Embrace Your “Bad Mom” Holidays This Year

by | Nov 7, 2023 | Child Custody & Visitation, Divorce

The film “Bad Moms Christmas” addresses an issue many parents face during the holidays, trying to be the “perfect” parent and providing their children with all the things society and social media make us think we are required to provide to be good parents. When parents divorce and start having to split the holidays instead of participating in them together, the comparison and competition between the parents often takes this stress and pressure to another level. It’s easy to get wrapped up in trying to make sure your holiday is “just as good or better” than your Ex’s holiday with your kids and lose sight of the importance of simple quality time with the children and building those memories with them. The memories will last, the expensive present won’t. Here are some tips to help if you want to embrace your “Bad Mom” holidays this year:

  • Limit Social Media Comparisons: The pressure for the perfect aesthetic holiday is extreme, and often unattainable. Instead of focusing on what theme you need your decorations this year to be on trend, try limiting looking at social media and instead spend more time with your kids and involve them in the decorating. It won’t look perfect, but if it makes them happy that’s the point, right?
  • Limit the Number of Activities You Have Planned: Over planning activities and having too many activities is overstimulating, and often leads to stress to make sure everything on the list is getting done. Pick a few things that are important to you and your kids and take your time with them. Your kid will appreciate spending more time on the holiday activities they love rather than getting in 5 activities and having no rest time.
  • Be Flexible: It’s difficult to change plans at the last minute, but unfortunately that issue happens a lot, especially during the holidays. If you can roll with the changes with limited stress, your kids will be better able to follow your lead making a happier holiday for everyone.
  • It’s Not About the Gifts: Yes, kids like presents. Who doesn’t? Letting the gifts take over as the center of the holiday, however, takes the opportunity away from the things that really matter.
  • Involve Your Kids in the Decisions: If your goal is to make a magical holiday for your kids, involve them in the process. Ask them what they would like to do, give them some options and be ready for their idea of a good time to look different from your idea of what makes a magical holiday.
  • Involve Your Friends and Family: The holidays are difficult, and handling the planning and orchestration of every event is difficult, if not impossible. If you can, involve your friends and family to help. Share the planning and involve each other. What is better than looking at lights with your kids? Looking at lights with your kids and their friends and yours, and you didn’t have to plan it or do the driving because this was their event. Everyone wins.
  • Make New Traditions: It is difficult to let go of the traditions you all shared as a family now that you are separated. Trying to recreate exactly how it was is likely not going to be possible. Instead, make your own traditions with your kids and enjoy the freedom and excitement of making your own rules.
  • Let Go of The Guilt: Whatever you plan, something will likely go wrong. That’s okay. Are there things you want to be able to do but just can’t make it work anymore? That’s okay. Give yourself a break and let go of the guilt.
  • Keep Your Focus: Focus on your kids and spending quality time with them. The rest of it will fall into place. If you are putting your kids first, you are doing it right.
  • Take a Breath and Enjoy the Moment: The holidays pass so fast, and if you don’t take the time to breathe, look around and enjoy the time you will wake up and it will be over, and you will be left feeling unsatisfied. These years go by quickly. Enjoy them when you can.