Surviving Christmas With the Ex

Parenting Blog - Xmas with an ExWhile others are spending the weekend before Christmas getting last minute shopping out of the way, I’ll be spending it with my ex and his family celebrating an early Christmas and ice skating. There might be broken bones.

I’m talking about the ice skating bit, of course. I have a deplorable lack of skating skill coupled with a overwhelming desire to look like Kristi Yamaguchi without any of the training. It’s a scary combination.

But as for spending Christmas celebrating with my ex and his family, I get a lot of raised eyebrows and questions. Yes, it’s a bit uncomfortable. Yes, it seems like I’m family but not quite – almost like a step cousin. Yes, I’ll continue to do it until such a time as I meet someone else and suddenly Christmas needs to be divided even further. If he meets someone else in the meantime, I’ll still be there, the ex wife wearing a flamboyant hat and having cheeky conversations. I must remember to buy a hat.

When we separated, we decided we wanted to restructure our family rather than break it. It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been ridiculously difficult at times, but I think it’ll be worth all the pain and swallowed anger in the end. As of right now, our children are well adjusted, happy, and don’t feel divided between the two of us. Our families co-mingle much as they did prior to our separation. And we get along well enough even if I wish he’d learn to use an iron and he wishes I’d be on time for Christmas Dinner.

No matter what, we’re still family, the four of us. And no matter what, he and I have two very important people we love very much. I’m happy to spend the holidays with them and get to witness every delectable moment of their celebrations. He’s happy he gets to do the same.

When a marriage ends, that sort of celebration becomes a privilege rather than a given.

So while I tease and joke that I’m spending the holidays with my ex, the truth is, I’m spending every precious moment with my children. And they’re really all that matter.

What are your plans for the holiday?