Making New Family Traditions After Divorce
When you’re newly divorced, it is certainly an adjustment! Your idea of “family” is different now. There might be different houses, different schools, different schedules. Everyone is getting settled into new routines.
One of the best things you can do to move on after divorce is start making new family traditions. It can give you a sense of grounding, and a new place to start. It’s also a wonderful way to bond with your kids.
Think about new ideas you can do with your kids, or put a new spin on old traditions from your own childhood. Try some of these ideas for new family traditions!
New Family Traditions
- Take family selfies… one thing most moms find is that they are the one behind the camera and never in the pictures. Change it up by taking family selfies with you and your kids.
- Institute family game night with make your own pizzas
- Have a family movie night, with popcorn and Netflix. Look for new movie releases or some of your own childhood favourites (I’m currently introducing my teen to John Hughes flicks)
- Pack for picnics in the park paired with geocaching, or find some new hiking trails for year round adventures
- Have rainy day adventures in the car, getting lost, taking turns who decides which direction you go when you come to a stop (make sure you have a good maps app on your phone in case you actually get lost)
Holidays After Divorce
Holidays are going to be tough, with memories of times past, when your family included someone else. But again, make them your own! Keep old traditions that are important, reframing them for your family now.
If you share custody, and kids have to go from one house to another, feel free to actually move the holiday to suit you! Shift working families (like mine…I’m 911 Fire Dispatch, and my sister is a nurse) celebrate when they can around work schedules. We have always told our kids that we get special arrangements with Santa and the Easter Bunny to come on alternate days. I just continued that once I got divorced.
Your kids might be spending the holidays with their other parent, and you might find yourself alone for the holidays. Yes, it’s going to be tough that first year. Don’t bypass the celebrations, just because you don’t have your kids on the particular day. Use it as a chance to spoil yourself!! You deserve it, mama!
And when your kids do come home from their father’s house, excited because of presents or new adventures, contain your jealousy, and celebrate with them. Don’t take away their happiness. Be happy for your children that they get to spend time and have fun.
Don’t worry about “one-upping”, it all evens out in the end, and your children will have memories from both sides. They aren’t mentally calculating how much money each parent is spending, but they are noting how engaged you are, how much you pay attention, and the memories you are making with them. They don’t need fancy toys or big expensive vacations. You’ll find the strongest memories they have are of the times they had the most fun with you, the smile on your face, the love they feel.
Easy Holiday Traditions
- Make some hot chocolate in travel mugs, and drive around looking at Christmas lights. Try different neighbourhoods, or community parks that have light displays.
- Put on a Christmas movie while decorating the tree (our favourite is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)
- Try Christmas baking together. Go all out on a made-from-scratch gingerbread house, or for something new, try making these ninjabread men
- Speaking of gingerbread houses, if you’re not into the hassle of baking (like me), try a kit. For an even better idea, get a Christmas themed Lego set that you can assemble and disassemble every year
Whatever traditions you create, whether everyday or holiday, your “new” family will cherish those memories forever!
Got some ideas for making new family traditions you would add? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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