Hey Friends – this is Kathi. My friend, Jill Davis, was a valuable contributor to my latest book 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids. Jill offered great advice as the single mom of several kids in that book, and I’ve asked her to talk about the special challenges of single parenting and the holidays.
Even if you’re not a single parent, I think we have a real opportunity to reach out to a single mom this season and offer support in the ways that we can. Look at this list and see how you can support.
What I Wish I Knew My First Christmas as a Single Mom. Guest Post by:Jill Davis
“Don’t let busyness replace deep human connection.” I heard these words recently from a close friend and it took me back to my early single mom days. I spent so much time trying to create the magazine picture perfect Christmas experience, I missed out on what my children truly needed; to be connected as a family. Six years later, I have made lots of mistakes and learned lots of lessons.
What I wish I had known my first Christmas as a single mom.
1. Don’t try to do everything you’ve done in past years.
2. Ask your children what they most want to do this year. Then choose just one or two of them, not all 127 of them. Make sure to include one of your favorite traditions as well.
3. Remember Christmas is busy enough just through regular activities. It is in building relationships with our children that true joy happens.
4. Don’t unwrap your family ornaments with the children around. Take the time to sort them out first. It can be extremely painful the first few years. Sort through what you want to keep for yourself and the kids. Pack the rest away in a box marked “look at in two years”. A lot can happen in two years and it will be easier to look at those old memories then.
5. Let others help you. It’s really ok. You don’t have to be super single mom. Let them take the kids to do special things. You really don’t have to do it all.
6. If you are alone over Christmas choose how you want to spend the time. If you are invited somewhere and you really want to be around people GO! Or if you really want to be alone, say no. It’s ok to enjoy the time by yourself.
7. Remember some years are just going to be difficult, whether you are single or not.
8. A hot bath, a good book and a full night’s sleep will heal most exhaustion. Participate in extreme self care this time of year.
9. Don’t over spend or over eat, it will make January much harder and no one will be any happier.
10. Most of all, take the time to listen. Listen to your children, to yourself, to friends, and to the joy of the season. Let go of the busyness and relish the joy of being with your family.
For over 20 years, Jill Davis has helped others identify and fulfill their dreams. By using her own life challenges as the mother of four, a military wife, an abusive in marriage, a divorce survivor and building a successful career, she is able to create belief in others. She understands the difficulties others encounter both in the world and within themselves. Her energy and determination are an inspiration and a highly developed intuition provides her with the ability to touch a nerve in everyone she encounters. Her goal is to help others find inside themselves their own personal path to joy. Trained in Personality Principles and Coaching Strategies, Jill continues to make her own dreams come true by harnessing her unique skills and reaching out to the women she encounters to encourage, inspire, and guide them toward their own fulfillment. Jill’s website is Ask Jill Davis