How to Survive Your First Thanksgiving After Divorce or Separation As a Single Parent
The carbon copy image of Thanksgiving that we see ubiquitously in advertising and Hollywood movies is that of a large family, all gathered together, eating copious amounts of home-cooked food, and everyone is getting along. Ideally, we’d like if Thanksgiving were a picture-perfect holiday like this. However, this image is not always a reality—especially if you have recently been divorced or separated, and are a single parent.
Here is some advice for surviving Thanksgiving, and making it an opportunity to create new memories and holiday traditions that will last a lifetime.
Understand That This Year Will Be Different
Your first Thanksgiving post-divorce or separation can be a tough one, especially if you are spending the holiday without your children. Even though this year will be different, it doesn’t mean that it cannot be enjoyable. Make plans for the day, and try your best to focus on the good instead of on what is missing.
The best part about celebrating the holidays post-divorce or separation is that you can celebrate whenever—and however—you want. Plan your own Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family for once you and your children are together again, no matter what the date is! If certain dishes or activities have become part of your Thanksgiving tradition, make sure to include them so your children feel the consistency of years past.
Work With Your Ex-Spouse to Make Sure the Holidays are a Success
Despite divorcing or separating, your ex-spouse will always be a part of your life when children are involved. While putting your feelings aside to work together can be anything but easy, it can make your children’s Thanksgiving holiday much more enjoyable. Work with your ex to organize a holiday plan, and set each other up for success. Remember, it’s not just you who is feeling the change in the air this Thanksgiving; your children are undoubtedly feeling it, as well. Speak positively about their holiday plans, even if they’re not spending the day with you.
Focus on Presence
If you’re spending Thanksgiving without your children, it can be easy to focus on their absence. However, Thanksgiving is a day to focus on gratitude. Focus on who is present with you during Thanksgiving, as well as all the things you are grateful for—including your children, even if they are celebrating elsewhere.
If you have questions regarding family law or divorce in New Jersey, do not hesitate to reach out to the attorneys at Lazor Rantas, PC either by calling 973-457-8844 or using the contact form on our website.