There’s our gang. I love our kids. But sometimes I forget to put their needs before mine. I have to remember that when my husband and I married, we created a stepfamily. Our children didn’t have a choice about it and haven’t always been happy with it.
So, when it comes to the holiday routine, their needs have to be considered also. The kids shouldn’t be pulled between two biological parents for visitation. They don’t need to be put on a guilt trip when they go to their other home. If it’s an emotional departure when the kids leave, they can’t enjoy the time with their other parent and that’s not fair to them.
We also have to put our feelings aside and allow our children to invite their other parent to special concerts, plays, or performances they take part in. There is naturally more communication with the other parent during the holiday period and it is easier for everyone if the communication is friendly and free of conflict, particularly in front of the children. We can take the mature role, even when the other party chooses not to.
For our kids, the schedule has become simpler as the kids have gotten older. My girls’ dad lives in another state and they don’t see him often. My stepchildren lost their mother five years ago after a difficult battle with cancer. However, in the early years of our marriage we struggled with heated discussions and competing schedules every year. We tried to consider the kids’ preferences when negotiating for time and places for special activities.
Work towards creating good holiday memories by considering your kids needs first during the holiday season. They may even thank you for it later!