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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Blues - When You Are Apart From Your Children at Christmas

When I tucked the children into bed last night, I knew it was the last time I would do so before Christmas, since they are spending this week with their dad.  It never stops feeling unnatural for them to have a home apart from me and I always feel sadness at the thought.  Their father and I work to co-parent fairly and their stepdad (Mr. Wonderful) is so kind to encourage them to have fun and enjoy their other home.  But having limited time is challenging on all of us and there are dark days in December.

So, I'm trying to remember the positives.  Afterall, I can think of countless mothers who have wished for a few hours of extra time to catch up, especially during the holidays.  I will be able to get the house in order.  Complete the wrapping of gifts.  Shop for our food and travel needs.  Enjoy quiet time with the Lord.  Spend special time with my husband. I'll work some extra hours and even try to catch up with friends.

When I make the list and see the things I can do, it helps me have a better attitude about what I will miss.  These are the painful and ongoing realities of divorce.  I will acknowledge the pain, the loss and then focus on the positives.  My children are healthy and privileged.  I will still see them everyday at school programs
and parties plus other Christmas plans.  We have already made sweet memories and enjoyed the traditions of baking cookies, gingerbread houses, silly games and more.  There is so much good, that to focus on what we miss is simply selfish.

Being without your children on Christmas morning seems almost unthinkable and most of my friends can't even imagine it.  I've come a long way from that first Christmas after divorce.  The longing has truly helped me to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and why we have it in the first place.  Holidays without my children are painful, and I used to believe that where there was pain, there was no joy.  I've learned to accept the joy and celebrate, even when things aren't perfect.

Christmas is less than one week away.  I feel better having acknowledged the grief but I'm choosing not to lose my joy.  Tonight I will watch my youngest in a Christmas performance - he's so proud to have a speaking part.  Tomorrow I'll go ice skating for a one-on-one with my son. There will be Christmas parties at school and on Christmas Eve the get to come home for a  few hours and we'll have homemade soup and hang our stockings.  We will enjoy one another while we look forward to Christmas Day when we gather together once again as a family.  I can't wait!

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