When people get divorced, they often worry about how their split will affect their kids on major holidays like birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. They consider how hard it will be to find themselves in different circumstances than what they’re used to on these special days of the year. What surprises many newly divorced individuals is just how hard they’re hit by a seemingly innocuous holiday like the Fourth of July.
The Absence of Tradition
There is a consistency for many families when it comes to July Fourth. Independence Day is likely to involve fireworks, parades, cookouts, swimming pools, ice cream, and plenty of relaxation. Certain summer foods make their debut during this holiday or friends and family who you spend time with make their signature dishes. Maybe you and your family unit have always gone to the movies on this holiday or set up a backyard big screen for a neighborhood movie.
These simple but wholesome and nurturing activities are traditions – and when you don’t have traditions anymore, their absence can sting. You’ll realize quickly that it’s not your kids who are struggling on the Fourth of July, especially if they’re with your ex and still carrying out the traditions all of you used to experience together. It’s you.
Know Your Triggers
Maybe you fought hard to get parenting time on certain big holidays every year. That was probably a win. Then along comes July Fourth and you’re alone while your kids are with your ex. Hearing the familiar beat of a marching band, the screams of kids in a swimming pool, or even seeing a toddler in someone’s front yard waving a tiny flag can be enough to trigger your heart strings and remind you of happier times when your family was whole. And it will make you miss your kids like crazy, no matter what age they are.
These unwanted emotions aren’t a sign that you made the wrong decision about getting a divorce. What it does mean is that you weren’t prepared for this one-day summer holiday to smack you in the face and make you feel bad about yourself and your kids. You must face the experience so you can be ready for it at other times too – what about Halloween, Easter, New Year’s? Use Independence Day as a learning opportunity. If you’re not going to be with your kids on Halloween or New Year’s or Easter, prepare yourself now.
Don’t Forget to Celebrate Your Freedom
There is one way to help yourself make it through any day without your kids, especially a major holiday: Remember to be thankful for your freedom. You successfully initiated and closed your Michigan divorce. You got the parenting time and custody plan you wanted. And now you’re single and have an amazing life ahead of you full of new memory-making, adventures, and surprises, both with your children and on your own.
If you’re ready to file for a Michigan divorce, contact Michigan Divorce Help in Macomb County, MI, to schedule a consultation.