Open Letter to Co-Parents at Christmas Time

I know it is hard, but you’ve got this.

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Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

Time apart can be a time of growth for all parties

First of all, remember that time apart from your children is not a prison sentence. Co-parenting alone will require that this must happen. Even if the time away from you is difficult, it will press growth into the hearts of your children. It can also press growth into you.

We cannot control everything

Sometimes the lessons our children learn when they are away from us are ones you would like your child to avoid, but when you share the parenting with another person, you cannot ultimately control everything that goes on in their household, even if it involves your child.

Our children are going to experience things that we ourselves are not a part of. This sucks. It hurts.

Give your children the gift of “happiness without you”

This is so hard. There is this terrible feeling of betrayal when our children go to someone’s house that we do not love or even like, and they have fun.

Give a little

Understand that you child loves you both. Your child has excitement in their heart about the holidays and wants to share this with everyone they love, including that other parent. I found that during the holidays, as difficult and uncomfortable as it was for me, I had to remember that my children wanted to give a gift to their other parent.

Remember that this is not about what the other parent deserves, but what your child needs.

The scheduling is a nightmare, I know

Remember that the holidays are not held to specific dates on a calendar, at least not when parenting is involved. Christmas with your kids is whatever day you do it. Make it magical, whenever it is.

Now — the ugly stuff out of the way, let me encourage you a bit.

I know it is hard. I know it hurts. It is a painful time that dredges up emotions and amplifies them. But you will survive this. Your kids will be ok — even if it is not perfect. Even if there are moments that aren’t great. Even if they get their feelings hurt. Even if their expectations do not match up to their reality.

Be their safety net.

Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.

Happy Holidays to you and your families.

Written by

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