7 Ways to Create New Holiday Traditions After Divorce

Okay, so you’re divorced and now you’ve got to figure out the holidays…on your own or with the kids. It can take adjusting. Missing your ex (or maybe not!). Missing your ex’s family unless you still see them…or also, maybe not. Sharing your kids. Being alone. Less money. Being single.

It’s not surprising if you’re already feeling a little grinchy and not so spirited. But—and here is the challenge—even if you don’t have your kids…they’re watching you before they walk off to the other parent’s home. So you’ve got to shake off the holiday blues and make different memories and traditions that they will love, and so will you.

Or in other words, your divorce is not a death sentence. It just means some adjustments have to be made for you to find a new happy normal! Here are some holly jolly ways to create new traditions at the holidays after divorce.

Read More: 7 Ways to Create New Holiday Traditions After Divorce

Jolly, Jolly,

Laura

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How to Face a Quiet House This Holiday Season

1. Less Pressure

You know how Sally kissed Harry on New Year’s Eve? Well, we would all like that to be us, but the reality is our life is not a movie or fairy tale, so what does that mean?

It means putting less pressure on yourself for the holidays to be some giant huge love fest of joy. Cut the pressure. It’s really just another day. Yes, you may not be spending it exactly as you wish, but the day will come…and go. Even for a two-day holiday like Christmas…it does pass.

Don’t put any pressure on yourself for it to be perfect. Plenty of people are having crappy and crappier holidays and they’re married with kids and some of them, are wealthy.

Yup. So chillax.

If you’re about to face a quiet house this holiday because the kids will be with your ex, join the club. There are many of us who have to share holidays with our exes…even if they don’t see the kids that much. Honestly, it’s a special kind of hell that not many people can understand or would volunteer for, but you can make it through and find comfort during the holidays. It takes perspective, support and patience with yourself to truly embrace the holiday time without your children. Here are a few things that I try in order to keep myself sane and happy during the holidays.

You Can Do It,
Laura

Ending Your Bad Marriage for Good

There you are each day, unhappily married.

It’s to a point in which the people that love you including your kids, (if you’ve got them) don’t remember a time in which you were happy. And if they do, it was in a galaxy far, far away.

The unhappy you. The depressed you. The quietly miserable you is the one people get to deal with, day in and day out.

Every day people ask when or if you’re going to divorce finally and you say the same thing:

I’m working on it.”

And while you’re “working on it,” which is really just a BS excuse covering the fact that you’re doing nothing but panicking over how and when to make the decision, your life is passing you by.

Days, weeks, months and maybe even years go by…in which you spend such little time happy. At this point, you’re used to it.

As unhappy as you are, you are comfortable. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, you tell people.

You make excuses and say it’s easier this way. You say you don’t have the money. You say you’ll do it when this happens…or that kid gets older…or you finish paying that bill or this bill.

There is always something that is keeping you from ending your dead decaying marriage, but while you delay, the smell and rot from that decaying marriage is growing stronger and bigger.

The space between the two of you is getting so big, you could place another galaxy in-between you both, and there would still be plenty of room between the two of you.

The bickering or the intensity or the distance between the two of you are so bad, it impacts everyone from your families to your friends.

Honestly, from the outside in, it’s hell to watch. It’s like watching an impending car crash and knowing the end result, but not being able to stop it.

So how do you finally cut off the dead marriage and start over? How do you stop ignoring the elephant in the room and start calling it quits?

Here’s how to do it. For good.

Read More: Ending Your Bad Marriage for Good

It’s Time,

Laura

7 Ways to Build Gratitude For Your Life After Divorce

” … you can build your gratitude muscle by consciously choosing to be more grateful, and thereby you will be happier.” (Harvard study finds strong link between gratitude and happiness – http://www.phillyvoice.com/harvard-study-finds-strong-link-between-gratitude-and-happiness/)

It can be hard to have gratitude for your life after a divorce because so much of it can look so greatly different than your life did before, and some of it may not be happy changes. And if you have kids, they could be struggling with the same feelings. There’s always the feeling that you “lose” when you divorce because, in reality, you do usually lose money, objects, time with kids and properties, etc. You actually lose things.

However, we wouldn’t divorce if we felt we would simply just lose, lose, and lose. The flip side to all of this sad sack stuff is you win when you divorce. You really do. And if you find these “wins” then you will really be able to build true gratitude into your life after divorce.

