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christmas gift battle

3 Ways to Win the Christmas Gift Giving Battle With Your Ex

christmas gift battle

 

My ex always tries to one-up me when it comes to gift giving. One year, he asked me to let everyone on my side of the family know that my son was not allowed to accept video games as a Christmas gift. He then explained that my son was grounded and unable to play video games until he began to mind his manners at home.

His Christmas wish list was mostly comprised of video games, but we scrambled to find him toys and books that he might like instead in order to respect his father’s wishes.

As I had done in previous years, I tried to coordinate shopping efforts to avoid duplicate presents. Up until Christmas Eve, my ex still claimed that he had not gone Christmas shopping. Later, I found out that he had lied and purchased the video games from the original Christmas wish list by my son.

Does this sound familiar? While I was baffled by his deception, it did not overshadow the wonderful memories we created that Christmas. So, how can you win the Christmas gift giving battle with your ex?

3 Ways to Win the Christmas Gift Giving Battle With Your Ex

1. Keep the spirit of the holiday season.

“Your children need your presence more than your presents” (Jesse Jackson). Gift giving is an essential part of the holidays, but not the most important part. Figure out what makes this holiday special to you. If you were raised in a traditional Christian home, you may have been taught to observe Christmas as the day that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ and participate in religious ceremonies. If you are not religious, you may simply dedicate Christmas day to celebrating love, kindness and togetherness amongst friends and family.

Either way, Christmas is a day to create loving memories with your children. Keep the spirit of joy. Do not let anger and resentment about perceived wrongdoing by your ex keep you from enjoying what is most important.

2. Master the art of unique gift giving.

It is not the gift that counts, but the thought behind it. Buying the latest video game is too easy. Think outside the box and locate unexpected gifts by actively listening to your children. Did they marvel at something as simple as a cool pair of house slippers you spotted one day while shopping in Target?

Make them feel special by putting together a gift set with the slippers, a matching robe, nighttime snacks and a pack of hot chocolate for a thoughtful Christmas Eve present. They will know you were listening and that you care enough to put some actual effort into your gift giving. Or, go for individual touches like preparing a Christmas stocking full of age appropriate trinkets you know they’ll appreciate (such as Angry Birds plush toys for young ones, or Apple iTunes gift cards for your older children).

3. Remember that it is not about you.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). What matters the most is that your children are happy. Focus on making their happiness the priority. Think back to your fondest memories of Christmas. It is impossible to remember every gift you received, but you probably remember the experiences you shared with those around you.

Keep that in mind as you strive to do the best you can for your children, no matter how much money you spend or how elaborate the gifts. Mark this as a time in which petty annoyances by your ex become less consequential and start to establish a pattern of positive thinking that will not only win you the battle but may even win you the war.

The post 3 Ways to Win the Christmas Gift Giving Battle With Your Ex appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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surviving your kids christmas break

6 Tips For Surviving Your Kid’s Christmas Break

surviving your kids christmas break

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…except your kids are sprinting through the house, screaming like banshees and swinging from your newly-dusted chandelier. It’s enough to make you want to yell, “Bah humbug!” and head straight for the spiked eggnog.

But before you turn into a (slightly tipsy) Scrooge, try these 6 tips to stay blissful when the anarchy threatens to take over the house.

Tips For Surviving Your Kid’s Christmas Break

Break up that long school break.

Unplanned, unstructured days at home with your kids are necessary and wonderful… but an entire week of them will seriously test your sanity. Long school breaks need some balance and a plan. Alternate relaxing days at home with play dates, visits to the museum, and outdoorsy field trips. And extra time with their Dad!

Put your kids to work on Christmas morning.

Once the initial excitement over new toys wears off, sibling fights and cries of boredom tend to start. Redirect their energy by having them make mini smartphone videos, showing off their cool new loot, for family members who don’t live nearby. This task will keep your kids occupied, make the video recipients smile and buy you a little extra peace and quiet.

Say no—and mean it.

Turning down invitations and putting the kibosh on unrealistic plans doesn’t mean that you’re ruining the holidays (no matter what your kids say). It means that you’re being realistic about your limits.

Say it nicely but firmly, and you won’t be as likely to overextend yourself or argue with your kids. Here are three sentences to practice with: “No, we can’t go to another party tonight since we’re already committed to two this weekend.” “No, 7-year-olds can’t have their own smartphones, but maybe in another few years.” “No, you cannot have candy canes for breakfast.”

Take a deep breath before reacting.

A deep, belly-filing breath has the power to calm your body and your brain. Do this as soon as you feel general holiday anxiety starts to creep in… and when your kids push your buttons. It’s amazing how many conflicts can be avoided—or at least not escalated—when you wait a few seconds to respond.

Escape the room.

You may not think you have a spare second to spend on your own, but believe it or not, the world will keep spinning if you take an hour to get a massage, watch Stranger Things or indulge in a much-needed nap. Find the time by asking your babysitter to stay an extra hour, doing a kid swap with a mom friend, or giving your ex the gift of extra time with the children during the holidays.

Keep it all in perspective.

