Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Time!

Sorry for being MIA lately. It's been a few months of highs and lows at Tara. We moved into a new house (yay!), Jade and Gabby are doing well even though Jade is in her last year of elementary school (YIKES!), I finally finished graduate school (YAY YAY YAY!), and all in all, it's been happy chaos. We did however lose a family member over the summer, and of course even though Becca is now 18, she is still in the throes of PAS. Every year, all I can do is continue to pray and hope she will eventually come around.

Thankfully, this holiday season doesn't bring forth any blended family drama. My biggest upset is that we will not be going home to our Southern roots for Christmas due to me and Ashley's work schedules. But I well remember the holiday uproar, the even-wackier-than-usual visitation schedules, the fact that holidays do not always bring out the best in people.

I know it's hard, and I don't mean to sound trite. Sometimes the best you can do is disengage during the holiday season, and be thankful for what is and try to ignore what is not even though it should be. I found the less I involved myself with Ashley and Becca's mom's disagreements at this time of year, the less worked up I got and the happier I was. Happy wife, happy life, right? If you refuse to engage, she can't win. Don't get involved in a text argument. If the visitation plan falls through because your husband waited until the last minute to make arrangements, let it be. If the kids won't shut up about "Mom this" and "Mom that," I found a nonchalant, "Oh mmhmm? That's nice. Did you know cats are night vision?" always worked wonders. It sounds overly simple, doesn't it? But if you don't rent out space in your head, it's a lot easier to get through this emotionally charged season.

Oh, and whenever possible, try to work with your husband to create your own family traditions. If he doesn't see the need for this, continue poking and prodding until he gets it. It's OK for you to do things differently at your house than what the kids do at Mom's - in fact, it's healthy and normal. I think it's great for kids to be exposed to different traditions and ideas. If your husband doesn't encourage your role as Lady of the House.....well, that might need to be a topic for another post.

Wishing you and yours a most wonderful Thanksgiving, and to my Jewish friends, a joyous Hanukkah!


  1. Thank you so much for this! Desperately needed to feel like we weren't the only family going through Holiday struggles. Our struggles are mainly scheduling conflicts, as we do not have court ordered schedules, but it makes it challenging to create or continue any traditions. It is so hard when my husband and I try to continue the traditions - sometimes without the children because things fall on days we end up not having them. We have to 'break the news' to the kids, that we tried to arrange weeks in advance to have them for a particular day, but their mother 'already made plans for them.' It's even harder to find out that, more often than not, she didn't really even have plans. Praying for strength to stay positive and rearrange our schedules to do as many things with the children on our days, but there is only so much we can get done during the school week.

    1. I'm glad I could help! You are most definitely not the only family struggling through this at this time of year. In fact, I have found that this is the most common time of year aside from summer vacations for stepfamilies to struggle. I have to admit, I'm a big advocate of court ordered schedules, but without one, I would try to do what you're doing - as much as you can during the time that you have. Yes, I well remember the whole "we have plans (but not really - I just want to suck your joy)" excuse. Hoping your holiday season brightens!