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.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/897427

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Page 145 of 195

The Holidays After a Recent Divorce Making Sure the Kids Will Be All Right A L E X A N D R A H A L L writer the first Christmas after my divorce came on like a freight train. In the months before it, I'd worked carefully to absorb and follow all of the advice from experts' books, therapists, and friends. Plus, as a kid of divorce myself, I instinctively understood those crucial golden rules for divorced parents: never argue with your ex in front of the kids or make kids feel like they need to choose sides; make sure they understand that the split wasn't their fault; and be crystal-clear that they'll always be loved by both parents, no matter what's to come. I felt sure my ex and I were acing all of the above. But even still, once that first holiday season hit, there was no preparing me for how suddenly different the scene around the Christmas tree felt compared with the year just before it, when the whole family had celebrated together. And as hard as I tried to keep up the same traditions (cookie-making, tree-decorating, and such) for my two young kids, they and I quietly — if not always silently — still felt the change. What I didn't know at the time was just how many other parents and kids out there were experiencing that very same feeling. "Driving around town during the holidays, every house is seemingly decorated with wreaths and lights and glowing windows, and, from the outside, they all seem like the most beautiful and perfect, joyful family homes," remembers Jessica Johnson (not her real name), a Wellesley mom R O N C H A P P L E S T O C K 144 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 living with kids relationships parenting life lessons emotional growth teenage years growing up family matters

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