So, we all survived the holiday season. Time to feel cheery correct? Most of us at this point have watched numerous TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram posts of lonely single parents and have felt a certain level of empathy. We have also been over inundated with posts of families with matching pajamas and perfect smiles. I was part of that smile crowd before my divorce. These days though, I recognize the fakeness of that false persona I once lived. I also acknowledge and am happy for those in genuine and healthy relationships. So why have the holidays this year been an absolute drain?
From a personal perspective being a single parent, I recognize that I have spent too much energy this year trying to make Christmas an enjoyable experience for myself and my children. I now understand this is the same energy I exuded in a toxic marriage trying to get through the holidays of years past. Where did it get me? This year I ended up tired, crabby, frustrated, and disappointed. But on the flip side, I was gifted a little more self-awareness.
So here is what I learned this year. Time spent with my children will far outweigh any amount of Legos, Toy Cars, or Tangible gifts I can provide them. Will this be a difficult concept to abide by moving forward? Absolutely! I was reminded of this concept today in a response I penned to a post about being one-upped by the other parent with gifts in a Facebook Divorce Group. I firmly believe our children ultimately will get more out of the time we spend on the floor building legos, pushing around toy cars, and sharing a meal around the dinner table. I hope by doing so, we can somehow teach our children to look past the instant gratification ideal that has plagued our society. As adults, all of us could use a refresher course on this. And maybe, just maybe, our children can teach us a thing or two about seeing this world as it is through their eyes. Children have an uncanny ability to do this, so we must remain open to what they have to say.
I will close by stating if you are feeling down after the Holidays this year that you are not alone. It is also "Ok" to feel this way. You, I, and the rest of the individuals going through rough times shouldn't feel ashamed of our feelings. The unhealthy thing to do would be to sweep those feelings under the rug. The best gift we can give ourselves is to continue to be self-aware, heal, grow and keep marching forward. Wishing you all a Healthy, Happy, and Healing 2022!!