Jana Kramer is getting candid about spending her first holiday alone.
Kramer, who finalized her divorce from former NFL player Mike Caussin this summer, said that she was not celebrating the holiday with her children in an honest Instagram post.
The 37-year-old shared a series of pictures from a photoshoot with her kids, including one shot of her smiling as she held the hands of her children: Jolie Rae, 5, and Jace Joseph, 2. The other two photos were of her son and daughter posing together, including an image of them smiling as they ran. In the caption, she penned a message about the holiday.
“I’m beyond thankful for my beautiful babies,” she wrote. “My heart hurts not being with them today and I have a feeling whether it’s the first holiday apart or the 30th there will always be an ache in the heart… BUT How grateful and thankful I am that I’m their momma.”
The country singer took a moment to address any parents in a similar situation this holiday season, adding, “Thinkin of all the others that are having a ‘first’ holiday of loss or missing or just a difficult time. Let it out and then let’s eat and drink our feelings.”
Fellow parents in the comments took the time to thank Kramer for her honesty and share their own experiences.
“It’s my first without my kids also,” one commenter wrote. “My family isn’t celebrating today so I’m just chilling at home today. It’s definitely lonely.”
Another parent added, “First holiday without mine. You are not alone and we will be juuusst fine. No one takes our place.”
“I had my first Thanksgiving alone 4 years ago,” one parent shared of their own experience. “It was hard not lying. I cried a lot but I survived and so will you but ache goes on! Love you girl!”
Earlier this month, Kramer opened up about the emotions that were beginning to surface as she realized that the holiday season would be different this year for her and her children. On Instagram, she shared a photo where she was dressed up and smiling. Up next in the carousel, though, the singer posted a teary photo of herself.
“Reality vs reality,” she wrote in the caption. “The second photo was taken actually a week before Halloween. I started to see ‘family’ Halloween photos and I thought oh wow here comes the start of the holidays and how different this year is going to look. I’m not gonna lie it broke me in that moment but we suited up as a family and were super hero’s.”
Kramer recalled a conversation she had with her therapist about Christmas, explaining, “As a kid I loved Christmas. Then I hated Christmas because my parents divorced but the second I had my ‘family’ I loved Christmas again. Because I had the family unit I wanted so badly as a child.”
“The first time I saw Christmas lights a few weeks ago I had a good cry and I would be lying if it wasn’t hard to bring down all the Christmas decorations today,” she added. “Seeing old ornaments and feeling old memories. But just like Jennie said on the podcast a few weeks ago ‘you give the kids the best Christmas ever’ and choose joy because there is light around that corner.”
In the message, Kramer made a point to note that it’s important to remember that you never know what people are dealing with during the holiday season, adding, “What they are grieving, how their heart feels so continue to choose grace, love, CHASE joy and find your LIGHT.”
To conclude the post, the "One Tree Hill" star shared the reasoning behind sharing a selfie of her crying, writing, “I believe there is beauty and strength in showing all sides because I know I’m not alone and neither are you."