Making the plans to spend time with family over the holidays is tough enough with only two families involved, but for blended families it can be a nightmare! To make this season a little easier moms who have done the holiday share and switch-off share some holiday survival tips for blended families, below.
1. Split Up the Holidays Evenly
Some Circle of Moms members suggest an every other year schedule for the big holidays, but that doesn’t work for all families. Member Betty J. says her ex spends every other holiday with their daughter, which means last year Betty got her for a long Thanksgiving holiday, and this year she gets her for Christmas.
Formalize the Details
It’s not enough to say that children will spend the odd year winter holidays with their father and the even years with their mother. Moms Anna L. and Tamara S. remind you to put it in writing, and to have the agreement notarized. While you’re at it, make sure all the details are spelled out. Make sure you clarify questions like:
- Who is making travel arrangements or picking up the children?
- What involvement will grandparents have in the holiday and whose responsibility is it to make that happen?
- How long will your children stay at each house for the holiday?
2. Let Your Children Go to Both Houses
When you want so badly to celebrate the holidays with your children it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that what’s important is that they have a happy holiday season. One Circle of Mom member, a mom who goes by the name "Medic Mommy," learned from her own experience that it’s hard on kids to be shuffled between houses on the holidays, so she won’t put her own children through it.
Lynda S. says it’s in the best interest of her children to work together and let them attend both sides of the family's events. While that’s not always possible for all families, the most important thing, as mom Kimi B. says, is that all the children need to be together for the holidays. If your children are scheduled to visit another parent, that means you may have to celebrate the holiday a few days late or a couple of days early.
3. Make New Family Traditions
When blended families come together or parents divorce, the holidays are going to look and feel different. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Take, for example, Crystal M.’s blended family. It’s a typical 'his, hers and ours,' in which she and her husband both had children from previous relationships and now have a child together. She describes the unique tradition they created for their family: "We celebrate Christmas two weeks early so that [we] can have everyone together at one time; the specific day doesn't matter, it's the fact that you can all just be ‘family’ that is what really matters."
Showing your children that people can celebrate holidays in new ways can also help them see that holiday fun isn’t tied to the traditions you had before your divorce or remarriage. Making new traditions, points out Naomi B., builds new memories.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.