Surviving Christmas as a Single Mom

 

christmas tree with baubles
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  1. Don’t feel guilty about not buying tons of presents for your kids. Concentrate on the fact that God’s already given us the gift of his presence. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
  2. Say no to things. As a single mom, life is already busy; don’t stress yourself out by going to all the holiday parties and events. Pick a few meaningful things and say no to everything else.
  3. Use that extra time to make memories with your kids. Decorate cookies or make a gingerbread house or take them to see some Christmas lights.
  4. What you do this year doesn’t have to be what you’ve done in the past and it doesn’t have to be what you do in the future either. Give yourself the space to do what you need to do to get through the holidays this year.
  5. Shop online. Find stores with free shipping and avoid the headache and hassle of the crowds.
  6. Don’t stress yourself out. If you forgot to get a gift for great-aunt Susie, just be honest with them. If they don’t understand the difficulties you face as a single mom, you don’t need to mess with them.
  7. Give yourself room to grieve. Give your kids space to grieve too.  For someone who has lost big, the holidays are always going to be a reminder of what you’ve lost.  It’s OK to not be OK sometimes during the holidays.  It’s normal to have mixed feelings at this (or any) time of year.
  8. Celebrate what you still have; don’t concentrate on what you’ve lost.
  9. If there’s a particular part of the typical holiday festivities that are too painful, don’t do them. People should be understanding.  If they’re not, it’s their problem.  Don’t feel like you have to torture yourself just to keep from offending someone.
  10. Each day, take a moment to journal the gifts (little and big) that God has given you. I do this year-round, but it’s especially helpful during hard times to constantly remind yourself of what you’ve still been blessed with.
  11. It’s OK to be honest with your kids when you’re having a difficult time because the holidays make you grieve. They need to know it’s OK to be sad or to miss the way things used to be. They also need to know it’s OK to be sad even when you’re happy.  I never understood this before I lost Trevor.
  12. Remember what Christmas is truly about – the miracle of our God sending Jesus to earth to redeem and restore us. No matter the circumstances in our life, that’s something to celebrate.
selective focus photography of gift box on brown wooden surface
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