This year, I’m celebrating the season solo. Oh, the joys of co-parenting! My ex is picking up our daughter mid-month. Although Thanksgiving somewhat prepared me for her time away from “mommy’s house” as she calls it, her absence will still be felt. I’ll miss her making mashed potatoes on her kid kitchen and pretending to fix a feast. I’ll miss seeing her face light up like the angel on top of the Christmas tree when she sees her gifts underneath.
Instead of becoming blue, I’m inspired to come up with creative ways to celebrate the season. Here are a few ways to co-parent through the upcoming holidays, even if you’re not the one who will spend time with your child.
This weekend, I packed a bag and hit the road. I wasn’t heading to grandma’s for a turkey dinner. Instead, I was picking up my daughter at her dad’s house. She spent the holiday with her paternal side of the family, which was a first. I missed celebrating the season with my little angel. Before she left, I told her how much I would miss her. She turned to me and in her tiny, two-year-old voice replied, “Mommy, I miss you too.” Those words reminded me that I am always her mommy and in heart, no matter what state she is in. Instead of becoming blue, I decided to navigate my way through co-parenting a holiday with a smile on my face. And tonight, I’m hosting a Twitter Chat on the same topic with my friends Smart and Sassy Mom and Moms ‘N Charge.
For the past two years, Santa Claus unloaded his entire sleigh under my Christmas tree. At a time when my daughter couldn’t write a wish list or unwrap the red and green gifts, she received everything her little heart desired–if only she knew what the word desire meant.
To this day, we’re still pulling presents out of the closet. And funny enough, her favorite thing isn’t even a thing at all. It’s invisible! She pretends that she’s a waitress and takes my order on an imaginary notepad. She slides my credit card–which is my blog’s business card–and ask for me to sign the slip. Her face shines brighter than the angel at the top of the Christmas tree, and her smile didn’t cost a dime. So this year, I–I mean Santa–am saying Yes to Less. My daughter will get gifts of course, and I’m positive my mother will make up for the difference! However I’m spending less money, which is turn will cause less stress and negativity in my life.
To encourage my daughter to be a whiz at potty training, I created a positive rewards system. When she goes to the bathroom, she gets two M&Ms. Although she loves the chocolate candy, she needs more motivation, especially after she announced that she was taking her potty back to the store. I don’t know Walmart’s return policy, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t include used toilets. So, since chocolate isn’t cutting it, maybe stickers and prizes will prompt her to tinkle.
Here are six rewards charts to help your little one ditch diapers. The sites offer other themes. You can also make your own using a simple table in a Word document and copying your child’s favorite characters or pictures of prizes. If you’re not a DIY mama (me!), the Pull-ups website allows you to customize charts with your child’s name and goals. (more…)