The holiday season may still be a couple of months away, but since you are a co-parent, you need as much of a head-start as you can get to prepare. In addition to all the ordinary preparations everyone goes through, you have other issues to work out.
You and the other parent need to work out your parenting time schedule for the holidays. More than likely, you addressed this issue in your parenting plan, but you may have some fine-tuning to do in order to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Reduce your family’s stress during the holiday season
You, your children and the other parent ought to have the opportunity to enjoy the holiday season as much as you can. In order to help make that happen, you may want to consider the following:
- Put any differences you and the other parent have aside for the holidays. This time is about your children and giving them the best season you can.
- Make plans with extended family as soon as possible. The more notice you and the other parent can give each other about spending time with family, the less chance you have of a conflict arising.
- You may need to remain flexible. Sometimes, extended family members can only get together at certain times, and the other parent may need to switch days in order to accommodate them.
- Each of you may have different days off for the holidays than you anticipated. You may need to adjust your parenting time schedule in order to ensure each of you gets adequate time with the children.
- Don’t worry about the dates themselves. Unless you and the other parent agree to spend the actual holidays together, your children more than likely wouldn’t object to having two of each one.
- Agree on spending limits for the children’s gifts. Doing so could prevent an argument about one parent “outdoing” the other.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself to maintain the traditions you began as a married couple. You could make some new traditions with your children now that you have a fresh start in life.
- Make sure you enjoy your time with your children. The details will work themselves out as long as you and the other parent commit to making it happen.
Spending the holidays as co-parents doesn’t have to be fraught with anxiety, conflict or stress. You and the other parent can work together to make it enjoyable and memorable for everyone. If you do end up running into an issue you can’t resolve, you could always seek out the advice and assistance of an attorney, which is just one other reason to begin your preparations early.