The Co-parenting, Co-Christmas Conundrum


I am almost 4 years into my co-parenting journey, I still don’t feel like I have hit my stride just yet navigating the co-parenting process, especially during the holidays. Between changing schedules, trying to keep up traditions while creating new ones, self-care, flexibility and disappointments, this time of the year can call for plenty of extra wine at the end of the day. 

I have to remind myself that the most important thing is that the kids are happy and they still feel like they have a a great holiday season, no matter where I am at with my co-parent. Some days that’s more difficult than others, but the three of the keep me going.



One thing I had to really work on during this time of the year is combating the need to over spend and compete with the other parent. It can be so easy to fall into the “buying your love” trap, especially as the kids get older and their wants become more expensive. Communication has been pivotal with my co-parent; making sure that we are not going above and beyond to outdo the other, and so our children don’t begin to set unrealistic expectations from us for Christmas. 

However, one thing that I have found to sort of combat that and I especially look forward to in this season, is the new traditions that I get to make with my littles. Something we started two years ago was pricking a new destination to explore Christmas activities. And it triples as a Christmas present, new memories, and a chance to explore our great state. In the past we have headed north to the tree lighting in Prescott, the train in Williams and Bearizona. And last year due to Covid, we decided to stay close to home and enjoyed little local activities during the week, from ice skating at Merry Main Street in Mesa, the epic holiday spectacle that is Schnepf Farms and the glamorous merriment that is Christmas at the Princess, we are blessed with having so many awesome adventures right in our backyard, that will be on a regular rotation for us for years to come.

Co-parenting during the holidays can be stressful and in all honesty, depressing. As the schedules are ever changing, missing out on activities and time spent with your kids can really suck the holiday spirit right out of you if you’re not mentally prepared for it. I’ve found that finding your tribe, leaning on friends and family, and giving back really help me combat the loneliness that can occur during these times.

One thing my friends had to learn after my divorce was to reach out and invite me to do things with them and offer extra things like happy hours to help keep spirits bright. When the holiday time can often feel not so cheery, spending time with others and giving back by volunteering my free time to local places in need has really helped remind me of the true meaning of Christmas. 


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