As if the pressure of Christmas isn’t enough, separated parents have the added stress of dividing up the festive period and negotiating the holidays. Juggling work and childcare and communication with your ex can be tough, but tackling some of those hurdles early on can help pave the way for a proper break (and goodness knows you deserve one!).
First, try to pin down plans with your ex and extended family as soon as possible. Be prepared for your usual routine to be a little mixed up as Christmas parties, school events and visits from friends and family all combine to fill up your calendar – and accept that you’re probably going to have to compromise. Make a list of dates you need to discuss with your ex and try to make as many decisions about who’s having who when and where before the craziness takes over. Once you have a plan, all you need to do is stick to it, and hopefully any potential disagreements will be solved before they even arise.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Despite the rabid consumerism, even marketers are getting on in the act of reminding us that Christmas should really be about family time. Lean on your friends and family if you’re struggling, and forget about trying to make everything perfect. Lower your standards! Delegate! Call in those favours and childcare people are always promising! Focus on carving out some time for yourself, for your kids, and simplifying as much as you can. Happy parents mean happy children, and stress is contagious. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, seek professional help from your GP, Relate, your solicitor or mediator.
Thirdly, allow yourself to move on. Things change – relationships, families, routines – it’s a part of life, whether good or bad. You have every right to mourn the changes you’ve been through, but don’t let them hold you back from finding something better in the future. Otherwise, all that baggage piles up and eclipses the good things in your life and stops you noticing the new opportunities that might be just waiting to happen.
We know how hard this time of year can be when you’ve been through a break-up – let us take the weight off your shoulders. Speak to a friendly, experienced family law solicitor at Frances Lindsay & Co – we offer a range of options for out-of-court separation, including mediation, arbitration and collaborative family law.
Frances Lindsay & Co is based in the Thames Valley and offers legal services across Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, including Windsor, Beaconsfield, Maidenhead, Henley, Gerrards Cross and Marlow.Tags: divorce Buckinghamshire, divorce solicitor Thames Valley, mediation berkshire, separation