Your divorce has been finalized. Things are going well. You and your former spouse were even able to create a thorough co-parenting plan through amicable discussion. Everything seems like it's going to be just fine. But, suddenly, the holidays arrive and frustrations begin to simmer right alongside the cider.
If you are approaching your first post-divorce holiday season in New Hampshire, and want to prevent unnecessary stress, there are several things you can do to avoid problems and embrace your new lifestyle as you plan your holiday celebrations.
Take advantage of "peace time" by planning ahead
It's usually a good idea to avoid waiting until the last minute to determine which parent will spend what holidays with the children. Of course, such decisions are intensely personal, and you and your former spouse have every right to design a plan that best suits your individual needs and desires for your family.
Whether you choose to spend holidays together so your children spend time with both of you, or alternate special occasions throughout the year, is entirely up to you. Regardless of the type of plan you choose, the crucial point here is to plan ahead so there are no negative surprises or arguments regarding your holiday schedule.
Try not to let new traditions scare you
It's understandable that the idea of creating a new type of holiday for your family may leave you feeling a bit uncertain and nervous. Rather than giving in to anxiety, however, it may be best to try to view the idea of new family traditions as a wonderful opportunity to build lasting memories with your children.
If you find that some of your old family customs must be adapted or let go, that's okay. By focusing on moving forward toward a successful and happy future, and inviting your children to share their own ideas about how to create new customs and special celebrations, you may be surprised to learn that what you thought was a problem might actually be a blessing in disguise.
Be willing to cooperate and compromise
Seeking perfection or competing with your former spouse to create the "best" holidays for your children may become a road to ruin that leads to little more than stress and discord. You may find greater success in knowing that one of the best gifts you can give your children is flexibility and willingness to compromise when needed so they have ample amounts of time with both parents throughout the year.
Don't be afraid to ask for support
You are by no means the first person who has ever had to adjust to a new holiday lifestyle after divorce. The joyful tidings of your holiday season may be tinged with feelings of nostalgia or even a little sadness. Reaching out to family and friends as you forge ahead in your new routines can provide the support you need to make your holiday season a success.
If your former spouse refuses to cooperate or is otherwise creating obstacles with regard to custody or visitation, you may need to go beyond loved ones and friends for help. By seeking immediate guidance to any problem that involves a court order or other legal situation in New Hampshire, you'll most likely increase your chances of obtaining a swift and agreeable solution so you have more time to focus on enjoying the holidays with your family.