It’s that time of year again. The time where holiday traditions are intertwined and discussions over who gets what about of time with whom begins. Ah, holiday season in a blended family!
This year, my bonus daughter joined us for Thanksgiving, but we will miss the joy in her eyes on Christmas morning. Last year, it was the opposite. The distance between her moms house and ours simply does not allow a way to coordinate everyone getting to share the joy of each holiday with her. In the past, this has caused some tension.
As a Bonus Mom, I was feeling particularly upset last year around Christmas. It was my first Christmas with my bonus daughter and I could not wait to share the magic of the holiday with her. My husband began to mention all of these traditions that she is used to for Christmas- traditions that go back to before I was even a thought in either of their lives. I found myself feeling left out and looked over; like I was standing on the sidelines watching the game, but wasn’t able to make a play.
After expressing my concerns to my husband, we made an effort to adopt some new traditions into this old routine, that way everyone was content and comfortable. This situation left me thinking that I can’t possibly be the only bonus parent in similar situations- wanting desperately to create new traditions and memories in your blended family but being afraid to cause a ripple in the traditions that already existed.
With the learning experience of surviving several holiday season in a newly blended family on my side, I’ve got a few tips that I hope will help those who find themselves in similar predicaments.
Tips for Tackling the Holidays in a Blended Family
1. Remember what the holidays are about. Love, togetherness, thankfulness, family and peace. Make a real effort to keep these things at the forefront when negotiating time with the kids. Everyone deserves to have quality time together.
2. If proximity allows, try your best to let the kids have time with both sides of their blended family during the holidays.
3. If distance is an issue like it is in our blended family, be sure to make the bonus kids feel comfortable. Reassure them that even though you can’t be with them on this day, you are thinking of them and can’t wait to share the next holiday together.
4. If you can’t be with your kids on a particular holiday, send them a little something so that you are a part of their day. For Thanksgiving, send a silly hand drawing of a turkey with a sweet note attached. If it is Christmas that you won’t be together for, send them one of their gifts and a card.
5. Do your own thing when you do get the kids! This year, we won’t have my bonus daughter until the weekend after Christmas. We plan to make that Saturday a Christmas all its own-complete with PJs, opening gifts, Christmas Music, hot chocolate and a great dinner- just like we would have on the actual holiday.
6. Start new traditions in your blended family. It can be anything, big or small! The possibilities are endless.
What are some of the ways you have tackled the holidays in your blended family? Share some of your new traditions!