The spring and summer months often bring about many events and reasons to celebrate.
Most people enjoy these gatherings but if you are a part of the divorced and co-parenting world, celebrations equal stress.
How do you handle joint events?
Do you include everyone at one party?
Do you split the holidays up?
Do you hold separate celebrations?
What if according to “the schedule” your ex has your children for Mother's Day? Or Father's Day?
And what about attending graduations and life achievement moments for your children jointly with your ex?
Do you speak? Do you argue? Are you civil? Or, do one of you decide not to attend?
Long ago I made the decision to always put my son's needs and happiness first. I can't undo the divorce but can make sure that all celebrations can be as pleasant as possible for him.
When it comes to holidays, I have learned to be extremely lenient. Even if it is “my year” to have my son for Thanksgiving, I give him the option of being with his dad. In fact, my son has chosen to have Thanksgiving dinner with his dad for the last few years.
At first he felt bad telling me that was what he wanted to do but I made it very clear to him that his happiness is what matters to me. If he is happy to go to his dad's Thanksgiving, then I want him to be at his dad's house.
My son will never know how awful my divorce process really was. I always say that if someone else were in my position, they would most likely choose to never speak kindly to my ex ever again.
But how would being unkind, especially to my son's father, help me? Or my son?
And why waste so much energy remaining angry? Where would that get me?
I find it much easier to not stress events or make more of a fuss than any situation is worth. There are so many things in life worth fighting for; the key is to figure out which things those are and to save your battle emotions for those times.
My son's elementary school graduation last month was probably the first real milestone moment to come up since my divorce.
Having to attend an event with your ex can be rough. You may not want to go or worse, expect your ex not to go.
But is that fair? Isn't it better to swallow your pride and think of who really matters?
Under normal happy family married circumstances, I would have held a graduation family celebration at my house with decorations and party food and of course, cake.
We can't do that anymore. We are not that same family unit anymore.
Time since the divorce has passed though. And when I combine the passage of time with realizing what's important and who matters, I find myself in a place where I could give my son the best graduation celebration possible:
Lunch with both his mother and father in a restaurant following the graduation ceremony.
If you ask me, that is the best possible scenario and gift I could ever give my son.
The ability to spend happy time with both of his parents, in an evironment where we actually get along, what more could he ask for?
Never actually ask a child what more he can ask for. My son will rattle you off quite a list.
Meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
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