I’m quite fond of my children. I mean, I totally don’t want to get rid of them, if you know what I mean. It’s amazing how you’re never quite a pro, at parenting, even if you’ve been at it for a long time. And when it comes to co-parenting, even more so! Kyle is 16 years old and I still feel like I don’t know what the heck to do with my emotions in December! The end of each year always has me feeling all the parenting feels because he travels to his dad, to spend December with his other family. Yep, 10ish years of him not being with me on Christmas day, and my heart still feels as if it’s beat-boxing to Gangnam Style when he gets on the plane. But, as much as I hate it seeing him go, I refuse to partake in co-parenting drama in December.
For starters, the kid didn’t choose this life. So I’m not about to insert my #momfeelings into the equation simply because I feel more entitled to having him with me. Truth be told, he needs both me and his dad. I’m not the Beyonce of this situation. We are all in it together. And, if we want to be fair about this thing, December is the longest time he spends with his dad, step mom and siblings. It sucks for me but Kyle is super duper excited. It’s a worthy sacrifice in my opinion.
Obviously, I’m still a mom and I’m never quite at peace until my boy is home; safe and soundly annoying the living daylights out of me, as he does. So until he gets back, I usually check up on him as often as I can. And I pray a lot, a lot, a lot. Seth, on the other hand is quite blessed to have both sets of parents in the same city. So Christmas with him usually means seeing him for only half the day. I feel like we’ve got this festive season co-parenting gig sorted. But I was wondering how other co-parenters do it. I mean, is there a trick to it? Well, this is what I found online:
When co-parenting in December, always be mindful of:
1. The other parent’s time. I mean, sure they should just be flippen grateful that they get to see the kid at all. Right? Wrong. We are all human beings and we all deserve respect, yo. In most cases, the usual “even split”, which sees the kid with one parent in the morning, and the other parent in the evening, works like the bomb dot com. My suggestion? Talk to one another and reach a compromise, without the intense desire to be the “winner”, in the situation. How about letting the kid be the winner?
2. Long distance love. For those co-parenting from different cities, a great idea would be a week split. One parent gets the kid for the week leading up to Christmas and Christmas day, and the other for the week leading up to New Years, and New Years day. Win-win, really.
3. The gifts. We had a situation, one year, where one of the parents in our quadruple parenting situation was not happy with a gift that was given to one of the kids. It reminded me that we need to be mindful of each other, when it comes to gift giving too! Kyles dad and I now regularly have “so what are you getting him?” conversations, which is helpful.
4. Traditions. I’m big on traditions. Like, to me, Christmas tradition is almost as important as Christmas day. There, I said it. I appreciate when the boys are allowed to partake in my Christmas crazy, because I mean, what are traditions without having your whole family with you? (Or staring at you, as if you’re a loony toon)
5. The other family. I mean, ignoring your ex and the other family is pretty easy, I’m sure. But we’re not good at playing that game, at our house. Mainly because our boys are always so eager to tell us what went down, who got which gifts and all the funny things that happened. We encourage it! Christmas cheer is Christmas cheer, yo! We’ll take what we can get! But it also sets your kid at ease, and kinda makes them feel like it’s OKAY TO FEEL GOOD about spending time with the other family.
So what do you guys think? Can any of my co-parenters relate to any of this? Drop your comments below. I mean, as I said in the beginning, 16 years later and I still learn something new every year! At the end of the day, your kid is what matters. Don’t be a jerk. That’s is all.