I don’t think I ever anticipated how difficult the holidays were going to be. Our first Christmas as two units has the kids trying to figure it all out at a whole new level. I think what will get us through it all is the constant communication and making a point to let them talk about it. I try really hard to let them have their moments of heart ache over the fact that their mom and I live in two separate houses. And it seems just getting it out helps them a lot of the time.
I’m sure my situation is a lot better than some. Their mom and I still work together on parenting and are friendly toward each other. Being apart has actually helped our relationship I think. That helps us with the kids as a whole too as we share what we’ve experienced with them week to week allowing the other one to have a sense of where things stand and what’s been talked about.
Overall I’m blown away at how positive and happy the kids are all things considered. They have their moments of lashing out and letting us know they’re angry about the situation. All I try to do is remind them that I love it when they’re with me. My oldest actually asked me if I liked it better when they weren’t around because of how quiet it is. I quickly shot that thought down and told her how much I actually prefer the noise because it feels more like a house and how much the silence drives me crazy. It seemed to mean something to her. And tonight I let them all know that I’d had a horrible day and was very down before they got home from school and that they had gotten me in a great mood and that being with them made my day.
The point is … the holidays in and of themselves are stressful and full of heavy moments. Throwing a divorce into the mix is like throwing a ton of bricks on top of an already heavy load. The kids will be watching and picking up on how you react to it. My take is … do anything and everything you can to stay up and remind them of how much you love it when they’re around … even when they’re frustrating you.