Feelings of stress and heartache seem to be on steroids during the holidays. Not only do we have to deal with overspending and logistical nightmares, but we’re also going through an emotional roller coaster dealing with separation or divorce that we do not want to wish even on our worst enemies.
This magical time of the year is bound to have some challenges for you and your kids. But I’m here to tell you that there are some things that you can do to help everybody get through it and possibly experience a lot of joy.
Top points you’ll discover:
✔️ Tip 1: Make new traditions. If you always spend Thanksgiving with your spouse’s family, get them to go to yours this year. Or perhaps you create a Thanksgiving tradition at your own home. You might also want to consider volunteering or possibly inviting friends over or asking if you can attend dinner with your friends. When you guys deal with divorce, we tend to dwell on the past and how things used to be. So if you’ve always wished that you had more connection or relaxation over the holidays, take a second to think about how you can get them mapped out and take steps to achieve them.
✔️ Tip 2: Model being grateful. Thanksgiving is a holiday about being grateful, and I understand it may feel impossible, especially if you’re still in a place where you feel sad, angry, hurt or lonely. You don’t need to fake your feelings; I’m encouraging you to identify things you are grateful for in your life. Perhaps it is your close relationship with your kids, an amazing, supportive community. Or maybe it is your family. When we highlight what we are grateful for, you model what positive coping looks like for your kids.
✔️ Tip 3: Acknowledge what your kids are feeling even if they don’t share yours. They might feel sad or angry. Instead of trying to spin things positively, recognize that they think it’s not easy. Your kids get to know that you hear them, and they get to feel understood.
✔️ Tip 4: Take care of yourself. I invite you to plan for how you want to spend your alone time. There isn’t a right or wrong way to spend the holiday; it’s about what feels most enjoyable and meaningful for you! Be sure to reach out to family or friends and stay connected. Please don’t become a hermit and don’t retreat, which is what we tend to do.
Connect with Wendy Sterling:
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Going through an immense betrayal can be the most difficult thing to get over. In fact, it makes it hard for us to trust others again. Believe me. I know how it feels. My ex-husband cheated on me, and he was the last person I’d have ever thought to be capable of hurting me. It took me some time to realize that trust has to start within ourselves.
After her son was born, Kristy Carruthers had to sell off their clothing, jewelry, and belongings. She started interviewing for jobs at four weeks postpartum. After living on credit cards for a few months, she just hit the end of the rope and ended up having to sell the house to pay the credit card bills. That’s when the mind shift happened. I said to myself, ‘You know what? This can never happen again. This is not acceptable.'”
When I was married, divorce was never on my mind.
It never occurred to me that it had to be something I should learn about.
Fast forward to today, it continues to be that gift that keeps on giving. It has taught me about myself more than I ever knew.
Even though I’ve undergone therapy, I still believe that what I’ve endured and experienced post-divorce unraveled five lessons that I never would’ve discovered on my own.