You won’t emotionally scar your kids if you don’t make the cookies from scratch or buy them matching reindeer pajamas. All this holiday madness is supposed to be fun, and if it’s not, take a step back, reevaluate and make a change. Your kids will be happy if you’re happy and if you’re truly present with them. That’s when the magic happens, and that’s what they’ll remember.

The post 6 Tips For Surviving Your Kid’s Christmas Break appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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My First Christmas Tree As a Single Mom

My First Christmas Tree As a Single Mom

first christmas tree as a single momMy first Christmas tree as a single mom.

My first picture of ME lifting him up to put the star on the tree.

You deal with day to day life and it’s fine, you boss up and do your thing every day.

Were MOMS. That’s what we do!

Make sure your child gets to school every day, take them to doctor appointments, make sure they have the right book bags, clothes, snacks, a clean bed and clean house to live in.

Make sure they wake up every day on time and have a nutritional breakfast and start the day off with laughs and lots of pep talks. LOL

Make sure they feel loved every day and read them books every night before bed. Keep the monsters away late at night when they come into your bed and are scared.

But the first Christmas tree stings.

You feel all the pain again. How he gave up on our marriage and our family. How he left me a few weeks before having heart surgery. You get used to someone giving up when the going gets tough and relying on you and yourself only.

And it stings the most because his dad isn’t here to lift him up for the first Christmas ever to put the star on. But it’s EMPOWERING to know I got the picture this year. And To know that I’m STRONG enough to lift him to put the star on the tree.

Running my business from home that my ex never believed in and I’m able to provide for us. To be my son’s safe haven.

To kiss his boos boos when he’s hurt.

To fix refrigerators, vacuums, and anything else going wrong with the house.

To mow all 3 acres.

To snuggle him and feed him chicken soup when he’s sick.

I’m STRONG ENOUGH.

So while I sit here in my PEACEful house with candles lit, tree put up, lights everywhere, the house decorated EXACTLY how I want it. I have PEACE in my heart, PEACE with where I’m at in life, and more importantly for my son and I, PEACE in our HOME.

My little baby and I are happy with just us. I will never stop believing in myself and having faith in God every day and that he has an amazing plan for us.

So keep pushing single mamas out there. YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

Our babies need us as much as we need them.

And we don’t need a man.

Our children come first and they need to see their mamas happy more than anything and never settle for less than that.

I AM ENOUGH.

That’s what matters.

PEACE. Happiness, and most importantly lots of Love.

And Thanks to my mama for the picture. Moms are always there when you need them the most, as I will do for him.

The post My First Christmas Tree As a Single Mom appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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single moms at christmas

A Message To Single Moms At Christmas

single moms at christmas

 

A Message To Single Moms At Christmas

Hey! Hey, you! I see you there, staying up late, searching for the best deals and worrying about how you’re going to put presents under the tree. I know you’ve been squirreling money away since July, hoping to surprise your kids with more than you were able to give last year.

I understand all too well how much easier it would be if you had another income to work with. How much weight would be off your shoulders if you didn’t live paycheck to paycheck all year long?

I know that this time of year is hard, if only because you want to do so much more for your kids than you can.

But I saw you carrying a tree as big as you through the lot all by yourself, never once complaining or asking for help. I saw you bundling the entire family up, going neighborhood to neighborhood to admire the lights as Christmas carols played on your car radio.

I know that most nights, when you’re not too tired or rundown, you try to sit with them and read at least one Christmas story, sometimes in front of a fire. I’ve seen you making hot chocolate and breaking out the advent calendar, determined to make happy holiday memories for those little people you love so much.

I know you’ve been sharing your favorite holiday movies, beaming with pride as your kids laughed at Elf” or giggled through “A Christmas Story” (Fun fact to impress them with: The same kid who played Ralphie grew up to play one of the head elves, supervising Buddy at the North Pole. Ask your kids if they can spot him!)

I saw you flipping through your Christmas cookie recipes, trying to plan a time to bake with your favorite little people—trying even harder not to think about how much you don’t need those cookies around your house. (It’s the holidays, let yourself indulge a little. I promise you deserve it.)

I know you may be worrying (or even heartbroken) about spending Christmas alone this year (perhaps it’s their dad’s turn to have them) or about not being able to give them the Christmas they deserve if they will be with you. I know that it’s not just the presents that get expensive this time of year.

The visits to Santa, the tree, the new ornaments, even the baking supplies; it all adds up. And maybe you have a job where you won’t get paid on the days you aren’t working, making this a short month with less money coming your way.

I see you trying to do the very best you can anyway.

I know you bolt out of bed some nights, remembering that you forgot to hide the elf. So you jump up and move him while it’s on your mind, and then you can’t fall back asleep for another two hours. Only in the morning do you realize how unoriginal your new hiding spot was.

And I know that you are the only one wrapping gifts and that because you’re tired and stressed out and a little short on personal time, the corners aren’t just right. And you’ve got a few presents with scraps of paper taped together because you don’t have any to waste.

But you know what? Your kids don’t seem to care. They don’t mind that there are only a few presents under the tree, or even that the tree is second-hand and a little beaten up.

