We have to share with two of those 'other families' this year and, even though I absolutely LOVE those other people, I do not love sharing my girls during the holidays. Most of you know that I have four daughters who are DA BOMB x 4 and yes, I know we don't say, 'da bomb' anymore but I'm making a point here- even when there is only one MIA during a holiday celebration, that's the one I think about and miss terribly.
No, I do not get angry about this. I'm not that kind of mom. I don't send them on a guilt trip (I can't believe you are choosing them over me. You must not love me anymore. PUL-EASSE). I'm not that kind of mom. I also do not manipulate them to get them to change their plans (But great-grandpa isn't doing well, this could be his last Christmas...right. It could be anyone's last Christmas, people. Just sayin'). I am NOT that kind of mom. I'm way more honest than that. If I don't like something, I tell them. Plus, who wants people to be home for the holidays because they've been guilted into it or manipulated into it or because someone would be mad if they weren't home? I don't. I want everyone to WANT to be home.
Not that we haven't joked about the sharing years. We do it all the time.
ME: Since you won't be here, I guess Santa won't need to fill a stocking for you.
The lovelies: MOM!!!
And I'm pretty sure I was kidding when I told Birdie that she couldn't take any of the cute Christmas outfits I bought for Baby M to 'THAT PLACE." (Smirk)
But those are nothing but jokes because of course, they get stockings regardless and Birdie can certainly take those cute clothes with them. My girls and I have always been close and we continue to be that way so, when they aren't here, they're calling and/or texting me (though NOT in front of their host families.) I appreciate that more than y'all know. But it's still difficult when one or more of them are not with us on a holiday.
It's not that easy for the girls either. The year my oldest spent Christmas with the other people, she was having a hard time so her sisters sent her a picture of them in their Christmas pajamas (they still get Christmas pajamas to this day) but instead of making her feel better, she cried and vowed never to spend Christmas away from us again. And she hasn't. That one doesn't do change. (Please note that she did not cry in front of the in-laws and they were quite gracious to her knowing that it was the first Christmas away from her family.) Then there's the year that SILExtraordinaire and Birdie weren't yet married (but he was considered part of the family) so he went to Indiana with his parents and we had a cardboard cutout of him that we included in all the pictures (which is something we might need to consider having for each of the MIA members during the sharing years.)
So, how do I deal with the disappointment of the sharing years? I remind myself that:
- I am blessed by my daughters whether they are present or not
- the mom of the significant other loves her adult kid, too
- it doesn't matter what day we celebrate the holidays, as long as we do
- nothing can break the bond I have with each of my girls
- the sharing years are a fact of life and I have to deal
How do y'all deal with the sharing years?