Handling the Holidays: For Adults Who Grew Up in Divorced Homes

 

Every year I have to make a decision. Should I spend Christmas morning at dad’s and Christmas afternoon at mom’s? Thanksgiving day I make it to both my mom’s and dad’s, sitting down to a dinner at each house and being careful not to get too stuffed so I still have time for my mom’s apple pie at the end of the night. If I’m honest with myself, at the end of each holiday, I feel much like I did when I was kid — split between two houses and trying to make both sides of my family happy.

For adults who grew up in divorced homes, the holidays can be an especially challenging time. It can make adults feel like children again — torn between two parents, not wanting to disappoint or hurt either one’s feelings. Although adults who grew up in divorced homes know they are allowed to choose how they spend their time, they may feel a sense of obligation to spend adequate time with all members of their families, which in many cases is impractical or impossible. In the end, if members of a divorced family feel anxious, let down, or upset about how they spend their holidays, nobody wins.

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Tracy E. Clifford for Huffpost Divorce

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