My First Christmas Without My Kids

Christmas without my kids.

For the first time in our six-year-long, positive parenting journey, I will not have my children at all on Christmas Day. Their father‘s family is going on a trip to Mexico! A tropical Christmas with cousins. They leave on Christmas Day and return on New Year’s Eve.

I knew by the great hesitancy of their father’s voice when he came over to ask if it was OK if they joined his long-term partner on her family reunion Christmas trip. I immediately said yes.

And in fact, I encouraged my girls as to how fun it would be, and then it’s not your typical Christmas they are used to but they will love it. I shared the story of the 1980s Christmas cruise our family went on and how much fun it was to be in a bathing suit swimming on Christmas! I wanted them to be happy and have a really wonderful Christmas memory. I figured I would have to come to terms with it on my own time.

Quite classically and almost stereotypically in a bit “too on the nose,” I’ve now planned a trip to Disney World three days after they come back in town. That will be a lot of fun to look forward to while they are gone.

It is in the quiet moments I wonder how am I supposed to get through Christmas without seeing my kids.

I have a few ideas! As someone who worked at Walt Disney World herself for many years, I’ve worked many in Christmas! I’ve been away from my family many times! I never felt slighted or sad at any time. Because Christmas is more than just a single day; it’s a season! It is a feeling. I thought about writing little Christmas notes and having their father present them to the girls on Christmas Day so they have a little bit warm and fuzzy from Mom.

But truthfully, I think they’re going to be just fine! They will have taken their first plane trip the day before and I think they will be excited about this new adventure! I think it’s me who will need some extra attention. I’ve become the sappy emotional mom that I thought I would never become, forever the cool mom! I thought Christmas could go in different directions, one keeping it very low-key and under the radar, or going all in and spending time with my family, my boyfriend’s family, and having a full day eating and Christmas reveling!

I’ve woken up Christmas morning without my kids already a few times. Instead of being sad, it was a welcome to change to getting ahead of the schedule for the day! I am also likely to be anticipating the worst much more than it really will be after all our sentiments are available every day not just on one day of the year. I have shown myself that through co-parenting, shared custody has not left a gaping hole in my heart. I’m going to apply that same sentimentality to Christmas! Stay busy. Remember the big picture. And look forward to seeing them again!

Julie Couret
Nola Native, Julie Couret is Mom of Emma Mae (12) & Helen (10) and partner to her long term boyfriend Tom. She co-parents with her ex-husband & is known for candid posts on her life behind the scenes. Julie is self-employed an Executive Coach who works with business owners leading strategic planning sessions, management training, leadership development, and change management. She loves road trips with her kids, playing tourist in her own city, and riding in her parade Krewe Cleopatra!


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