You made it through the holidays! Congratulations! Hopefully you managed to make some memories along the way too. Navigating the holidays while co-parenting after divorce is no small feat and you should definitely make a point to pause and give yourself credit where credit is due. That being said, as a co-parent, you know that the hurdles to jump seem to be ever present. How you manage yourself, your relationship with your co-parents, and your relationship with your children can be just as important after the holidays as it is during the holidays. Here, we will review some of the common mistakes co-parents make after the holidays in the hopes that it helps you avoid them as best as possible.
Mistakes Co-Parents Make After the Holidays
As they say, “comparison is the thief of happiness.” One of the biggest and most common mistakes co-parents make after the holidays is taking side by side inventory of both parent’s holiday time with the kids. You may be tempted to go over who got the kids what gifts, what gifts were bigger, and what gifts were better. There is also the slippery slope line of questions that can have you gnawing away at who formed the best new traditions and who honored old traditions. The truth is, however, that no one wins in this line of thinking and it can easily drive a person to distraction.
Instead of rehashing who did what better during the holidays, a more productive use of your time and energy may be to consider what you both could do better communicating about the next time holidays come about. Did you discuss who was giving the children what? This can help limit gift giving competition and gift overlaps. The same discussion could also include holiday events that each parent is planning for the kids. Working together with your co-parent to focus on your children’s best interests as well as the best interests of your co-parenting relationship can prove invaluable.
Another co-parenting mistake to avoid after the holidays includes locking up those disparaging remarks about your co-parent that may be floating around your head. The holidays can be emotional and frustrating under the best of circumstances. When you add in a co-parent that may have been less than conscientious, it can quickly bring some choice words to mind. When you find yourself on the verge of verbally letting loose about your co-parent, consider another outlet for your frustration instead. Going for a run, for instance, may be much more productive and much less harmful than speaking your mind. Hurtful remarks about your co-parent can all too easily have a negative impact on your relationship with them and your child’s relationship with them.
Last of all, one of the most common and most critical mistakes co-parents make after the holidays is failing to speak to an attorney about the issues that may have arisen over the holidays. Were there issues with visitation logistics and timing? Are there provisions in your parenting plan that should be modified accordingly? Talk to an attorney and help ensure that the next time the holidays come around, things proceed a bit more seamlessly.