Blog

Sharing Your Children at Christmas

I’ve been coparenting my son for longer than I’ve ever parented any other way.

His father and I went our separate ways on Boxing Day three years ago, and it was the best decision for both of us. But it wasn’t one without heartache. You sometimes have to choose yourself in life, over your children, because, ultimately, that is the best decision for them too. Though seeing that at the time is like trying to see the wood for the trees.

I didn’t know that, through the clearing of trees there would be a whole new wood, and Mark, and a new place for us to start afresh. Because I couldn’t tell the future. I only knew that, in the present, my son’s father and I, were not happy. There was no wood, there was no Mark, there was just me and my son and a chance to take.

The first Christmas was already just over when we were. And then the second I had Bill for Christmas – he was still quite small at just two – and then his dad had him for New Year’s.

But, as time passed, both of us, as parents, were not happy to lose out on alternate years. Not seeing your child on Christmas Day is heartbreaking. For me, the magic of Christmas lives on in my children, now I am very much old enough to understand that Father Christmas is usually Neil from the village in an itchy suit, and that the person that ate the mince pie was Mark, and the person that nibbled the carrot was me. I know that the magic is love. And, as corny as that sounds, we all know it’s true, and we all know it’s okay to admit at this time of year.

So last year, we decided to split Christmas down the middle. I was due a New Year’s with my son, so I took Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning, and his dad took Christmas Day afternoon and Boxing Day. And, either way, you can’t quite win.

I was pregnant with Bill’s little sister, and extremely hormonal. The run-up to Christmas caused me a lot of grief. And it was something I couldn’t quite prepare for. I didn’t expect it to hit me, cold in the face like a snowball with perfect aim. I cried a lot. And even my midwife kept a close eye on me, because she could see how down I had become.

Maybe it was pregnancy that caused those feelings to heighten. Maybe it was because it was our last Christmas as a family of three. Bill, Mark and I – we had come together and were a real family now. Or maybe it was just that first year of acceptance.

Either way, my Christmas was spent slightly far away. I was present in the gift of the present, of course I was, but my heart was somewhere else. I wondered what he was doing. My smiles took longer to fill my face. And even though my daughter wiggled away inside me, I couldn’t help but feel like I wasn’t a mum.

We had a last-minute Christmas Day on Christmas Eve, and it was magical. But I never shared the photographs or the footage I captured. And I dug it out today and cried tears of happiness, because it was so special, regardless. And my little boy was so tiny. I edited and posted it live today so I would never lose it.

I think, in the early days of coparenting, it is easier to hate the other parent of your child. Many splits end badly and, to be honest, in our case, I think we both needed to hate each other for a short while. I really do. I think we needed to let out our frustrations that had built up, and work out a new way of doing things on fresh ground, still smoking from the last blazing, fiery row.

During those times of hate, it was easier to make selfish decisions, because you could kid yourself that it was not your responsibility to care about this person anymore. And you want your child for yourself. Of course you do. You are human. It’s fine to admit it.

But as time has passed, I very much understand that emotions are often mirrored, and when I hurt, that means his dad hurts. And it means that a lot of other parents hurt too. And I certainly would never use the word ‘hate’ anymore at all.

This year, I have kept busy and put Christmas in the distance – I can see it if I squint. But it’s not been in focus. But today is the last real day of working for me. Even if it is sat in my living room, on a battered office chair, while my baby naps, my son is enjoying his last school day of the year, and Mark is relaxing on the sofa behind me.

But, truthfully, Christmas is not even around the corner, it just a few doors down. And I have had to think and look it square in the face.

And this year? I am okay, you know. I am sad that I won’t get to do the excited tuck-up in bed on Christmas Eve, or put reindeer food out, or nibble the carrot and watch Mark gladly scoff the mince pie and give the cats the milk.

But I’m quite happy to pass on the platter we put the treats for Father Christmas and his reindeer to Bill’s dad if it helps make it special for him. I’m quite happy to send the reindeer food. And I’m quite happy to do anything that my son might need to feel loved and special.

When I became a mother, I told myself I would do my absolute best to keep the magic of childhood alive for my kids. I would be a mixture of Maria from Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and a touch of Nigella for the festive food. Maybe I just like Julie Andrews too much, but the fact remains – I want this to be about my children.

This year I have two babies. One will leave my side. And the other will clutch at my hair and grin a two-toothed grin at me with shining eyes, whilst not having the faintest clue what is happening and why her mother’s eyes may be slightly wet with held-back tears.

I owe it to Daisy to keep Christmas magical for her too. And I will keep smiling and keep going because she deserves that.

We will start our Christmas missing a very important person.

