Once a divorce has been negotiated, there will be several changes in your routine. One of the most poignant change is the fact that, under most circumstances, you will spend some holidays alone while the children are with your ex-spouse. The first Thanksgiving that comes around when your children are not with you has the potential to be a very upsetting day.
Recognizing that post-divorce custody arrangements represent a significant transition is an important step in coping with change. In general, transitions involve multiple stages, including:
Your children will understandably be going through their own adjustment to custody arrangements. Resist projecting any negative expectations or feelings onto the children. Removing any negative emotions about the custody arrangements can go a long way to having an enjoyable holiday.
Children can be quite resilient and open to change. If you get them ready to enjoy the holiday with an optimistic attitude, it might just rub off on you. By doing your part to make splitting holidays an easy transition, your ex-spouse will be more likely to reciprocate.
Work out the logistics beforehand. Transportation is notoriously challenging on Thanksgiving. By being proactive and planning, you will spare yourself some difficulty. If the arrangements get altered or traffic makes people late, try to be understanding. Sometimes emotional upset is transferred. Be aware of this fact and do not let lateness or traffic be an excuse to vent about frustration over divorce, shared custody, or similar issues.
Thanksgiving is America’s family holiday. Celebrations center around a feast and gratitude. That standard view can make being alone or without your children feel disappointing and sad. However, Thanksgiving can be celebrated in several ways. Find a way that works for you. If your friends are otherwise occupied, try to plan something that will be fun on your own. Sometimes it is a treat not to have to travel, cook elaborate meals, and entertain.
Alone time can be uplifting if spent productively and can be a drag if spent dwelling on disappointments. Instead of leaving open the possibilities, plan how you will spend the day, minimizing the possibility of getting into a funk. Some ideas include:
By making an effort to enjoy Thanksgiving when the children are away, you will be in a better position to accept and ultimately embrace your new normal.
If you are seeking a divorce, contact an experienced Ocean Township divorce lawyer at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. today. We will help you understand the divorce process. Call us at 732-493-9400 or complete an online form to set up a free consultation. Located in Eatontown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Ocean Township, Fair Haven, Eatontown, Red Bank, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Middletown Township, Wall Township, Sea Girt, and Spring Lake.