Christmas is a time of wonder and joy for children. It is about creating wonderful memories together as a family no matter how that looks. However, there is a bit of conscious effort required from your side to make this possible and for them to experience a happy Christmas. Depending how your separation/divorce has gone, emotions will be running at various levels. Maybe you cannot stand to be in the same room as your ex. That is ok, however there are a few things to be mindful of so that your kids don’t feel torn for wanting to spend time with their other parent. The biggest thing I learnt when I was first separated, is that kids identify as 50% you and 50% their other parent. Every time you say bad things about their other parent, they take that on board as though you are saying it about them. Read that again. For your child to feel fully accepted by you, try to keep your attitude towards your ex, positive or at least neutral. You are going to be co-parenting for a while so why not choose to make a conscious decision for it to be a pleasant experience.

No matter what has happened between you, carrying around hatred and resentment only hurts you and those little darlings. What’s the point? If you must, vent to your friends but never your kids. They are little sponges who are taking on board everything you say about their other parent. It is imperative that you choose a positive narrative and give them the space to feel love for both parents. If you are struggling with this, a wise idea is to get counselling to help you move through these feelings for yourself. I regularly see a psychologist as an investment in myself and my well-being which keeps me grounded and I have an opportunity to work through my emotions in a supported and healthy way.

We always do a part of Christmas together as one big family. Mostly everyone will attend Christmas morning present opening then we have a brunch together as a blended family then the kids will go to whoever didn’t have them Christmas Eve. One year I even stayed up at the coast with their dad and his partner so we would all be together on Christmas morning. Now I’m not suggesting this is possible for all blended families, my point is it is not about you. It is about allowing the kids to feel the magic and joy of Christmas and not making them choose which half of themselves to be loyal to.

Support your child with the giving nature of Christmas by offering to help them make the other parent a Christmas card and present or take them shopping and give them an allowance to choose a gift. These little gestures show your precious darling it is ok to love both parents equally and that you are encouraging them to do so. The gift you give your child by not making them choose a side, is priceless.

Finally, remember to take care of yourself, especially if you are on your own. I won’t lie, I often find myself completely depressed once the kids leave for their dad’s house on Christmas day. Just be prepared that it can be a massive comedown once all the excitement is over, and you are sitting by yourself in an empty house. So, you can cry and watch Christmas movies by yourself (completely acceptable if that’s what you want) OR plan to join other family or friends so you are not alone. The key to this is to be prepared and have options to best support what you need on the day. And remember to buy yourself a nice present and congratulate yourself for being an amazing parent!


Much Love Susie Taaffe xoxo

Susie Taaffe is a single mum to three darling kids and is highly passionate about healing the relationship we have with ourselves. She is an engineer, founder of Missy Massy and creator of Skanties who loves fashion and style. It is her mission to help you live your best life.