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Kelly Clarkson on splitting holidays with kids after divorce: ‘All of a sudden you’re alone’

Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock divorced earlier this year after eight years of marriage.

Kelly Clarkson's new normal of spending some holidays without her kids took adjusting, but she found a silver lining: me time.

The Grammy award-winning singer sat down with singer-songwriter Jewel on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” Dec. 13 and discussed co-parenting with their ex-husbands during the holidays. Clarkson's divorce from Brandon Blackstock was finalized earlier this year and they share two kids, River Rose, 8, and Remington Alexander, 6. Jewel was divorced from Ty Murray in 2014 and they share son Kase Townes, 11.

Clarkson and Jewel both said their ex-husbands have the kids for Thanksgiving and they get them for Christmas, and they had to learn how to be OK with that.

"Single parenting is a big adjustment," said Jewel, who is known for hit songs like “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “You Were Meant For Me.” "It’s a trip to get used to being alone for a holiday like that and all my family are in Alaska."

Kelly Clarkson with her children River Rose, left, and Remington, right.
Kelly Clarkson with her children, River Rose, left, and Remington, right.Frederic J. Brown / Getty Images

Clarkson, 40, said dividing up the holidays was easier for her because Blackstock wanted Thanksgiving and she didn't feel very strongly about it.

"It’s not like my favorite holiday and it is for his family so I was like cool," she said. "It was so weird because you’ve always had a kid there and then all of a sudden you’re alone."

Clarkson, 40, and Jewel, 48, said they've learned to repurpose the time usually spent with their kids by reinvesting it in themselves.

"At first it’s weird and then you’re like, 'OK. I can do things.' It’s kind of incredible. You do get a little me time," Clarkson said with a giggle.

"It must be good preparation for empty nest syndrome," Jewel said in response. "It forces me to invest. I used to do things before I had a child. I suddenly seem to forgot what I did.

"But you get better at it," she said.

Clarkson agreed and recalled how she "was a mess" when it was all so new.

"But now, I’m like, it’s awesome," she said. "Absence does make the heart grow fonder."