Even without a separated family, Christmas can be stressful. Rushing to events, what seem like never ending school holidays, buying gifts, trying to navigate the extra financial pressure and kids on lolly highs?
It isn’t all Clark Griswald, egg nog and family togetherness. It can be tough. But then add in a separated family and that stress level ratchets up a few thousand notches.
Let’s do this
But, my friend, the unavoidable truth is that you can’t avoid Christmas.
School is on holidays, the whole world is merry (or at least kind of frenetic) and the kids love it. And when you can’t avoid something, the best thing to do is to be prepared. Try to avoid all those awkward moments and minimise the stress. I am not saying you won’t still need a few wines from time to time, but you will be able to manage.
Let’s look at some common questions
It is important to remember that you are not alone. I help families in mediation (and through my Family Matters program) plan their Christmas and holiday calendars all the time and the same frustrations pop up time and time again.
I am often asked things like:
“Won’t I be lonely without the kids on Christmas morning?”
“What time should changeover be on Christmas day?”
“I am working over the Christmas holidays, what do I do when I can’t take 6 weeks off?”
Because these are common questions I get, I have covered them off in my guide to the Christmas holidays.
What is the solution?
I am not Willy Wonka, so I am not going to sugar coat it. Things are different when you are separated. You might get lonely during the times the kids are with your former partner and if that is the case, you need to be kind to yourself.
But you can make this transition easier by stopping conflict in its tracks and making the new reality a positive reality.
I teach the 3 keys of communication in my Family Matters course and look at the mindset shift around listening, not blaming and re-framing. I teach my Family Matters program enrolee's to take the bite out of their words and keep conversations future focussed.
Christmas holiday templates
To help focus your problem solving I have created Christmas and Christmas Holiday templates for the 2019/ 2020 school holidays.
Designed to rotate each year between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with both parents, it will see both parents and the kids getting equal time with each other as the years progress.
It will also help parents work out school holiday leave and arrange any additional care, like Vacation Care around those extraordinarily long school holidays.
These calendars plus our Christmas Holiday guide are yours for $9.95 (whatever State in Australia you are in we have you covered).
Planning in advance is such a help and isn’t Christmas hard enough without all that school holiday hassle!
Grab your calendar here!
And because we are feeling generous, if you purchase a calendar between now and 30 November we will send you a discount code to get 20% off the entire Family Matters program.
Stick with me my friend, I’ve got your back.