It is very hard when the holidays roll around to feel good about your divorce for a number of reasons, whether it's the financial stress of the holidays or the emotional stress and feelings around sharing your children and/or not having the same family as you once did. No one would deny the stress and sadness that can exist around the holidays for a divorced parent. I myself started to feel a sense of dread once we hit mid-October, worried about who I will spend the holidays with and how I will feel, until I finally told myself: enough already!
Yes, as a divorced, single mom you will probably have tough emotions at the holidays, and this is absolutely acceptable, but I did not want to resign myself to the idea that the holidays are going to "stink" or be horrible. I didn't want to chain myself to negative thinking that could make what might be a wonderful holiday season a bad one, simply because of my attitude. So here are a few reasons I'm feeling grateful for my divorce this Thanksgiving — and so should you! Embrace the positive in the situation, as it will help as you cope with divorce this holiday season and try to make it work for you. You deserve happiness in this life after divorce!
Not Stuck With Misery
Be grateful for your divorce, because now you're not stuck with someone who didn't make you happy. Even if you were happy and your ex wasn't, now you don't have to be with someone who doesn't love you, and that is a gift! Being single means you are able to find someone who would love the opportunity to be in your life. Being divorced means I can meet someone who appreciates me and makes me feel good rather than be with someone who doesn't see the good in me. And until I meet someone — and until you meet someone — we get the opportunity to be on our own and invest in ourselves, growing stronger each day instead of being in a marriage in which our growth and happiness are stunted.
Your Kids Don't Have to Be Involved in Misery, Unhappiness, or Toxicity
Be thankful for your divorce and your new life after divorce simply by knowing that now your children won't have to be surrounded by two unhappy people! Again, even if you wanted your marriage to work, all it takes is one unhappy member to make the atmosphere stressful and toxic for young kids. I petitioned my ex to do marriage counseling many times and stayed longer than I should have, which was no help to him, my kid, or me. As hard as it is being divorced, find joy and blessings in the fact that now your children have two peaceful households to live in, even if it is hard for them to miss their parents. Two peaceful households are better than one toxic home. Would it be nice if things could have worked out? Yes. Divorce affects children in many ways, but growing up in a home with either a toxic or depressive environment is no way to spend your childhood. Everyone gets a fresh start with divorce — be thankful!
Your Future Is Not Decided
There is a lot of fear surrounding divorce:
What happens next?
Will my children be OK? Will I be OK?
Will I ever meet the right one?
It's scary not knowing what will happen next, and as a woman who has suffered anxiety, I understand feeling afraid about life after divorce. I myself wonder, "What is in store for me?"
Yet there is also newness and wonder to not knowing what the future will bring! This means you, as a single mom and boss of your family, get to decide where you will go with your life! This means you get to call the shots and pick your happy ending! Forget fairy tales in which random handsome strangers come to your rescue; be thankful this holiday season that you are coming to your own rescue! You are making things happen for yourself and your kids, even if it is stressful. Even if it feels like a thankless and tireless job, you are doing it!
So when you are sharing your kids over the holidays and missing your little ones like crazy, remember that as hard as divorce is, it gets better and your life after divorce can be amazing if you want it to be! You chose to divorce not only for the sake of your children but also for yourself. Your happy ending may not be as you expected it to be, but perhaps this is a wonderful thing and it may be even better than you had planned!