Prep for Holiday Parenting Time in Spring?


Prep for Holiday Parenting Time in Spring?

In this episode, we'll cover two important tips for preparing early for holiday parenting time with your children..

If you're contemplating how to plan for or respond to a divorce, be sure to listen to this episode first! For legal assistance or mediation services, contact us at (630) 891-2478 or at

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[00:00] Erin Birt: Welcome to the Restorative Divorce Podcast, where we focus on all things divorce and parenting related. To help you find clarity, stay informed, and stay out of family court. With 20 plus years of family law experience, our attorney and mediator Erin Birt has seen too many times how family court will negatively impact your health, your relationship with your kids, and your wallet. This podcast s aims to turn that around and empower our listeners to take back control of their family law process and their lives by working with divorced professionals that seek to help and not hurt. Our goal is to provide you with expert tips that you can implement today to restore your finances, emotional wellbeing, and coparenting skills. Of course, our team at Birt Law is always here to customize a restorative divorce plan for you, but for now, listen to this episode to get help today.

Prepare early for holiday parenting time

[00:57] Erin Birt: It might seem like an odd time to talk about holiday plans in the start of Spring. However, it takes a while to modify or to create a holiday schedule. If you are seeking mediation to resolve those parenting issues, you need to start thinking about planning to set your appointment with your mediator now, even though currently it is just March, you might not be able to get to the other side to agree to mediation, and you might not get into mediation for a couple of weeks now. At our office, we try to prioritize getting you in as soon as possible. But there's many things that influence a person's ability to agree to go to mediation, and sometimes that just has to do with the relationship history, that personal history, or that parents wellbeing, and they might not be able to make a decision as fast as you to start mediation. So it's always best to start the process as early as possible.

You should start thinking about holidays and modifications to holidays now that we're out of that larger holiday season, it's going to be fresh in your mind what went well, what maybe didn't go so well, and it is a good time to start organizing yourself so that you can prepare for either mediation or legal services to see if you can modify your holiday schedule. And Springtime is the best time to start doing that now.

Make a list about your holiday parenting time

What you can do to try to help yourself organize what you would like to change is to perhaps write out what went well and what didn't go well just this last holiday season. You should also take a calendar, or if you would like, our office can create a calendar of what your current holiday schedule looks like, and then we can create a calendar of what your holiday schedule might change to so that you have a visual representation of what was and what could be. It also helps you, if you are going through the mediation process, to be able to discuss the schedule easily. Sometimes people get bogged down with looking at the written word looking at a holiday schedule that is set forth over multiple pages. We can help you put that all on one page. We can help you with an actual calendar. And these visual representations will make your communication more effective and more efficient as you move through either the mediation process or working with an attorney to modify your holiday plans. So that's tip number one, start early.

Create a visual calendar

Think about what went well last time, what you would like to change for the future, and then tip two create a calendar. Create a visual representation of both of those scenarios last, what you can do is speak with the other parent about the need for making a change. If they are not in agreement, you can then propose that you go to mediation. They might need to read up, what is mediation? Why would I want to do that? What are the benefits of mediation? And if you need any of those resources, we have them available on There's a tab with several different pages about mediation information. Mediation is a great way to talk about parenting issues because it's modeling problem solving behaviors for your children. It's showing them that the two parents can privately resolve their parenting issues, and it keeps you out of the backlogged court system.

The number one thing that gets difficult with parenting is waiting until the actual holiday season to try to adjust your holiday schedule for your kids in the court system. They feel that you could have prepared early. Certain holidays and certain faith based holidays will come every single year. And they expect parents to prepare early and not seek an emergency hearing to resolve a holiday schedule while you're in the midst of the holiday season. So spring is a great time to start that process - Let's look forward to the new year. Let's set everybody up for success to have a happy holiday season in 2023 and 2024. So if you have any questions about how to modify that schedule or what's a good idea for a schedule, you can contact our office at or give us a call at 630-891-2478.

Plan some Me Time!

Now, while we're focused on just the children aspect for the holiday schedule for the kids, I want to offer some tips for you. If you happen to not have the children on a certain holiday and you might be struggling with that, what are things that you can do? Some tips are take time to plan for yourself, perhaps create a new budget for yourself. Maybe you can travel, go see extended family, or do something that you've always wanted to do when you don't have the children when they are with the other parent. You can also schedule times to socialize with your friends and family. Remember to try to confirm via text or email so that you are accountable and you'll make sure you show up even if you're not feeling very happy or joyous, and focus on you. If you don't want to travel. If you don't want to necessarily socialize, maybe just think about what do you want to do? What would you like to spend time on that perhaps you don't have time when you are parenting. It could be something like a massage, a haircut, scheduling important doctor's appointments. While it doesn't sound fun, it's important that you take care of yourself so that you can be the best parent that you can be for your kids.

So I hope some of these tips help you with your holiday schedule for your children and maybe that holiday schedule for when you don't have your children again. If you are interested in resolving your family, your holiday schedule changes, give us a call. We'll set up a plan. We can even reach out to the other parent to see if they're willing to mediate and all of us can get together and plan for a happy and fun holiday season in 2023 and 2024.

[07:38] Erin Birt: Thanks for listening to the Restorative Divorce podcast with your host, attorney and mediator, Erin Birt, and our paralegal, Tyler Birt. A special thanks to our contributors and to the authors of the many articles that inspire us and keep our clients informed. We hope you enjoyed our deep dive into the separation, divorce or parenting tips covered today that you can use now to help restore yourself. If you strive to improve your life or the lives of your children after a separation or divorce, join us next week when we will cover more Restorative Divorce topics. You can head over to to get the podcast transcripts, follow us on social media and email, even find more valuable family law information, all for your benefit. Get help today and work with us one on one. Contact us to set up a consultation or planning session to start rebuilding your life today. Enjoy this day and we'll see you next time.

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  • Erin Birt

    Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on pa...

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