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after-divorce  :: parenting

Making Lemonade: Being Grateful at Holidays

Making Lemonade: Being Grateful at Holidays

Parenting: After Divorce, Focus on Positives of Single Parenting at the Holidays


    As a single parent, it is important to remember that everything that you do creates a memory (but don't let this realization stress you out any further). Whether your children are with you during a holiday or you're celebrating a holiday alone as a veteran single parent or a "holiday virgin", you have the power to make it a holiday filled with wonderful memories. And you don't need a lot of money. With the onset of any holiday season, emotions get stirred by past memories and fears about the future.

Holidays tend to bring up a lot of resolved or unresolved emotions. If you find yourself filled with resentment (which is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die), anger (which only zaps our energy), fear (false evidence appearing real) or concern (still energy zapping, but a much more empathic emotion), it's time to step outside of the negative feelings and start feeling gratitude. You do remember gratitude; it means counting your blessings.

Sometimes it just means making a list and breaking down all the wonderful things you have in your life (not focusing on what you don't have). It means putting your children on the top of our list, along with your family and friends, favorite ‘things,’ health and good looks, and whatever you have in the bank. Gratitude means feelings blessed for who you are, what you have experienced and what it is you have created in your life. The good news is that when you experience gratitude, you model that to your children, and they begin to see their glass as half full, too.

Celebrating anything after a life transition can be challenging and exhausting. If this is your first holiday season after a divorce or death of a spouse, be gentle with yourself. It's difficult, but try to stay out of the past and what was. Build up your strength to create a new present and build a firm foundation…for you and your child.

Jodi Seidler is the founder of the single parent site MakingLemonade.com and the author of ""Making Lemonade: A Guidebook for Life After Divorce," and "55 Things Every Divorcing Mom Should Know!" Her advice has also made it to TV talk shows, such as: "Inside Edition"and "Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus." Her e-mail is jodi@makinglemonade.com.

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