Being a parent in general for the holidays is difficult and stressful. We have so much pressure on us. We have to find the perfect gifts, host parties, find the most perfect outfits, and much more.
I used to love the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It used to make me in the best mood. I loved the atmosphere and just being around people. Three years ago, my “holiday mindset” changed completely. Three years ago, I spent my first holidays as a Single Parent.
The holidays are a time for family closeness, family Christmas Cards, and everything and anything that involves family. I have shared custody of my boys, and sharing them for the holidays is the hardest thing in the whole world.
Two years ago, my boys slept at their dad's house on Christmas Eve. This was my first Christmas Eve without my boys. The way I felt that night still makes me sick to my stomach. I cried, and when I say I cried, I mean I CRIED myself to sleep. I felt as if I was punched in the stomach.
Did they leave cookies out for Santa? Are they in the Christmas jammies that I buy them every year? Is their dad going to remember to put stuff in their stockings? The questions and concerns kept running through my head.
All night. I remember I woke up and immediately texted my ex-husband, and he sent me pictures of our boys, and I was okay. I did it. I got through my first Christmas Eve without my boys. I couldn’t wait to get them that afternoon and show them what Santa brought to my house for them.
As the years go by, I wish I could say that the holidays get easier, but they don't. It never gets easier. Ever. Luckily, there are a few things that can make the holidays a little easier for us single parents.
Make New Traditions
I used to love decorating my house, putting up my tree, and having matching ornaments all perfectly placed. Now, the boys and I put our tree up together, and I let them put ornaments wherever they want.
My OCD does click in, and I want to move things around, but I let it all stay wherever the boys had placed them.
One of my Best Friends is also a single mom of two boys, and we have our own holiday parties. Just us 6. We play reindeer games, play holiday bingo, bake, and so much more. It's the little thing we do that all the boys enjoy and look forward to.
As single parents, we really have to watch what we spend, especially during the holidays. If you really want something that you have been putting on the back burner to buy something for your kids…. BUY IT! You deserve it!
It could also be a massage, a pedicure, or even a trip. One of my oldest and Best Friends lives in Denver, so I treat myself during the holidays by going to visit her. It does not only help with loneliness, but it also helps the holidays go by faster.
When the kids are with their dad, I try to keep as busy as possible but even more during the holidays.
I do all of my shopping when I don't have the boys. I talk to my friends and make plans for lunches, dinners, and drinks. I love self-help and going to the gym. Something else a single parent could do to help the time pass would be to volunteer at a local hospital or nursing home.
As the holidays are fast approaching and the craziness is about to start, I already have anxiety and feel a sense of loneliness. I have to remember to do the things that I mentioned above. I do give myself pep talks very often. I also try to remind myself that memories last a lifetime. They are made in the small moments. No one can ever replace memory, and that is what I try to do with my boys.
How do you get through the holidays as a single parent?
Do your kids have way too much stuff? I know, mine do. The last thing I want is MORE TOYS that they play with for five minutes and then never touch again. Personally, I'm leaning more toward experience-type gifts vs. more stuff. Here is an excellent list of 40+ non-toy and experience gifts for the New Orleans kid that has EVERYTHING!
Spooky season is here, and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is in full swing at Walt Disney World. This means Halloween is just around the corner. It's time for Mickey Pumpkins, Villains, and Hitchhiking Ghosts! So grab your coffee and your wallet and shop the Disney magic with these adorable DisneyHalloween finds on Etsy!
Disney Halloween Accessories
Every Disney Girl needs some Disney Halloween Accessories. From hair bows to jewelry to nail art. There is something for everyone, even a Disney-themed trick or treat bag!
Every Disney Trip needs customizable shirts. My 14-year-old has hers planned for the rest of her life. They are great because you can even wear them after you get home. If you have a Cricut, you can even make your own using SVG files on Etsy. If you don't want to make you're own, we found some cute ones you can buy already made!
If you have been to Disney anytime in the last few years, you know that Minnie Ears are all the rage. They come in every theme and color imaginable, including custom ears. Etsy is full of beautiful and adorable custom Minnie ears. Here are a few of my favorites.
It's that time of year again! The summer months can be brutal on our skin. Be it at the beach, at a festival, at the pool, or just enjoying the great outdoors… We have to be careful not to get a sunburn. The best way to do this is obviously to use sunscreen and protective clothing to prevent the burn and reduce the risk of skin cancer before going out and while you are out in the sun. However, between all of the fun and too much sun sometimes we forget to reapply sunscreen. . For those with fair skin, it’s almost inevitable to avoid sunburnt skin. It doesn't matter how much sun exposure they get. To get relief from the sunburn pain and skin irritation I put together a list of effective home remedies for sunburns.
Hydrate and Moisturize
Let’s start with one of the most obvious and easiest ways to treat a painful sunburn. It's a good idea to make sure you drink plenty of water before you go out in the sun. Yet, like sunscreen, when we are outside having fun on a long day, we forget! Then we become dehydrated and end up with dry skin, not only from the sunburn but from being dehydrated. So one of the easiest sunburn remedies is to drink a few glasses of water and lotion up.
Lotions containing vitamin Eand aloe vera. or pure aloe vera gel are the best to apply to the sunburned area. These creams will provide soothing relief and will lessen the inflammation of the skin.
Oddly enough, some of the best home remedies come in the form of a paste. Many vegetables and household items possess healing properties useful for a number of things. One of them is a sunburn. Here are some pastes you can make to cool you down:
Potatoes- peel, slice, blend, and apply to the affected area.
Cornstarch– mix with water, and apply to the affected area.
Cucumber- chill, mash, apply to the affected area.
Yogurt- apply to the affected area.
Compresses are great for relief! I like compresses because they are portable, which in my life is a definite must. They also tend to be less messy than pastes, yet some claim they're not as effective in the long run.
Cold Compress– soak a rag in ice water or add ice inside the rag hold on to the affected area