Organising Christmas Between Two Homes
Christmas is a family time and it is natural that you are going to want to spend it with your child. When you are separated though it becomes a lot more difficult to enjoy this and other Important Milestones with your children. You and your ex will both want to spend this special time with your child and you need to come to some kind of agreement. Try to keep it fair and think about the extended family as well. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to make up for your absence with gifts and always put the needs of your child first.
Keeping it fairYou and your ex need to find a way that you can both be involved in your child’s Christmas. Whether it is an arrangement that they spend Christmas day at one house and Boxing Day at the other, or perhaps you agree that you will have your child every other Christmas. You may decide to celebrate Christmas early so your child gets two special days. Whatever the arrangement is, try to make it a fair one.
Resisting Temptation to SpoilChristmas is a time for giving but also a time to spend with the ones we love – be careful not to get the two confused. It can be easy to try to make up for not being there by spoiling your child or try to compete with their mother as the best parent. Instead, think of ways to create special memories together, such as visiting Santa, playing in the snow or making Christmas cards together.
Extended familyAs well as you and your ex, you need to consider extended family at Christmas. Grandparents on both sides will want to be involved and still need to be a part of your child’s life. Perhaps they can come to yours and join in when your child comes to visit or you can arrange a date with your ex when they can visit. Make sure that they do not feel cut out as it is important they maintain a relationships with your child.
Put your child firstAlthough you will want to see your child's face when they open your great gifts, you need to put their needs first. If the journey is going to be too long or hectic to do at Christmas, you may have to forfeit it. Also don’t make them miss a party or Christmas play so you can see them as they will only resent this.
Being apart form your child at Christmas is heart-wrenching, but being separated from their mother means it may be a reality. Try to work together to find a fair solution that may involved taking turns or spending half the time at each home. Make the time you do spend with them special by creating memories together that can’t be bought.