You might have come to realize that you and your spouse are more like roommates then husband-and-wife. You might have even discussed divorce.
It can be difficult to pretend to be a happy family during the holiday season, especially when you might be spending time with extended family and in-laws.
It’s likely that your children can sense the emotional distance between you and your spouse even if they might not say anything.
During the holidays, while you can buy presents for your children, you can’t buy the time they spend with you and you can’t buy memories for them.
But you can create both with these 6 steps:
- Talk with your spouse about how you might allocate holiday time with the children.
- Suggest that each of you individually make a list of the following holidays and school breaks: Christmas holiday school break, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
- Determine with of these have traditionally been spent with particular family members. For example, perhaps you have traditionally spent Christmas Eve with your side of the family and Christmas Day with your spouse’s side of the family.
- Each of you jot down your ideas as to how the children can continue to enjoy these traditions. For example, you might consider bringing the children with you on Christmas Eve and your spouse bringing them on Christmas Day.
- Identify how you might allocate the holidays and school break with your spouse as equally as possible.
- Exchange lists with your spouse. Ideally, review them together to brainstorm the best possible holiday parenting time arrangement for your children.
As difficult as it might be, try to avoid looking at this as a contest of who gets more time with the children. Rather, focus on creating an arrangement that would allow your children to enjoy the holidays with each of you free from conflict and stress.
And best of all, strive to give your children the most precious gifts of all – holiday time with each of you and memories to last them for years to come.
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