the day and not the celebration. If my son’s father had taken Micah for Thanksgiving, we would have just celebrated that weekend. Lots more food for him! 🙂

  2. omgggggg!! Natasha this just happened to me.. Thankfully he said I could have him for Thanksgiving!! Now Christmas Eve is different he will be having him that day.. I will keep my head high for when that day comes but for now lets enjoy this Thanksgiving with our little ones.

    • I’m so happy for you, Vanessa! The parenting schedule is always difficult, but it helps when you have a good co-parenting relationship where you can just ask to keep your child. Glad to hear it worked out for you too!

      I have the same situation for Christmas and I hope that it will work out great! Wishing you the best:)

  3. Natasha, I completely understand. Having Faithy away for some of the holidays makes it feel as if something is missing even though our other children are here.

    • Absolutely! It is definitely difficult being away from your children during the holidays, even when you have other children, as you’ve indicated. You want your family to all be together during the holidays. Wishing you the best! 🙂

  4. Great suggestions. I incorporated Number 2 when I was raising my daughter and reaped great benefits. Her dad would spend the holidays with us. When he go this fill, lol, he went his merry way. It left me giggling and quite happy, I never had to feel the pain of her leaving on major holidays. We now spend the holidays together with the grandchildren. Sometimes it pained me to have to endure him, but it was worth it in the end.

    • Thanks Rhonda! Sometimes it is difficult to endure your child’s father, but it is definitely worth it in the end when you can enjoy your child and not have to be without them. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  5. These are some really great tips. I know my first year without my little one was really hard. Eventually though, it does become freeing to be able to do things that you want without having to worry about babysitter arrangements and other things.

  6. This is such a beautiful post, Natasha. It’s so clear that you’re speaking from the heart with the intent of helping others while helping yourself and your child. Thankfully married to the father of our boys, I can’t even begin to imagine the challenges of being a single parent while trying to encourage and support a loving and connected relationship between your child(ren) and your ex. I deeply admire your wisdom and dedication and pray God continues to bless you with the strength to build a loving family for Micah as you continue to inspire and support others in their journeys to do the same.

    • Thank you so much for your beautiful words, Aliyah! When you’re in the midst of it all, it does not seem as amazing and powerful, it really becomes the routine of life. But when I take a step back, I realize how blessed and fortunate I am to not only manage it all but to thrive as a single mom. And this is why I continue to blog – to offer some support and guidance to help them through the most difficult days. Wishing you the utmost best! xoxoxoxo

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