Alone But Not Lonely For the Holidays

By Lynn Armitage

woman christmasThe editor of Single Minded Women asked me to write a piece about “surviving” the holidays as a single mom. Good choice on her part because I am a PRO at it! Counting this year, I will have celebrated 11 Thanksgivings and Christmases as a single mother. With a shared custody arrangement during the holidays, I have spent half of them with my children, half without.

What I found interesting when I was researching this single-parent topic online were the word choices being bandied about on various websites: “Surviving the holidays,” “Alone on Christmas,” “Coping with loss,” and my personal favorite, “Don’t worry, next year will be better.”

These so-called “helpful” holiday tips are enough to send any single parent spiraling into a depression.

See, the problem with all this survival wisdom is that it stems from a massive assumption that single parents are pitiful, helpless, lonely souls who, if not for these websites to help offset all the suffering, would be decking the halls with homemade nooses.

So I’m going to suggest something completely radical for this supposed sad-sap story about poor, old single parents “surviving” the holidays and suggest that we “celebrate” them, instead, because – NEWSFLASH! – we are in much happier places now, aren’t we?

With a respectful nod to widows or widowers, the alternative to being a single parent, in many cases, would have been to remain in an unhappy, unhealthy relationship with a former partner or spouse, right? That is certainly not the makings for a joyful holiday or a happy home in which to raise your children, if you ask me.

Yes, we have chosen to be single parents – BUT FOR GOOD REASON! And I think it is important, on occasion, to remind ourselves WHY we no longer have spouses to begin with before we RSVP for that holiday pity party: