WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2017/2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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of four kids. She says she couldn't help but contrast that with her own situation. "Right after a divorce, that can seem extremely lonely." Even tougher, still: This time of year may be the most important one of all for parents to put our own emotions on the back-burner, no mat- ter how difficult that may be, so our kids can just feel a safe sense of family connection. "The first Christmas when my kids were with my ex, I remember thinking, 'Oh my God,'" says Cheryl LaMee, also a divorced mom from Wellesley. "But I remember telling myself, 'Time to put your big girl pants on. I'm not going to lie to my kids and pretend everything is the same, but I've got to show them that life goes on.'" Finding that balance during the initial post-divorce holidays can be one of the most crucial challenges we face, says Steve Ballard, a Wellesley divorce attorney who volunteers his time and expertise as a board member of the nonprofit Wellesley Divorce Center. "Chanukah and Christmas magnify a lot of issues for any family, but especially so when parents have separated." Ballard says that one of the biggest issues that comes up is deciding and dividing where and when the kids will spend their holiday time. "There are so many different strategies," he says. "Interfaith families can take advantage of the win-win of saying, 'You take them on Chanukah, I'll take them on Christmas.' Or, if everyone celebrates Christmas, plenty of parents will switch off, agreeing that one will have the kids on Christmas morning and the other will in the afternoon. And then they alternate that each year." Meanwhile, some parents make the decision to spend the first holi- day together for the sake of the kids' comfort. "Do we bring the other parent into the home right after a divorce? It all depends on the rela- K I D S T O C K / B L E N D I M A G E S L L C "Kids are very good at getting used to changes. As long as they have a bedrock of love and aren't forced to choose sides, they can be incredibly resilient." –Ta n y a G u r e v i c h 146 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 7 / 2 0 1 8

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