When you are feeling like a grouchy sore loser, do these things to feel like a winner again!

1) Remind Yourself of Your “Wins”:

I don’t mean your literal wins like alimony or getting the family home…I mean the wins of divorce that you can’t see or touch. The wins of divorce that are daily manifestations of how you live after the divorce like:

– Winning peace in your home—no more fighting!

– Winning the chance at love again…the right love, and not the wrong one!

– Winning focused and concentrated time with your kids in which you can parent and breathe easier when you’re with them.

– Winning the chance of starting your life over again. Just think about all the miserably married people in the world who wouldn’t love that shot!

Read More: 7 Ways to Build Gratitude For Your Life After Divorce

Winning,

Laura

8 Mental Mantras To Adopt After Divorce to Find Peace

One of the worst parts about divorce and separation is the initial marching band that’s going off in your brain, and no—this isn’t a nice “in-tune” band. There’s like a cacophony of clashing notes…a melody in constant “minor” and the feeling as if your brain never shuts the heck up. How do you, after the divorce papers are signed and you’re walking out into the world as a newly single Mr. or as Ms., find some peace as you make a whole new life?

You adopt mental mantras that you say daily, or as needed, in order to fool both you and your brain into believing you’ll be ok because guess what? You will be! You just need to make yourself believe so.

 

1) For the DiscouragedThis Too Shall Pass:

It was my saying of the summer! I am still saying it.

You will encounter some new hardships as a divorced person and if you have kids, they’ll also be going through major changes.

As hard as things are today, remind yourself that they won’t be around tomorrow.

Indeed in time, everything changes.

This too SHALL pass. Repeat.

 

2) For the Brand New Single Parent: I Am Only One Person:

I tell my daughter this often.

I am only one person, with one set of hands. Be patient.

Be patient with yourself. Be patient as you adjust to doing things on your own. Be patient as you learn a new rhythm.

Read More: 8 Mental Mantras To Adopt After Divorce to Find Peace

 

All in a Mind Set,

Laura

One Reason NOT to Get Divorced

When I was hemming and hawing over whether to divorce or not and my husband at the time was as well, I asked my friends who were divorced for advice.

Should I get a divorce?

How will I know if it’s right to divorce?

I wanted someone else to make the decision for me. I wanted someone else to call the shots for me. I wanted some sign from the heavens like written in the sky saying, “Hey Laura, It’s Me. G-d. Do you need to get a divorce, ok? Glad we had this talk.”

Of course, life doesn’t work that way and neither does divorce. Knowing when it’s time to call it quits is different for everyone. For some people, it’s an event that drives them to sign the papers. For another person, it’s a gut feeling. But one of the things that struck me so very deeply was when I asked my divorced friend if I should divorce, she gave me one reason not to get a divorce.

She told me, “Don’t get a divorce to meet someone else. You may not meet someone else. You may never. Leave because you absolutely can’t take another minute with this person you’re married to. Leave because being alone is better than being married.”

It was a sobering piece of advice.

Not meet anyone? How dismal.

But how sound! How practical!

You can’t divorce someone simply because you think there’s a better model out there for you.

Read More: One Reason NOT to Get Divorced

 

The Right Reason,

Laura

9 New Traditions to Make in Your Life After Divorce

If you’re recently divorced or just divorced, it’s sort of a baptism or conversion by fire. Suddenly you’re single. Suddenly perhaps, you’re raising children alone. Suddenly, your money is gone…you’re back in the workforce…

Whatever the case may be, divorce brings up sudden, and in many ways, irreversible changes to your life. And while some of these changes may be joyous, others may not be. You’re essentially sitting there with the pieces of your life saying, “Hmm, what is the best way to put this together in such a way that my life is better than it was before?”

Because we divorce to have a better life, don’t we? To have a better marriage. To have a better love. To have peace within our hearts and our homes and our children’s homes. To start afresh. To accept that sometimes, relationships end.

And to start your life off right whether you’re newly divorced or perhaps divorced for years and realizing that hey, I haven’t been doing this whole “post-divorce life” right….

You need new traditions! You need milestones and “evaluations” that symbolizes who you are and maybe even who your family is now, after divorce. These traditions will make your life feel and be special and positive.

These traditions will show that your home is not broken, just reconfigured.

