The weather has finally changed, the holidays are upon us and so are school breaks for our kids. Many moms are already planning vacations, having family over, and so many other fun things to keep the kids entertained.
However, some parents are planning to say goodbye to half of their hearts for Thanksgiving break or Christmas Day.
The untold truth about co-parenting, especially during the holidays, is that it sucks. So bad.
Co-parenting is hard, especially during the holidays.
While many of us agree that parenting can be hard, co-parenting can be a lot harder. Whether you are co-parenting with the other parent or a grandparent, it involves a lot of guilt, time-sharing, and unfortunately, it can also mean having to split holidays. In my personal experience, it’s taken hard work to reach an agreement that is fair for everyone involved, but at the end of the day, we do what’s best for the kids. But keep in mind, even though we know the days are coming up to see our kids off for those special holidays, the families involved still ache. It doesn’t get easier; it just becomes routine.
So be kind to the co-parents you know. We might not speak about it or we may be smiling during the holidays, but when those days creep up on us and we have to say goodbye to our babies, we try so hard not to cry as we watch half of our hearts spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with the other half of their family.
And the guilt. Oh, the guilt. It never goes away. But we learn to live with the guilt. We know in our hearts we’re doing what’s right. But it still puts a damper on our holiday spirit.
Here’s a small piece of advice that will save a struggling mama some heartache during these times. If you normally see her with the child/children most days and suddenly she’s alone or without one of her children, more than likely the child may be with the other parent. If the mama is not openly disclosing where said child may be, don’t ask.
So please be kind to co-parents.
Let her know she’s an awesome mom. Make her smile or pray for her. After a while we learn that we can’t dread splitting a holiday, but we can embrace it. We see the bright side, and boy, is it a lot easier when you have friends and family who encourage and support you in your decision rather than make you feel guilty. Because when the holidays are over and your child comes back and gives you the biggest hug, that absence was worth it just to see their smiling little faces. Then you gather yourself and hope for time to slow down just a tiny bit so you can enjoy every day with your growing littles before we do it all over again the following year.
Also, be sure to click on the link and read something encouraging and kind from a fellow mom. We need kinder moms in our community, no matter how different our parenting styles may be.
Originally published November 2019.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.