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Surviving the unwanted divorce

Surviving The Holidays After Divorce – – –

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/city_life/12-19-13-how-to-survive-the-holidays-as-a-divorced-parent-5-tips-that-will-help-remove-the-bitter/

Well – we are officially in the “week of” and no matter the makeup of your family, it’s a stressful time.  In the best of family relationships, this week is tough trying to negotiate all the ins and outs of being with loved ones in concentrated doses.

For me – I don’t “do” Christmas at my home if I don’t have my kids around.  Yes, they are adults, but they’re still MY kids.  They do not now, nor will they EVER belong to “her”.  Yet for the sake of fairness, I have to understand that there will be times that I won’t have them under my roof when I awaken on Christmas morning.

The first Christmas post divorce they all were with me.  The second one was my Mother’s 90th birthday so I took she and my brother on a cruise.  It was bizarre.  It was the first Christmas in 28 years that I had not had an offspring with me.  I didn’t like it.  It was the sign of things to come however.  I’ve had to become creative to be someplace else when they’re not going to be with me.

There are many reasons that parents will be separated from their children this year – distance too far to travel, money too tight to get there, children fighting overseas, children who have lost their lives, children who have been abducted or run away – all devastating reasons and certainly a harsher reality than mine.  But in my heart of hearts, even though there are worse reasons many are dealing with, it still hurts to not have them around.

I hope you find a way to have a Merry Merry Christmas this year no matter where you are, who you are or are not with, and find a peacefulness in the “reason for the season”.  For me I’ll be celebrating my Mother’s 95th birthday away from home, but surrounded by love and putting on a “happy face” for when the kids do come – the day “after” . . .

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HO HO HO! ‘Tis The Season To Be . . .

. . . Jolly????

I have two more friends that will be spending their first Christmas as a newly “single” person this year.  I feel for how they are going to feel.  I still remember what that was like 6 years ago.  Even though I have adult children, there is this pressure on them to split up “fairly” the time spent with each parent for the holidays.  And now that “he” has a “wife” in the picture, even she thinks she should get to “have” the boys?

I understand – kind of.  After all, I raised them to be fair minded, and this shows an amazing amount of thought on their part on how to keep things balanced.  I, on the other hand, have to wonder why someone who willingly had adulterous affairs, willingly walked out on all of us knowing there would be/should be consequences – gets to have equal time?  Don’t you forego any equal rights when you walk out?

It’s a conundrum, and one that really slaps you in the face at this time of the year.  I have a soon to be 95 year old Mother who will be with me this year since my sons will be with “him”, but how much longer will that last?  Eventually there is going to be a Christmas morning that I have to wake up in a house all by myself with no one to give a Christmas morning greeting to.

I was lunching with girlfriends the other day when the talk naturally turned to the hustle and bustle of this time of the year, and the tasks yet to be completed.  Our gift giving has become quality vs quantity and ability to take “home” in a suitcase vs having to ship.  The one thing that slips through everybody’s mind however is the Christmas stocking.

I always did the stockings, for the spouse, for the boys, for the grandparents (and yes even the dogs!) and the spouse one – mine.  Since the divorce, no one has thought about the fact that no one does Mom’s stocking anymore.  It hangs like a limp noodle year after year.  Since I also used to do all the shopping and wrapping – even for the grandparents – I knew what everyone was getting, including myself since my parents were elderly and unable to get out to purchase.  My stocking was always the one “surprise” that I didn’t have to take care of.

A few years back I finally asked the youngest son to take over the shopping for my Mother to “me”.   This way I’d at least have some surprise.   Now at her age, she doesn’t need anything so this year we have dispensed with exchanging.  Sigh!!

So once again my Christmas stocking will hang empty, and the reminder of what being “alone” at this time of the year comes home to roost.

Please don’t think I don’t acknowledge the “reason for the season” as I do, and it’s that same faith that will get me through the down times again this year.   Just trying to remember what it felt like when someone used to care about filling my stocking . . .

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