For most separated parents, the holidays are not relaxing! How to organize childcare? What to do if you're alone on New Year's Eve? Here are some tips and advice.
Planning and communication
Custody schedules are turned upside down over the holidays. It's normal. Between New Year's Eve at dad's mom's, brunch at mom's aunt's and counting down to the new year at dad's great-uncle's, you have to use strategies and compromises to manage to fit everything into the calendar.
On our Facebook page, Annick Gosselin says: “Holidays are sacred. We give ourselves our dates in November and we adjust as needed. The watchword: planning. Don't wait until the last minute to make the "Holiday Time Keeper Calendar". This must be established between adults. No question of involving children in this time management. An open mind and good communication are also essential ingredients for a fair schedule. What is essential for you? What's up for daddy?
Here are the 2 most common custody formulas:
- The 24th at mom's, the 25th at dad's;31st at mom's, 1er at dad's. We reverse the dates the following year.
- Christmas week at Mom's, New Year's week at Dad's. We reverse the weeks the following year.
It's up to you to find the one that best suits your situation.
Family and Friends
No, it's not happy to be without your children on New Year's Eve or the morning of December 25th. These fateful days often rekindle a feeling of sadness and abandonment. Rather than crying while watching the tree sparkle, we call on family and friends to find a smile. "If I'm alone on New Year's Eve, I take the opportunity to rest, otherwise I go see friends or spend the evening with my parents," says Claudia Auger-Dallaire on our Facebook page.
It is also possible that the daycare schedule means that you are alone with your children at Christmas. In this case, we find ways to put some magic: decorations, candlelight dinner, pajama party, etc.
Let go and creativity
Among all the imaginable tips and tricks for surviving the Holidays when separated, the key element is undoubtedly letting go.
Lay aside your old life, your old traditions. Forget fixed calendar dates and conventions. Use creativity to shape your Christmas, the one you will make your children experience for the next few years, the one that will remain etched in their memory. If that youcosts too much energy, money and time to go to the famous Christmas dinner at Uncle Antoine's, why not politely decline the invitation and thus save all your energies to spend the beautiful Christmas in the company of your small?