Better, Not Bitter:
Three F’s for Holiday Co-parenting Success!
I had a déjà-vu moment the other day. I was in Target seriously focused on the list of things I needed to purchase when I overheard a conversation, well, one-half of a conversation a woman down the aisle was having with her child’s dad via cell phone. Their discussion concerned coordinating schedules to accommodate the child for a Halloween event. Although I couldn’t tell if they were experiencing the normal ‘two-parent working/business travel/crazy schedule’ life challenges or were divorced, the issue was a point of contention.
It reminded me of a time in my life when those conversations occurred far too frequently between my son’s father and me. I have to admit, the holidays are hardest of all to manage. Now that we are about to approach some really big holidays for many Americans – Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas – the probability of a negative interaction when planning for the children is greatly increased. Since our separation and then divorce, my ex and I have had far fewer of those tough conversations. These days they’re a rare occurrence. But it took some work to get here.
For me, holidays are all about making memories. When the day is over, that’s all you have left. That’s why you spend 12+ hours cooking food that people are going to inhale in less than 30 minutes. That’s why you laugh at the stories you’ve heard 100 times before from your aunt, uncle or cousin you only see a few times a year. That’s why you coordinate and navigate all the details to ensure things turn out just the way you hope.
When you’re co-parenting sometimes you have to accept that things won’t always work out the way you hope. That doesn’t mean they won’t be good. It just means to successfully co-parent during the holidays you have to have to focus on three things.
Read more: Be a Hero, She-ro or Zero