Co-parenting: Sharing Holidays and Birthdays
The holiday season is upon us, starting with Thanksgiving in a few days. Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and I want to share with you one of the things that I am so incredibly grateful for in my life.
I am grateful for the relationship I have with my ex-husband and his wife.
We work together to make decisions that are in the best interest of our kids and our family as a whole. We communicate regularly. We are all involved in school activities and community events.
A couple weeks ago my daughter started basketball. Her step-mom and another mom are coaching her team. The other mom was out of town for the second practice, so I took her place and coached with my daughter’s step-mom. It was fun.
We attend parent-teacher conferences together and we share our thoughts and concerns. We get along well, but we also occasionally have different opinions or ways of doing things. And that’s okay. As long as we discuss them and understand each other’s reasons and intentions, we can work out reasonable agreements and solutions.
My daughter just turned ten (so hard to believe!) and she wanted a French Hotel party. What the heck is that, right? Apparently she read about it in a magazine months ago and loved the idea. So we (her dad and step-mom and I) got together and came up with a plan.
We decided the party would be at their house because they had a better arrangement for several girls to sleep over. We did some shopping separately and some together to get the supplies for the party. We kept our receipts and evened up the money afterwards.
When the girls arrived, they checked in at the front desk (with grandma) and were escorted to their suite. A bellhop (dad) carried their bags up for them.
The girls were served dinner (by mom and step-mom), including cheese, grapes, salad, French bread, and sparkling cider served in champagne glasses, followed by chocolate mousse. They painted masterpieces on miniature canvasses on miniature easels with miniature paint sets (so cute!).
They dressed up and walked the cat walk and they gave each other French manicures. We had chocolate fondue (yum!!) and more “champagne”. In the morning, the girls were served French toast.
The “hotel staff” consisted of my former husband, his wife, his mom and me. Here’s a photo of us. It was great fun and I’m so thankful that we were able to do that together. For our daughter it was fantastic. She didn’t have to worry about any tension or embarrassment in front of her friends, and she got to share her special day with all of us.
We typically alternate the holidays each year, so the years our daughter is with me for Thanksgiving, she’s with her dad for Christmas, and so on. But this year, none of us are traveling and none of us have family coming in from out of town. So we’ve decided to have Thanksgiving together, and again, I’m thankful.
Sure, I could choose to have our daughter with me that day, but then it would just be the two of us. And who wants to do all that cooking for two people? Plus, my idea in my head of Thanksgiving includes lots of people sharing and enjoying each other’s company. So we’re doing it together, along with her grandmother, and I’m sure it will be nice.
My parents NEVER went near each other for holidays or my birthday, and that was hard for me. I was confused by it and even angry sometimes. Why when everyone was supposed to be giving and appreciating, was my family arguing or not speaking? I learned a lot from those experiences and I’m committed to creating positive memories for my daughter.
So what I’ve come to realize is that I’m actually thankful for all that I went through as a child. What I learned has been priceless, and my daughter has benefited tremendously. I am grateful that my journey has led me to exactly where I am today, and I can’t wait so see what comes next!
Thank you for joining me here and thank you for being who you are.
Think of the top ten things you’re thankful for and if some of them are people, let them know.