Single Moms and the Holiday Blues: Lifting Your Spirits

By Alaina Sheer

Mistletoe? What mistletoe? Some single moms may find themselves alone for the holidays due to custody arrangements.And it may be hard-well for some, impossible-to be cheery, while visions of the perfect Norman Rockwell family infiltrate our consciousness.

SMW asked Alaina Sheer, one of’s contributors to share with us how she survives the holidays as a single mom:

This will be my third holiday season as a single mother and even though I have recently found a very special man, who I fondly call Mr. Man on my blog, I will still be alone this year over Christmas and into the New Year because he’ll be out of town. So… yet another holiday season alone for this single mother.

Here are a few of the tips I use to stave off potential holiday blues. I hope they help.

Make plans with your single friends. What? You don’t have any single friends? Find some! Seriously, what are you doing hanging around all of those married people anyway? The holidays always bring dozens of long lost family members, right? Take your random single cousin and hit a local bar on Christmas night – not to find men, but to meet and make other single friends.

Buy yourself a gift. I used to do this in my hapless marriage and still carry on my little private (addiction) tradition. Every holiday season I buy myself something special, usually a super hot dress to wear out on New Year’s Eve. This year will be no exception. I recommend shopping on for something hand made and one of a kind – just like you!

Remember that being alone is not the end of the world and nothing to be ashamed about. The solace and peace we often find in being single during our day to day grind often slips away over the holidays, when love is in the air and happy couples seem to be every where. But it shouldn’t. Being single, especially as a mother, is one of life’s great treats. You probably won’t be single forever, so enjoy it while it lasts! Besides, there’s nothing more romantic than being single over the holidays – I think 90% of romantic movies have holiday, snowy settings with – you guessed it, a lonely single gal or guy.

Curl up on the couch with a good book. I know this year I’ll be alone with my Christmas tree in the dark nights of December and it won’t be pretty. It’s the nights that get us, the time we would be spending with our husbands if we had one. So my plan is to buy a book I can’t put down. If you have any recommendations – leave a comment!

Make up new traditions. If this is your first year as a single mother it’s time to make new holiday traditions, minus dad, for Christmas, Hannukah or whichever holiday you celebrate. Make the new tradition making a fun adventure for you and the kids. Head to the library and check out all kinds of holiday books. Let the kids choose the traditions they want to start. Take a lot of pictures and keep a holiday journal along the way.

Make way for the ex. Speaking of new traditions, the holidays are now shared with your ex-hubby. For the children’s sake it is absolutely paramount to create a drama free holiday. Do not, under any circumstances, discuss the holiday plans when the children are around. Have these conversations to work out your schedule when they are sleeping or far, far out of ear shot. Remember, the holidays are really for kids in the end, not us.

Ignore the mistletoe. As I advise in my video on How to Get Over Your Ex, avoid things that remind you of the days that were. For example, don’t go to the same park that you smooched at with your ex when he proposed a few Christmas’ ago – unless you’re there to bury the memories. Instead, create new traditions for your single self like a movie rental with a long hot bath on the other end!

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