The holidays have arrived, which means it’s time to put up the decorations, wrap the gifts, spike the eggnog, and get prepared for a possible co-parenting nightmare! The holidays are already stressful enough so adding the idea of sharing your children with your ex, can make it quite a bit difficult. Because of this possible co-parenting fiasco, we have decided to create a go-to list of tips and tricks on how to co-parent during the holidays.
1. Create a schedule
Having a schedule in your children’s life is always important but the inclusion of holiday events, extended family visits, school functions, and more will only make things smoother. This is often easier said than done. When you have one parent doing all the leg work this can cause a lot of headaches and pain. The key here is to buck up and work with your ex to create a schedule that works for everyone. Putting your children first and focusing on the health and well-being of your kids will work out in the long run. Even if you have to deal with the ex from hell – we promise.
2. Plan for things to not go as planned
We literally just said how important it is to create a schedule, however, things will inherently always go wrong. Something will come up or someone will change the plan and that is entirely OKAY. Plan for this. It is important to realize that this is a stressful time for everyone and being as flexible as you can is crucial.
3. Do not try to out “Christmas” your ex
Kids of separated parents are not a prize. No matter what your relationship is with your ex, you should never use your children as pawns in your relationship. During the holiday’s parents tend to overcompensate and compete for their children’s affection with either expensive or a large number of gifts. These tactics can cause a lot of resentment or anger towards either party. Your best bet will be to coordinate gift-giving with the other parent to make sure everything goes smoothly.
4. Lastly, practice self-care
As we mentioned earlier, the holidays are already stressful. It is important to make sure you set aside time for yourself. Self-care throughout the holidays can be a lifesaver. Spend some time alone, do something you have been meaning to do for a while, read the book that you have had on the shelf for years, do anything and everything that makes you happy. When you are happy and practicing self-care, you can be a better parent and co-parent.
At McCart & Tesmer, our attorneys and support staff are sensitive to the needs and concerns of our clients. Our lawyers and staff are responsive and accessible. We are committed to excellence in the practice of law, strict adherence to the ethical principles that govern the legal profession, and the highest degree of professionalism. At McCart & Tesmer, we treat your family like our own.