While I usually try to stay quite positive on my blog, as this is a history for my children, I also want this blog to be about our journey and struggles with being a blended family, and the things I have learned through being a StepMom, and living with our unique situation.
This weekend it is Thanksgiving here. While Rob’s 40 page divorce separation agreement painfully outlines every tiny little thing that we are supposed to adhere to, somehow along the way Thanksgiving was missed. And as it turns out, we never get it.
I really don’t think that Thanksgiving missing in the agreement should be a big deal. With my ex, it’s not included in our agreement either. Given it falls on a Sunday/Monday, we just ensure one of us has the meal on the Sunday, and one on the Monday. A whole lot of turkey, but we want the kids to have the chance to celebrate with both families. Not complicated. Civil, respectful, and thinking about the kids.
But alas, life with Rob’s ex IS complicated. (And you know how I feel about complicated).
Rob sent a text asking to get the kids a couple of extra HOURS earlier. The malicious (and I try to set aside my judgment usually as I know there are two sides to every story – but this time, I’m sorry, it is malicious) response was if he wanted part of “her rightful holiday” then he had to give up part of his “rightful holiday” too and give up hours on Christmas.
Of course, Christmas is well spelled out in the agreement, and it is not “our year”, so we barely have any time with them at all anyway, so giving up a couple of hours is akin to giving up Christmas. Obviously, we had to say “No” as we want to see the kids at Christmas for a few hours to celebrate as a family.
Rob also pointed out that it was not about her and “her rightful holiday” (you can see where her head is at by her choice of using the words “her rightful”), it was about the kids and “their rightful holiday”. You know, the right that kids have to love and be with their two families? They didn’t ask to live in a divorced situation, but they deserve the right to love and celebrate their life and all the special occasions with both their families.
Her response to Rob not taking the offer? “Good. That’s what I thought” (Ummm, so what you are saying is you knew it was an unfair “trade” or “offer”??).
She then went on to outline all the holidays that we do get this year. You know, things like PA days, a couple of long weekends, March break this year. Oh? The 50% of holidays that are spelled out in the agreement? And you get the other 50%?
Then the kicker sentence:
“Is that not enough family time for you“?
Actually, my dear bitter birth mother, it’s not.
And it shouldn’t be for you either.
We will never be satisfied with spending 50% of the time with our kids.
It is reality, I do realize. And that, we can not change.
And you know what? I’m guessing that 50% is not enough for your children either.
I’m guessing that although they love the added gifts they get on holidays, and maybe even love the duplicate celebrations at times, they would actually LOVE to spend every holiday minute with BOTH parents.
How much does it suck for them to wake up without one parent on Christmas morning? How much does it suck for them to be away from one parent for weeks at a time? How much does it suck for them to call one parent to say good night?
But it is their reality. Do we really have to add to their stress by denying them the chance to be with their other parent and to feel like they have to choose sides and choose one family over another?
Dear Bitter Birth Mother, it has nothing to do with “your rightful holiday” or your days vs my days as I talked about here. It has nothing to do with your bitterness, your hostility and your revenge (on what, I’m still puzzled as you are living the exact life you chose).
It has everything to do with loving your children enough to want them to be happy and loved even when they are not with you and are on the “dark evil side” as you might see it. It has to do with hoping that they feel like they belong in two homes, and that the divorced life that you as parents thrust upon them, does not add stress and complications to their lives, but instead adds a change of perspective and a whole lot more people who love and adore them.
Hopefully, Dear Birth Mother, one day you can be at peace and not worry about what is “rightfully yours”, but worry about what is fair and best for your children.
Hopefully one Thanksgiving in the near future, the overriding emotion will be one of gratitude for the blessing of having these amazing children in your life, and the goal will be to make their lives a little bit less complicated and allow them to feel love and joy in both their homes.