1) Annual Divorceaversary

I don’t see this to be crude about divorce or trite but, each year as your divorce anniversary comes around, why not take it as a moment to evaluate:

  • How far you have come and maybe even how far your kids have come
  • Where you need to go to next
  • What things are you still struggling with? What are things your kids struggling with still?
  • Have you made peace with the divorce?
  • Are you having meaningful relationships, romantically and with friends and family?

Use this time to reflect on all you have done…and all you need to do still.

Read More: 9 New Traditions to Make in Your Life After Divorce 

All Fresh,

Laura

5 Things You Should Not Be Ashamed to Do During and After Divorce

Imagine a huge knotted ball of yarn in front of you. Imagine you’re trying to untangle each knot. Have you ever done that? Untangled a gold chain? A knot in your hair? Your shoelace? Your ball of yarn?

Can you recall the feeling of frustration and annoyance, as every time you thought you had the knot free and clear, you really didn’t? Can you remember the patience and persistence it took to get that knot free?

That my friends is divorce. Untangling your life from another’s. Learning to build another life as you pick away at “knots” often frustrated, but always, always requiring persistence.

With that said there will be things you may have to do during and after the divorce process that will feel frustrating and require you to be persistent and patient. Despite those feelings of discomfort and aggravation, please don’t be ashamed to do these things in order to cope with both the divorce itself and making a life for you once the divorce is done.

 

1- Get Financial Help

You may not have financial stability during this process. You may have once been comfortable. You may have come from a comfortable or middle-class family.

You may now be completely, financially unstable.

You may feel desperate at times and may wonder, “Which bill should I pay and which should I risk letting go?”

Here are things you should do—and don’t feel ashamed:

Read More: 5 Things You Should Not Be Ashamed to Do During and After Divorce

 

Stay Positive,

Laura

10 Things You SHOULD Do When Divorcing With Kids

There are some things that people intrinsically know and “say” they’re going to do if they are divorcing with kids…and then the divorce gets ugly.

And then…people stop behaving like adults in the best interest of the kids…and instead, in the best of interest of their own egos and attitudes…entirely in the worst way for their children!

This is not acceptable. We know way too much about the impact of divorce on children. We all love our kids. Just because the divorce is stressful it does not mean that parents get to forget about the little human beings that need them so very much to be, civil, mature and responsible.

Here are 10 things you SHOULD do when divorcing with kids if you want your kids to be happy, period.

 

1- Don’t Compare Them to The Ex – Keep To Yourself

Telling your kid in a negative tone of voice how “You remind me so much of your father/mother” or “You act so much like daddy/mommy,” is a surefire way to mess up your kids.

I don’t care if your child is your ex’s twin—be quiet! Keep those thoughts in your head. Save your issues with your ex for your ex, and not your innocent child.

 

2- Let The Small Stuff Slide

Does your ex-have the sneakers you bought at his or her house and not yours?

Does your child want to bring toys from your house to your ex’s? Does your child not feeling well and wants to sleep in at the exes during your custody time?

Let it slide. If it’s not happening constantly or affecting YOUR CHILD, drop it.

Read More:  10 Things You SHOULD Do When Divorcing With Kids

Why You Should Never Be Ashamed of Getting a Divorce

When I randomly look through articles I have written on divorce or read through comments on social media posts of these same articles, there’s always at least one or two “shamers” trolling the pieces. Usually these shamers quote biblical accounts or talk about how these people must be weak or awful, terrible parents (if divorced with kids) or quitters. How back in the day, “people stayed married.” It’s funny. These random strangers seem to think they know everything about a complete stranger’s divorce and life from one article. The ones who quote religion are acting as a “god” of sorts, passing judgments on people they’ve never met and never will.

You, the divorced or the person about to get divorced may also get shamers from your community. Family. Friends. Neighbors. Acquaintances. “Another one bites the dust. Another one quits.” You can see it on their faces, hear it in their words.

Well, as someone three years out and happy, I can tell you: pay these shamers no mind.

#1 Who Made These Folks The Boss Of Your Life?

Really, who gets to tell you what to do or how to feel about your life? Why would you let anyone tell you how to feel about your marriage, your divorce, or anything, period?

No one is the boss of you. Just you. And if someone pulls in religion, remind this person of free will. You have the right to leave someone. You have the right to move on. Unless these people are paying your bills and wiping your tush, who are they? Pay no mind!

Read More: Why You Should Never Be Ashamed of Getting a Divorce

No Shame In My Game!

Laura