6 Tips for Surviving the Holidays When You’re Divorced With Kids

December 20, 2016
in Kids

Photographed by Arthur Elgort, Vogue, April 2011 In 2016, the holidays are a far cry from an idyllic Norman Rockwell painting. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is probably a more realistic depiction of the dysfunctional family dynamics that actually go down—but even that seems quaint in this new postelection world, where the dinner table can suddenly become an ulcer-inducing political battleground. If you’re divorced with kids, that adds a whole new element to the equation and potential dimension to the dysfunction—and the likelihood of a stressful season suddenly becomes very real, very fast. As the daughter of a divorce attorney, I’ve heard anecdotally about the squabbling, bickering, and negotiating between divorced parents that can color the days leading up to Christmas. So I was happily surprised when E! News host and the Cattwalk blogger Catt Sadler—a mom to two boys and now a remarried divorcée—told me her holidays are pretty drama free. “Conscious uncoupling is really a thing,” says Sadler. “I know it because I’ve lived it. When the phrase was coined by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, I was already in an amicable relationship with my ex and working on diligently moving past the dissolution of our marriage in the spirit of forgiveness. We accepted that our days of husband and wife were over, but our jobs as parents would continue. We wanted nothing more than to share in their lives together and give them a sense of continued security and comfort post-divorce. In the almost 10 years since my first husband Kyle and I split, the holidays have worked out to be a lot less stressful than I ever anticipated.” Here, she walks me through how they make it work: We make choices jointly regarding what’s best for the kids. Kyle and I decided early on that we would co-parent, and this time of the year has been easier...

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