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November 20, 2014

Single Parenting During The Holidays: Five Ways To Make The Most of Your Merry.

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There are certain places and things that just scream kids.

You know, playgrounds, theme parks, the backseat of my car… They just don’t feel “right” without small humans nearby. For me, at least for the past nine-ish years, holidays are one of those things.

Since having become a mother way back in 2005 when Grey’s Anatomy  was in its pilot season and before gray had so very many shades, I’ve had only a few holidays without my children. And, as you may expect, spending festivities without those minions is quite a different experience. However, by different, I don’t necessarily mean bad. There are several ways to ensure this day turns into a real celebration, and I don’t mean for pity, party of one.

Solo Holidays: How to Handle it like a Boss:

1.  Put on your big girl panties.

Go to grown up parties, events and other places that children are not invited, or, even better, not allowed.Remember—you used to do this. You did, I swear. Maybe you’ve forgotten about all those overeating feasts you attended in your PK days. Think back. Way back. Go all the way to Jennifer Aniston hair if it helps jog your memory, (not that I’m um, speaking from experience). Right? Got it? Friends without children. A sense of humor. The ability to eat warm meals, firsthand.

You have those. Go use them.

2. Love Actually.

Make sure that love is all around you; surround yourself with the people you love (and um, who love you back, we are not talking about stalker behavior here).

Do not, I repeat, do not spend this day alone.

If you do, most likely one or more of the following will happen:

a) On a scale of “apathetic” to “miserable” you will be near death, b) You will cry, and probably on floor in the bathroom, closet or hallway, and not in a proper place, like your bed or the couch (that would be too sensible and predictable). c) It will feel like the longest day in the history of time, d) You will call your children 45 times, e) You will overindulge in food, “beverages,” exercise or whatever your coping mechanism is and probably do something stupid.

Speaking of stupid, now is a good time to put away your personal media devices. Spare us all the “Christmas text,” and avoid viewing the carefully curated images of everyone else’s perfect holidays. Talk to real live people, and like, make eye contact while you’re at it.

Scary. I know.

3. Pack It Up.

Take a vacation, even if it’s just a day trip. Traveling during the holidays without children is badass. That mom searching desperately for her child’s lost lovey at airport security? That’s not you. The dad carrying a kid piggyback while lifting three carry-ons in front of him? That’s not you either.

Smile at them. Be sympathetic. Offer help if you are so inclined. Then pop in your headphones and fly like an eagle, baby.

4. Go Day Drinking.

Just kidding. This can be Day Anything, actually, because you don’t have your kids so…while your level of sobriety can decrease, uh, significantly, if you’d like it to, really, today the world is your oyster.

Want to go out for a fancy meal and not tip the server an extra $20 for the mess your kids made? Do it.

Go to a non-animated movie? All you.

Local breweries tour? Yes please.

Christmas Eve yogathon? Om so gonna do that this year.

Get creative, do something you really can’t do without your kids. Cross something off your bucket list. Make the day special for you.

5. Pre-Party

Celebrate with your kids before, not after. Before.

Why? So you can relax silly. If you plan to have the holiday with your small peeps after the “real” day you’ll spend the whole time wrapped up in preparations for when they return rather than enjoying your (brief) reprieve from parental duty.

Seriously, does this really need an explanation?

Wishing you all luck in your adventures.

Namaste, Amen, La Heim and Salud, or whatever floats your metaphorical boat.

 

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Author: Michelle Sweezey

Editor: Travis May

Photo:Doctor Oz

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