Co-parenting is tough at the best of times, but then throw Christmas into the mix and it seems to get even more complicated; both parents wanting to spend quality time with the little ones whilst the magic of Santa still exists. Charlotte has written a beautiful post sharing her experiences, and I thought I would do the same.
I’ve now been separated for nearly 5 years making this my 5th Christmas as a co-parent. Initially the kids dad and I split Christmas Day down the middle, with one of us having the kids in the morning, the other the afternoon.
Their dad invited me over one year to see the children open their Santa presents which was so lovely of him (& he even cooked my sister and I bacon rolls), but then the following year when I had the kids at mine their dad declined his invitation to join us and instead we chose to FaceTime each other (I think he was away with his girlfriend for a few days, otherwise maybe he would have come over). Sadly our relationship seems to have deteriorated over the years since our separation; I naively thought that it would improve.
Anyway, my family don’t live in Glasgow and the arrangement of splitting Christmas Day in half then made it very difficult for me to see them. Their houses are much bigger than mine and so it makes more sense for them to host Christmas dinner. Our current agreement is that one of us has the kids up until 5pm on Christmas Eve and then the other parent has them until 5pm on Boxing Day, we then split the remaining days of the school holidays in half. It’s tough when it’s not your year, because after all Christmas is all about the kids really, but we take it turn about. This year I have the kids, and we will be driving up to Aberdeen on Christmas Eve to stay with my sister and her other half. Then we’ll be returning to Glasgow on Boxing Day. It truly is a flying visit, but it means that I can catch up with my sister and her family on Christmas Day as well as my aunt, uncle, gran & cousins on Boxing Day.
After a flurry of excitement and busyness on 25th and 26th December, I will have to say bye to the kiddos. I won’t then see them again until 2017, when I will have them returned to me on the evening of the 1st January.
Like Alice, who is without her kiddos for 8 days over Christmas, I’m filling my kid-free days with lots of plans. I’m meeting Dawn on the 27th for a late lunch, then I’m working in between Christmas and New Year (as I used up my annual leave for Australia!). Despite the fact I’m working, I’m going to be meeting a friend for lunch on the 28th and then I have a dinner organised with another girlfriend for the 29th.
I still need to decide what to do on New Years Eve… at the moment it’ll probably be early to bed!! I’m waiting on the finalised childcare arrangements for 2017, and as soon as I have this then I can start planning my weekends for the months ahead. I’m reckoning that 2017 is going to be the year for adventures. I’ve been reluctant to travel solo but sod it, you only live once and so I’m just going to do it. I turn 35 in January, and I have failed miserably with my 35 at 35 list. Perhaps I will spend New Years Eve writing some lists – starting with places to visit in 2017.