There's no good way to share that the holidays are a tough time for me. I will be looking after my own health and happiness much of this season, to assure that no meltdown occurs in my life. But I will also leave some of my bandwidth open for my kids.
In my life, I have believed that I deserve to be loved with the same intensity and integrity that I am capable of. I have found a worthy recipient. The feeling is mutual.
How do you reconcile being removed from the typical family Christmas? How do you deal with the 22 days a month that you have little or no contact with your children? How do you afford ANY Christmas presents when you're struggling to buy gas?
If your kids are old enough, talk to them about how they would like to do Christmas within the schedule you and the other parent have determined. Over time, it does get better. But while things are fresh and hard, make sure you take care of yourself first.