Stand up tall. Be proud of yourself. Realize how special your family is and how wonderful the Holidays are! I hear a lot of boo-hooing around this time of year. "It is hard to be "alone" during the holidays.", "It feels like something is missing...", I have nobody to kiss under the mistletoe/take to my company party.", "I am surrounded by happy 2 parent families and married couples!"
Shake it off! I am not telling you to ignore your feelings or keep them inside, I am telling you to get over it. Push through it! Take a long shower and cry it out, let it wash down the drain.
Now I will tell you why being a single parent is awesome during the Holidays (I know every custody situation is different, and some of these do not apply to a lot of single parents... but try to focus on the ones that do!):
- You get to help Santa with all the presents! Enjoy the gift of giving your child all of the holiday smiles.
- You can cross one more gift off your list. Buying for a significant other (SO) can be TORTURE! Pick out a present for yourself instead and have Santa wrap it up for you Christmas morning.
- All of your Holiday traditions are YOUR holiday traditions. No compromising on what to put in stockings, what kind of cookies to make, what to eat, real vs fake tree, how to open presents or how to decorate! Do it YOUR way!
- Going to parties by yourself is way easier and more fun. You don't have to introduce anyone and are not tied down to "babysitting" your SO. Make the rounds! Work your magic!
- No ILs!! Yes, Nugget and I spend time with X's parents when they visit, but I get to choose where we are on Christmas and Christmas Eve. I get to be with my family, where I feel comfortable and where Nugget is the center of attention. While I am willing to make time for my X-ILs I do not have to drive 3 hours to do this. I do not feel guilty. *Those of you who have shared custody, it is up to your X to make time for his family, so you so not need to worry about this. :)
- Less travel! As said above I do not have to go between 2 different families so I do not have to travel as much. YAY!
- More YOU time. You get more time off from work this time of year and you can spend it focusing on our kids and yourself. When the little ones are in bed or playing with the new toys, you get to breathe and enjoy a little quiet time. I never realized how awesome this was until my first single holiday in almost 5 years.
- No guilt about shopping. (Yes, there is always mommy/parent guilt, but put that aside) Once you have a holiday budget you get to spend it however YOU want. No negotiations. Maybe he would never spend $100 on a nice pair of jeans... but after shopping for the kiddos you have a little left over cash... Merry Christmas to you! Or maybe X would have never bought your kid an awesome dollhouse cause it was a little more than they would want to spend... Merry Christmas little one! From Mommy (or Daddy)
- Look at your child/children. Seriously look at them... One Christmas morning or on those 8 crazy nights of Hanukkah you child/children will be smiling, laughing, screaming from excitement and it will be because of you and your efforts. If you mope around, they are going to feel less magic.. when in reality your family is amazing. Celebrate how wonderful you all are and enjoy every moment because they are all yours.