Written by: Shani Fowler
Being without the kids at Christmas can be like having half of yourself removed. You are so used to having them around that the silence is almost a deafening ring in your ears. You can feel lonely and isolated at the best of times and there is probably no other season quite like Christmas to further highlight solitude, whether they’ve flown the nest or you’ve recently separated and they’re spending Christmas with the ex. What can you do to alleviate the emptiness? Even though you are missing the children there is no point moping around. Try to do things you like doing but don’t usually get the opportunity when the kids are with you.
Simple Things Count
Have Some “Me Time” – It’s unlikely your favourite luxury spa is open over the bank holiday but you can still take some time to pamper yourself. Simple things like taking a long bath are often impossible when the kids are around. Usually just as you are settling into the soapy suds, they run into the bathroom with their high drama and you find yourself pulling the plug and hopping back out of the bath with barely time to dry yourself. Light some candles, fill a deep bath and wallow in it. Maybe even take a nice glass of wine with you and put on some music. Use the time to really relax and recuperate, getting yourself ready for action when you do next see the children.
Read a Book
Is there a book you are dying to read? All too frequently just as you flick open chapter one, one of the kids descends on you, high in demands and low on patience. Once again your book is returned to the shelf and left unread. Settle down on the sofa and start the read.
Watch Your Favourite Film
Probably advisable to leave the weepies for another day, but is there a film that usually cheers you up? Often a good comedy film can lift the spirits and leave you with a feel good factor.
Go Out And See People
People usually understand what it can be like to feel lonely. Your family or friends would most probably love to see you and certainly wouldn’t want you to feel alone. Make arrangements and accept invitations to visit them, or catch up with people you often don’t get to see because your life is generally so busy. You might think you are intruding, but Christmas can cause family overkill, and friends might be all too pleased to see a neutral face!
Remember That You Are Not Alone
There are many people out there who are feeling the same. The rest of the world is accessible with the click of a few buttons. So get on the internet and search for a social forum for people in a similar situation. Stoke up a chat about it, listen to and help others in similar situations, getting it off your chest can be very therapeutic.
Still Have Contact With The Kids
Just because the kids aren’t actually with you doesn’t mean you can’t have any contact with them. Arrange to speak to them over Christmas and plan what you are going to do together for the next time you do see them.
The New Year is approaching so set out some new goals for the New Year; things you would like to accomplish with and without the kids write them down – make a real list. Make sure that they are achievable so come the second week in January the list isn’t at the bottom of the bin under the uneaten mince pies.
It’s doubtful anyone would think Christmas without the children would be easy, but the best remedy is occupying yourself, and using the time to try and do things that are difficult when you do have the children. Remind yourself there will be Christmases when it will be your turn to have them. Also Christmas comes and goes pretty quickly, it is only a small part of the year and you can get through it.