Coparenting During The Holidays

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Defining coparenting can be hard any time of year and coparenting during the holidays isn't any easier. We could all use coparenting tips to help.

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Coparenting During The Holidays

Coparenting rules can feel messy. What works one year may not necessarily work the next. But one thing that's universally true is that we all want to do our best at coparenting and that we're all bettered when we share our coparenting ideas with each other. This is why we're thrilled to launch VProud's Guide To Coparenting During The Holidays today. It's filled to the brim with tips from moms in our VCommunity who have been there, done that, and who are, quite honestly, still muddling through it. That's why we're so proud of it—it's the epitome of an honest conversation. Writer and newish-ly divorced mother of three, Erin Best, reflects on the video from the raw, transparent eyes of someone who is very much in the early stages of muddling through coparenting during the holidays. We love Erin's essay because, much like the video, nothing is sugar-coated in it. Take a look at Erin's words and heart. They're both so very important because when we share our stories, we can't help but be bettered.

—The VProud Team

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Defining And Redefining Coparenting During The Holidays

By Erin Best for VProud

I wish I’d had these tips for coparenting through the holidays last year, my first year on the other side. There’s no real manual or guidebook for these struggles, but this video comes pretty close. 

I’m sending a link to my ex, and maybe if we were in a better place we’d sit down together to watch it and discuss everything. This video should be mandatory, like the court ordered Parents Forever class we had to take when we first separated, because this video makes me want to sit across from the table with my ex and have those hard conversations. It's not easy, it's one of the hardest things we have to do. But the kids are worth it. And that's what this video made me feel—hopeful like it's possible to do this, like I, we, can do it.

The advice in this video is top notch and seems simple. However, I think we all need reminders sometimes. As she says, we are all adults. But the way I see it, we already botched our marriage and there's zero chances that this didn't affect our three kids. We’ve been through so much, the five of us, as it is. Everything is different, strange, and feels a little foreign and fragile (or maybe that’s just me?). But for the kids’ sake, my ex and I have to communicate, work together, and take baby steps toward new traditions.

VProud’s video inspires me to do better at this coparenting gig. I should be kinder to myself (I still struggle with alone time), and until I watched the video, I didn’t realize the validation I needed about making choices about things like giving my kids presents and overcompensating. I’m sure I’m not the only one, so I’m excited to see how others react to this video.

And while I’d like to think that everyone knows that dates don’t matter, maybe it helps to hear it from someone who’s been there. Me? As long as I get to spend that time with my kids and celebrate in our own way, I don’t care what the calendar says.

I’d love to get to a place like Mandy describes in the video, where we can handle holidays better, and perhaps even all together; but the reality is that not everyone can (or should?) strive for that model. Most days I’m happy and relieved when we can easily navigate the simple things like homework, doctor’s appointments, and travel plans. Holidays are stressful and complicated even under the best of circumstances. Add in a divorce, and anyone can go into a tailspin.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to coparenting. Everyone is different, each family has its own separate set of operating dynamics. Even with the most amicable divorce, things are still bound to get messy when it comes to kids and the holidays. That’s where the women in the video and their insights come in handy. 

Thank you, ladies, for saying what needs to be said. Sometimes people just need to hear it from an experienced person, someone who’s walked the walk and now has a clearer vision. And when it's a whole group of women telling you that you'll be okay and that you can do it, you almost feel like it will and you can. 

Emotions like anger, sadness, guilt and frustration can often work their way into coparenting, but they shouldn’t. It’s not about us. The kids are the bottom line. And scene.

erin best vproud
About the author: Erin Best is an original co-producer of The Listen To Your Mother: Kansas City Show, and was a speaker at BlogHer '13Salon LGBTQ, and TribeFest. Erin is a writer and a mama to three girls (twins + a singleton). She carpools, moderates homework time, loses countless hands of UNO, and sometimes finds time for social media, the overwhelming list of books she'd like to read, and the occasional glass of chardonnay. Join Erin's honest conversations on VProud.

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Coparenting through the holidays can be hard AF. Do you have any tried and tested tips that actually work?

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