Ask Cindy: My first Christmas without My Children

My ex and I split up two years ago, my daughter is 7 and my son is 5. This will be my first Christmas without my children here as we are doing alternate Christmases. I feel so down about it. I don’t want to decorate the house or celebrate at all. Just the thought of not spending Christmas day with my children makes me cry. My family wants me to go over and spend Christmas day with them, I’ve said no, because I can’t even face going out. They are offended and don’t understand. It’s breaking my heart the thought of not spending Christmas with my children!  ~ Janet in Washington

I understand your disappointment. It can be tough during the holidays without your children. It’s important for you to find acceptance and peace around this situation, so that you do not sit in your home and cry for the next couple of weeks. Things are different now - but it does not mean that it has to be sad and depressing. What you are doing now is mentally rehearsing being sad and weeping all through the day. Try to change those thoughts. Think of yourself talking and visiting with family. Try to be a little bit happy just knowing that your children are having a good time. Missing your children does not have to equal depression.

Instead of focusing on what you will not have, try focusing on what you do have. If your children are with you now, you can decorate your house with them. You can tell them that because they are so good that they get two Christmas’es this year. Choose a day to celebrate with them, either just before they go to their dad’s or when they return. Another option would be to have a Christmas party for them and invite all of their friends as well as your family.

Other ideas are to wrap a special gift from you that they can open on Christmas day while they are at their dads. Ask your ex, if he would be kind enough to put the kids on Skype while they are opening presents, so that you can share in their happiness for a few moments of the day. If Skype isn’t possible, maybe you can just have a phone call. You could purchase a special stuffed animal or doll for each child. Tell them that this special teddy is watching over them and you and are uniting your hearts while you are separated.

As far as Christmas day is concerned, I strongly encourage you to go to your families home. If you have an urge to cry, go in the bathroom for a few minutes. Being surrounded by people that love you and only want the best for you is far better than sitting at home crying, thinking about what you are missing. Your holidays are different now, try to let go of the Christmas pasts and concentrate on everything you can do to make this holiday new and unique by creating new traditions and activities.

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Filed Under: Ask Cindy, Children, Holidays Tagged With: , , ,

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