The holiday season is here and for a non-custodial or alienated parent, it can be a gloomy time. Not being able to spend time with their children brings on feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Often these feelings result in avoiding other families and holiday festivities altogether. Does this sound like you or someone you know? Well, I am here to call on those parents who are struggling emotionally and challenge you to not retreat from the world. While others seem to be full of joy and hope, this is your chance to engage with others and not cut yourself off from everyone.
I’m sure you’re probably rolling your eyes and saying, “Whatever. That’s easier said than done. I do not want to celebrate with anyone else…” Well, I understand. I understand more than you think because that used to be me. Feeling hurt and wondering how life got you to this point. This was not how everything was supposed to turn out. I get it. This was definitely not in the plans. But here we are. Now, what do we do about it? If there was a way for your kids to look at you through some magic lens, would you want them to see you looking defeated and buried in a pity party? I’m sure you wouldn’t. Not during the holidays or any day for that matter. It is far from easy to push away those feelings but the worst thing that you can do is suffer alone!
So, I ask you, besides your kids, of course, what do you value most? Religion? Relationship with self or family? Being of service? All of these things? None of these things? What resonates with your soul and brings meaning or higher purpose for you? What is an experience that you would like to have or create? Do you want to learn how to meditate? Eat better? Learn a new skill or language? Read a book or start writing that personal memoir? Be creative. Plan one day at a time and work towards doing something of some personal meaning for the rest of your month. Build momentum and excitement in your own life. Commit and follow through with doing something meaningful. Record memories and/or take pictures so that you can share your experiences with your children at a later date. Meet with family and friends that reflect how you really want to feel. Volunteer for a cause. Support and encourage people in need. Work side by side with other well-intentioned and generous people. Whatever it takes to find the proper path that will keep you inspired and give you the strength to battle those holiday blues.
Commit to a blessed holiday season by spreading the love that you wish to receive! I believe in you.
Patricia Amorim is a Family Mediator and CoParenting Coach. She was born in Portugal and lived in the United States for the past 10 years. Patricia has 3 sons with 3 different CoParents. She developed a passion for family law when she went through a challenging divorce and could not find enough resources to help her own family, so she decided to be part of the change in Family Disputes.