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3 Things To Do For Your First Thanksgiving After Divorce


Your divorce or custody battle is over and you let yourself finally take one sigh of relief. You finish exhaling and it suddenly hits you – the Holidays are coming. The attorneys at Buckhead Family Law are here to help you navigate through your first Thanksgiving apart from your ex-spouse. The most important thing is to embrace this time instead of letting yourself, and your children, be overwhelmed by the change. Here are a few tips to help guide you through this year’s Thanksgiving holiday (and however many years afterwards!)

Be Prepare to Meet Your Children Where They are At

Every child is going to react differently to the changes to their holiday traditions this year. Some may want to talk. Some may want to cry. Some may want to pretend like nothing is wrong. Part of navigating the early stages of your post-divorce life is meeting your children where they are at as they move through the different stages of processing their new normal. Be mindful not to force them into a stage they aren’t ready for. If they want to be sad, don’t try to sugar coat things for them – acknowledge their feelings and let them know they are valid. When they are ready to embrace the new traditions, build them up. Think about the tough questions they may be asking during this time, and take some time to think through how you are going to address those issues if they come up.

Find Gratitude

If your custody battle was messy, it may be hard to feel very grateful following your divorce. Thanksgiving is a great time to reset and remember all that you have to be thankful for. Although easier said than done, this includes your ex-spouse. At the end of the day, your children are half of your ex-spouse! If this Thanksgiving isn’t your holiday to spend with the children this year, be thankful that they have another loving parent and family to spend time with. Take time for yourself to do things you aren’t usually able to do during the holiday, whether that’s spending extra time with extended family or friends, relaxing, pampering yourself, or binging that new Netflix series you haven’t had time to watch.

Make New Traditions but Keep the Old

No matter your custody arrangement, it is important for your children not to feel the stress, sadness, and other overwhelming emotions that you and your ex-spouse are certainly experiencing. That’s why you should make every effort to continue old traditions celebrated by the family to the extent possible, but also create space for new ones to emerge. If you and your ex-spouse will not be celebrating together, whichever parent is not participating in the old tradition has the opportunity to create a new tradition with the children. Maybe you and the children go for an early morning “gratitude jog” today. Perhaps you take them to the movies to see the newest release. The possibilities are endless for making your family’s “new normal” special for your whole family to take away the sting of change. Embrace it!

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