The holiday season is often marketed as the most magical time of the year. But for some, the expectation to get together with family can be anxiety-inducing, especially if that means celebrating with an ex in the name of co-parenting. If you’ve experienced this, you’re not alone. Actor Mayim Bialik spent Thanksgiving with her ex-husband, Michael Stone, his new girlfriend, his girlfriend’s ex-husband and all their kids — and she lived to document the experience on her website, Grok Nation.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous,” she wrote. “I am single again, and it was painful to be ‘alone.’ I was meeting the girlfriend’s ex for the first time at a sit-down dinner…what if it was uncomfortable?”
It makes complete sense that she was apprehensive about joining the blended-family dinner table. Not only did she have to watch after her kids and manage the awkwardness that comes with being around an ex, but she also had to show her kids she was fine with being around their dad’s new girlfriend and her ex-husband. Sometimes, doing the “adult” thing, no matter how right it is, can be really hard.
“I want to be with my kids, and I want to be with them as we celebrate events together,” she explained. “Doing separate holidays seems excessive and sad. We are a family even though we are divorced. I want to witness them eating the foods we make them, and it feels good to sit at a table with them and their father.”
Bialik added that she also wanted to demonstrate to her kids “what our family looks like in all of its non-traditionalness.” “They are the products of me and their dad,” she wrote. “It’s important for them to see us working together to make holidays special together.”
Ultimately, she said the night went exceptionally well and forced her to examine all she’s grateful for in life.
“I have two children. That’s a blessing,” she wrote. “I have an ex-husband who is not perfect and who sometimes irritates me, but all in all, he is pretty awesome. He has a fantastic girlfriend — truly. She’s delightful. And she wants her family intact even though they are also divorced. … My life is not perfect, and I struggle a lot, but there are blessings despite my complaints.”
We may not be part of Bialik’s family, but we’re grateful to have her as a living, breathing example of maturity and grace.