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!