They aren’t upset you had to skip the Santa visit this year, and they remember all the Christmas stories by heart—because you’ve read them every year before now. And do you want to know the best part? They think you are beautiful enough to eat all the cookies without fear.

Maybe this is the first year you’ve been doing it all on your own, or perhaps it’s always been like this. Either way, there is an extra pressure there when you are solo parenting around the holidays. You never want your kids to miss out. You never want them to feel as though they don’t have everything every other family does. And this time of year, that missing presence can feel even harder to ignore.

But I promise you’re doing just fine. Amazing, even.

Because every step of the way, you are putting your kids first. You are pushing and striving to make this holiday season better than the last, to stick to the traditions, to create the memories and to show your kids just how much you love them.

You are a superwoman. And I’m here to tell you, even if those attempts don’t go exactly as originally planned, they know it.

And they see you, too.

They see you bending over backward to make the holidays special. They see you slapping a smile on your face as you sing, even though the circles under your eyes are dark. They may not be beaming with gratitude just yet; in fact, it might take them years to tell you just how much your efforts meant. But they see you, and the memories you are working so hard to make.

You are singlehandedly creating Christmas, and your kids are benefitting daily from that fact. They see you, and they’ll always remember…

The carols.

The hot chocolate.

The lazy elf.

The love.

All of this will mean so much more to them than anything you could possibly put under the tree. In fact, years from now, they won’t remember what gifts they got this Christmas—but they will remember how hard their mom worked to make it special.

You’re doing an amazing job. So be kind to yourself this holiday season; you deserve some happy memories, too.

Merry Christmas,

Olivia

The post A Message To Single Moms At Christmas appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Divorce Attorney Elise Mitchell's Private Files Document Blow Jobs to Judges

San Jose Family Court:  Christmas  Protest During Hanukkah

Parents ignored Judge Lucas’ FAKE  Order as they blasted the San Jose Family Court with Megaphones , Picket Signs  and Christmas decorations in an effort to bring media attention to how California Courts are harming families. 

When the parents  left, on the last day of Hanukkah, they left a decorated  Christmas Tree filled with ornaments in memory of children who were killed, committed suicide or taken from their parents because of family court judges and corrupt divorce lawyers. 

These parents have been protesting the courts for months. Often led by Scott Largent and Michelle Chan with mighty megaphones, the parents are not backing down on getting their voices heard and media attention to the courts. 

Scott Largent was arrested last May for using a toy megaphone in the exact location of Monday’s protest,  but Santa Clara County Sheriffs have reportedly backed off as Sherriff Laurie Smith refuses to enforce what many believe is an unconstitutional order issued by Judge Lucas to silence protesters during the Persky recall. 

Judge Persky was recalled in June 2018 and is now trying to get donations to pay legal fees that are a fraction of what many parents paid to get divorced in his court. 

Meanwhile, lawyers inside and out of the courthouse have become aware of criminal investigations that could get many divorce lawyers disbarred and judges removed from the bench after a link to Judge James Towery and DA Jeff Rosen reveals pressure on the San Jose Mercury to not cover family court issues date back to Rosen’s 2010 election. 

Michael Lazarin was present at the protest, as he continues to fight to raise awareness related to issues involving domestic violence, which impacted his biological daughter, Audrie Pott, who committed suicide in 2012.

Lazarin has been legally abused by Lisa and Larry Pott. the greedy evil step parents of Audrie, who made a fortune off the young girl’s death. Many  in  the upscale Los Gatos community believe Lisa and Larry  used Audrie’s  death for greed and profit. 

Sheila Pott , Audrie’s mother,  is reportedly being investigated for tax fraud and criminal charges related to claims she  assisted in an unreported campaign donation to Jeff Rosen through here real estate lending career. The Potts reportedly used private lawyer Robert Allard to arrange illegal  payments to Rosen that were not properly reported during Rosen’s 2014 campaign for re-election as Santa Clara County District Attorney. 

Also present at the protest were family members of Alycia Mesiti,  the young girl whose mother and aunts could not afford to protect her in family court, where Judge Persky and Judge Chiarello   refused to follow the law and gave custody of Mesiti. and her brother. to their father, despite his criminal history of abuse and refusal to pay the most basic child support. 

Several protestors had been victimized by divorce attorneys Heather Allan, Hector Moreno, BJ Faden, Jessica Huey, Valerie Houghton, Walter Hammon, Leah Amini, Elise Mitchell, Sharon Roper  and Bradford Baugh, lawyers who are currently being investigated  RICO activity where they obtain court orders to send kids to supervised visitation centers or reunification camps where many local judges and lawyers have a financial interest.  

The protest included both mothers and fathers who are united  in exposing family court corruption where  greedy divorce lawyers are appointed to represent children, and fail. And where corrupt judges use  Kids for Cash to the lawyer with the most cash and favors. 

California’s Judicial Council has tried to silence these protestors for decades. Rumor has it they are frustrated the parents in Santa Clara County, the county that just recalled Judge Arron Persky,  simply will not go away. 

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