Blended families and divorced parents often have a difficult time during the holidays splitting time with their kids and managing schedules, events and gifts. MomCo founder Jillian shares her experience and tips for staying connected while separated at Christmas:
My son is leaving on Saturday to go to his Dad’s house for Christmas for the first time. He is so excited about it that I am not sad. Honestly, as long as he is happy I am too! No matter how corny that seems, it’s true. I am having a big Christmas party at my house the night before he leaves with a few of our family members and all of our closest friends. To me that’s what Christmas is all about any way. It’s not a specific day, but celebrating the ones we love most. Even though we won’t be together December 25th, I will still get to celebrate the holiday with him. Here are a few things I have planned to make the separation easier:
1. Take photos of presents waiting back home: I am having everyone ship all the large presents here so we don’t have to worry about shipping them all over the country. But this also means he won’t have them to unwrap on Christmas morning, so I am wrapping pictures of all the presents for him to unwrap instead. Then after he has unwrapped all his presents, I will show him on FaceTime all the fun things he has waiting for him when he gets home.
2. Use FaceTime, or Skype: I am going to have his dad put me on FaceTime so I can see him unwrap most of his presents, that way I get to see the excitement on his face! If you can’t use one of these media, have your child’s other parent take a video or pictures to capture the fun.
3. Don’t forget your Elf on the Shelf (if you have one): I am also going to sneak his Elf into his suitcase so it can magically show up when he wakes up in the morning at his dad’s house!
4. Record a video message: Put a video on their iPad or tablet of yourself reading any holiday books that you usually read at Christmas time. That way if your little one is missing you, he or she can sit down and read a book with you anytime they want.
5. Keep yourself busy!: Hang out with friends and travel! Do the things you usually can’t do while you are on mom or dad duty. Don’t think of this as a sad time, but an opportunity to treat yourself and indulge. It is Christmas after all. Make this year about you since Christmas hasn’t been about you in a very long time. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!