If you are co-parenting your children with your ex-partner, the thought of Christmas might feel daunting. We get it! There is so much to organise and so many people to keep happy to ensure that Christmas is memorable for everyone, for all the right reasons.
Whether this is your first Christmas as a separated family or you’ve been doing it for several years, you might be struggling to conjure up your festive spirit.
For this reason, we are going to run through some of the things that make Christmas as a co-parent good. Yes, there really are some positives to focus on, and these in themselves, will bring you Christmas cheer.
While you’re organising the logistics, the food, and the presents, keep these thoughts in mind as the 25th of December fast approaches.
YOU CAN DO CHRISTMAS YOUR WAY
There is no doubt that celebrating Christmas as a separated family can be hectic. It could mean two Christmas days, one at your house and one at your ex-partner’s house so your children can celebrate Christmas both their parents.
It might be that you have your kids on Christmas Day, Christmas Eve or Boxing Day. Whichever day it is, this is your chance to do Christmas your way. No need to compromise with your ex-partner about how you celebrate, who to invite, the food you get, and the presents you buy. And, we all know that less compromise equals fewer arguments.
You could start some new Christmas traditions that you and your children will continue year after year. They will become a comforting reminder to you all that Christmas is still a special time even if your family is no longer together. Use this opportunity to instil the values that matter to you in your children, whether this is religion, charity, or simply the value of respect and kindness at Christmas and throughout the rest of the year.
Christmas as a co-parent will give you the chance to embrace the kind of Christmas that you want for yourself and your children, and then run with it.
YOU MIGHT GET A BREAK
OK, so you might have to spend part of Christmas without your children. For newly separated parents this can be heartbreaking. The thought of your children making Christmas memories without you is enough to make you cry into your eggnog. Yet, there is most definitely an upside.
Just think, Christmas is all about peace, and you may actually get some!
Plan early with your ex-partner so you know when you have your children and when you don’t. You will spend hours planning how to spend Christmas with your children but make sure you give some thought to what you will do when you don’t have the kids.
Use the days without your children to catch up with friends who you otherwise wouldn’t have had time to see. Or simply use them as a time to relax and rejoice in your kid-free time.
CONTROL YOUR SPEND
Christmas is a very expensive time of year, especially if you have kids. To stay on budget, you have to plan carefully and stick firmly within your spending limit. This can be super hard when you are partnered and share a bank account with someone who might not agree with suggested spending limits.
As a co-parent, you can decide exactly how much you want to spend on presents, food and other paraphernalia. If you want to do Christmas on a shoestring and make gifts and decorations to save money and the world’s resources, then do it! When you are co-parenting there is no one to break the budget on booze or squander hard-earned cash on unnecessary seasonal shopping.
Being a single parent at Christmas can be financially draining with just one income to buy everything you need to create the perfect holiday vibe. Yet, having control over what goes out of your bank account and on your credit card will give you peace of mind so you can enjoy the celebrations.
Further reading: 12 Ways not to blow the budget this Christmas.
GET YOUR OWN PRESENTS
It is wonderful to receive a thoughtful gift from your partner that you absolutely love, but how often did they actually get it right?
Now you are co-parenting, you can totally justify buying yourself a gift this Christmas. No one deserves it more than you. And best of all: There is no chance of getting it wrong.
Why stop at one? Factor a few special Christmas gifts for yourself into your Christmas budget. Then get your kids to wrap and put them under the tree.
Oh yes, gifting oneself is totally permitted when you are co-parenting at Christmas.