With each holiday, we have this feeling of relief. It is a time to relax and rest for a bit or maybe do something we normally do not have time to do. But in reality, many people do work on the holidays or at least part of the holiday. So . . . how do we handle this situation? For some it means upset and disappointment take the driver’s seat. How can we take charge and use this as an opportunity to make the best of a hard situation and pull together to still be happy?
- Starting with coming from a place of understanding and love can help. Talking about it with each other and really listening to how the other feels is a good start. Respectfully sharing our feelings is healthy. Acknowledging and accepting each other’s feelings go a long way to being able to work through upset feelings.
- Develop a PLAN as to how to work with the situation. For example, you cannot go on your day trip you wanted to do on Saturday, so you go on Sunday. Or if you must work the whole holiday, maybe a day is taken off close to this time frame to MAKE YOUR OWN HOLIDAY. Taking charge and being proactive to include some time in some way can help. Yes, it is not exactly the same, but it can still work and still give you the time together that you want.
- Express appreciation to the person who is having to work, letting them know that you appreciate how they are doing what they have to do to help to support the family, etc. And that you know that they really don’t want to work and would prefer to be home. Let them know you will miss them and be ready to do something special or relaxing with them when they can do so with you.
- Express appreciation to the person who is home, letting them know how you know that it is disappointing and you appreciate their understanding.
- Consider some extra efforts to stay connected. An extra call or text might help to remind each other that you are thinking of the other. Or leave a hand written note for your loved one telling them you love them and will miss them. Or maybe delivering some lunch or meeting for lunch can help a bit. Or the person at home or remaining family at home can make a special dish or treat for the loved one that has to work.
- Choose to be happy with the time you do have. Avoiding the trap of continuing to be upset when everyone is re-united.
- Finding something fun YOU can do while your loved one is gone. This helps you to be in charge of your happiness and not let circumstances dictate your feelings.
If there are choices as to working on holidays and you know your loved ones really need you, then by all means take this time off. There may be conflicting needs, if so take time to talk about this as a couple to decide what makes sense for you as a couple or as a family. You may need really need the money or you may be ok with out it. Your boss may be ok with letting you off or they may not. Trying to work to balance and meet everyone’s needs are important. It is the talking and listening and trying to be there as much as possible that makes a difference. And then when you cannot be with each other how you CHOOSE to handle it.