Snow is falling, the bells are ringing, stores are crammed with shoppers eager for the latest gadget, and you’re stuffed with turkey and mashed potatoes. There’s nothing like the holidays. And there’s also nothing quite like the holidays as a co-parent.
This time is full of joy and stress – and we want to help make it filled with as much joy (and as little stress) as possible. Here are some tips on how to make this holiday as a co-parent a happy one.
- Plan a holiday calendar – With the children out of school, but you potentially still at work, it’s important to set aside time to plan a schedule with the other parent. Take a look at the coming weeks and decide who can have the kids, and when. Christmas is a particularly stressful time to plan, as families often want to see their kids. You can try a two day approach – one on Christmas eve, and one on Christmas day. Or you can split Christmas or the weekend. Whatever you do, just make sure it’s done in advance!
- Get a gift guide – In order to not get the same gift twice, you should make a shared gift guide. This way, you are also allowing each parent to get one cool toy and not hog all of the excitement. The best way to do this is to create a shared Google document where you can mark off who will buy what. Plus, sharing knowledge about what the cool toy even is will be helpful!
- Change it Up – There may have been holiday traditions you had as a family unit, but can’t have now that you’re separated. Holidays as a co-parent mean you will also have to find ways to parent alone. The best way to do this is to establish new holiday traditions – whether it’s setting up lights, buying a tree, going to church, etc. The point here is don’t try to recreate what you had – crate something new and make the holidays yours with your family.
- Treat yourself – As parents, we’re always thinking about what’s best for our children. But there needs to be some “me” time too. Bake it into the schedule. Find that holiday gift you will enjoy. Maybe you go for a spa getaway or a fancy dinner. Whatever it is, be sure to set something aside for you.
- Get your child support payments done – It’s also the end of the year, and clearing out child support payments is a great way to start fresh and relieve yourself of added stress. SupportPay is the simplest, easiest way to track and manage child support payments. Try it now for free.