Well here we are. Another day, another Christmas. Another viewing of The Christmas Story. Another day filled with sugar, jammies, and love.

I’ve learned a few things in my 4th year as a single parent. If you’re not a fan of life lessons, stop reading now, it’s ok (squirrel!).

1. Kids just want to feel loved. They don’t care where they are, what house they are in, as long as they feel it. Of course they miss the other parent, whether they voice that or not. Our job as parents is to create a world of love, even if that world doesn’t look exactly like your neighbors world.

2. I miss my kids when they aren’t with me, especially on a holiday. If I didn’t, well…. that’s just not human, & I’m a pretty good human.

3. I know he misses his kids when they are with me. Our families miss each other. There are simply a whole lot of people missing each other in this scenario. This is the nature of divorce.

4. I get to create new traditions, for me AND for my kids. This is the cool part. It’s not a competition, it’s not a loss of childhood memories, it’s an opportunity to find something fun and new. What will my kids look forward to, & then remember when they are adults? I hope that they remember that both their Mom and Dad loved them immensely. That we didn’t need to spend more money to prove it, they simply got to experience the magic of Christmas. They learned that giving is better than getting, and experiences are where the real memories are made.

5. As crappy as it is to have to “share” your kids, I now get to take care of me. I know we didn’t give birth to children with the thought “I hope one day I’ll have the chance to alternate weekends & holidays!”… Who does it hurt to be angry? Me. Who does it hurt to be sad? Me. What does it change to wallow in these negative feelings? Nothing. I get that grief is real, and you have to go through it to grow. It’s taken me a while, but I can tell you, growth is good.

Single Parents, I know Christmas (or any other holiday you celebrate) probably include a lot of up and down emotions for you. Know that your kids love you, no matter where they are. You get to choose to enjoy your time here, please don’t waste it by being sad (easier said than done, I know, but it is possible). If your kids are safe and happy, then all is well, you’ll see them soon.

This is my 4th year in this single parent life that I didn’t expect to be living. I’m a slow learner, but I eventually get there. Happiness is better than sadness. If this is your first year at this, I promise it gets easier, if you let it. I didn’t say “it’s easy”, I said “it gets easier”.

I’m grateful for so many things, it’d take another week just to list them all. This is already the longest post ever, so I’ll spare you the details.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!