One of the hardest parts of having a husband gone for weeks at a time is getting through the holidays with the kids without him. My family lives 500 miles away, making it hard to get home for holidays, and with a baby now, the idea seems really overwhelming to try by myself. Sometimes we get to celebrate with my husband’s family or friends, but we have had many holidays where it is just me and the kids. While it does seem a bit depressing to be alone with the kids for the holidays, there are some things you can do to make the most of it.
You can always try making a smaller version of a holiday meal. For example, I once did a rotisserie chicken, stuffing, green beans, potatoes, and pie for Thanksgiving when I realized we were going to be home one year, instead of celebrating with family. We watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and vegged out with Christmas movies after stuffing our faces.
Last spring, my kids were disappointed that their dad wasn’t going to be able to be with us on Easter. To make up for it, we went for a long nature walk since it was a beautiful day. Then we went to the movie theater since the movie theater is usually open pretty much every day of the year, including holidays, and saw Captain America. The kids thought it was super awesome, and it took their minds off the fact that their dad couldn’t be there to celebrate with them.
You can also try creating fun traditions that are reserved for just you and the kids so that they look forward to them whether or not they get to spend time with both parents or with other relatives. This could include making cookies, doing crafts, decorating, watching movies, and playing games. Try to keep them occupied so that you all are not focusing on the negative aspects of the holiday.
One thing we always try to do is have a big holiday celebration when my husband comes home. We cook a big meal, spend time together, and often times invite family and friends to join us. Yeah, it may not be on the actual holiday, but we have fun and create lots of good memories.
I will admit that it is depressing not to be all together for the holidays, and I think about the fact that while we are missing him, he is away missing all of us. Make sure you get to call your spouse and have the kids talk to him if you get the chance and try to stay positive. While it is hard, you can get through it by having a positive outlook and look forward to when you can all be together again.