What No One Will Tell You About Custody and the Holidays.

If you don’t know what it’s like to share custody of a child or children with your “Wasband” then you may not be able to relate to this post. The holidays are a very tricky and often emotional time of year. I can share that my own divorce agreement had the holidays carved out into yearly intervals.I, at least had the pleasure of being able to change plans if need be with my ex, who was pretty easy going. Not everyone has that option. Some agreements are so iron clad, there is no room for change. If my ex-husband had a special holiday event planned with his family (not just the usual Chanukah or Passover Seder), I like to believe and think I was amiable. Nevertheless, divorce is so painful and let’s face it, no one wants to split time with their kids. I confess, I hated every minute of it and completely understand why people stay for the “kid’s sake.” It’s actually crushing when you can’t take your own kids out trick or treating because it’s his turn, or you have Christmas Eve but he getsChristmas Day.

I know, you can’t fathom Halloween could actually be a bone of contention, but it is. There are very few couples who are able to “consciously uncouple”, and now spend the holidays together in the Caribbean. One big happy family! Oh please. Even Gwyneth probably asked herself, “WTF???” I was lucky because my current husband is Christian and my ex-husband is Jewish, so Christmas with my husband, Philip’s family was always a go and so much fun. There is something pretty exciting about kids tearing down the stairs anxious to tear into some gifts. I get it.

So what’s the best way to deal? I don’t know if there is a good way to get through a painful and lonely time. Splitting the day is an option for some. We used to each have one night of Passover, but there’s only one night of Thanksgiving. I think it’s best to allow yourself to feel sad and miss your kids. You don’t have to be Little Miss Perfect. I had a friend who used to work at the shelter when her children were at their dad’s for Christmas. She claimed there was no time to feel lonely or sad, in fact she was just thankful. I admired her for doing such a kind and selfless act. I preferred to wallow. I’m still a little weepy if I think about it too much but it’s a topic that should be discussed. The thought of your now remarried ex and his new wife taking over your spot is probably unfair to her and unlikely, but it sure feels accurate. This is not a hate post on step-parents but I’m being true to my audience when I say, you’re lucky if your kids have a great step-mom (my kids did), but the resentment is still there. Why does she get to be the hero? It’s not rational (unless it is LOL), but it’s reality.

I have recently been addicted to Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett-Smith and her family. It’s interesting and somewhat comforting to know that even the rich and famous share our issues. Jada actually has Will Smith’s ex-wife on and they finally talk frankly about some messy topics concerning divorce and custody. Check it out, it’s pretty raw and real. I related all too well, and I bet you will too. Sometimes you just have to know you’re not the only one out there.

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