But he is coming home to us. And on Christmas Day, when the clock strikes twelve, midday, my firstborn will be at my door, grinning, his breath hitting the cold air making whorls around him, and desperate to get inside and see what Father Christmas has left him at home.

And I will hold him close. Breathe a sigh of relief into his fluffy blonde hair. But I will stop and look up, at his dad, and I will try and let him know that I understand.

And I will wish him Merry Christmas.

Because, another year older, and another year wiser, I realise that this is what Christmas is about.

Christmas is so much more than a day. It is a feeling that, if we could bottle up, we’d open it every day.

Parenting is so much more than a day. It is much the same. Except we are a mother, or a father, every day. And whether near or far, happy or sad, nothing in the world can take that away from you.

“What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”
Dr. Seuss – How the Grinch Stole Christmas



Also – if you are having a tough time this Christmas, please watch this video from Channel Mum – it contains stories from me and some other amazing mums. I promise you aren’t alone. 


You could also watch this one below.

SaveSave

You Might Also Like...

24 Comments

  • Reply
    karenmarytaylor
    22nd December 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Lovely post Charlotte x

  • Reply
    BE Firm Solution
    21st May 2019 at 12:23 pm

    This excellent website definitely has all of the info I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  • Reply
    SF 180 Keto
    1st June 2019 at 1:31 am

    I have read so many articles or reviews on the topic of the
    blogger lovers however this post is actually a nice article, keep
    it up.

  • Reply
    Jared
    1st June 2019 at 3:07 am

    Superb blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about here?

    I’d really like to be a part of community where I
    can get responses from other experienced people that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

  • Reply
    Keto 6tm Review
    1st June 2019 at 5:15 am

    What’s up colleagues, how is the whole thing, and what you wish
    for to say concerning this post, in my view its genuinely remarkable in support of me.

  • Reply
    Chester
    1st June 2019 at 4:50 pm

    I almost never leave a response, but i did a few searching and wound up here Sharing Your Children at Christmas – Write Like No One's Watching.
    And I actually do have a few questions for you if you
    don’t mind. Could it be simply me or does it give
    the impression like a few of the comments come across like left by
    brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting on additional online social sites, I would like to follow anything fresh you have to
    post. Could you make a list of the complete urls of your social pages like your twitter feed,
    Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  • Reply
    Ultra Test XR Male
    1st June 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Good site you have here.. It?s difficult to find excellent
    writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!!

  • Reply
    lifestreamlabscbd.com
    2nd June 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Some times its a pain in the ass to read what blog owners wrote but this site is real user genial!

  • Reply
    totalfitketo.org
    2nd June 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Great write-up, I am regular visitor of one’s blog, maintain up the nice operate,
    and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  • Reply
    Strong Keto
    3rd June 2019 at 12:24 am

    Good respond in return of this query with genuine arguments and describing everything about that.

  • Reply
    Honest Health CBD
    3rd June 2019 at 3:48 pm

    I used to be suggested this website by means of my cousin. I’m now not sure whether this submit is written by means of him as no one else recognise such special about my problem.
    You are amazing! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Pure Vigor X
    3rd June 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Wohh just what I was looking for, regards for
    putting up.

  • Reply
    primexfactor.com
    4th June 2019 at 12:34 am

    This is really attention-grabbing, You’re an overly
    professional blogger. I have joined your rss
    feed and look ahead to searching for more of your magnificent post.
    Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  • Reply
    NovaBelle Cream
    4th June 2019 at 12:53 am

    Awesome post once again! I am looking forward for your next post:)

  • Reply
    Quick Lean Essence Keto Shark Tank
    4th June 2019 at 2:28 am

    Some truly interesting info, well written and broadly user pleasant.

  • Reply
    AlphaTest X Testo Booster
    5th June 2019 at 2:14 am

    I have to express some appreciation to the writer for rescuing me from this challenge.
    As a result of surfing throughout the the web and finding opinions that
    were not pleasant, I thought my entire life was done.
    Living without the presence of solutions to the issues you’ve resolved as a result of your entire posting is a serious case,
    and the ones which could have badly affected my entire career if I had not discovered your blog.
    Your main competence and kindness in maneuvering everything was useful.
    I don’t know what I would have done if I had not discovered such a solution like this.
    I am able to at this time relish my future.
    Thanks very much for your specialized and sensible help.
    I will not hesitate to propose your site to anyone who should get support about this
    topic.

  • Reply
    Keto Select
    8th June 2019 at 10:03 am

    As I web site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling magnificent , appreciate it for your
    hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  • Reply
    greenvibediet.net
    8th June 2019 at 11:19 am

    This is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  • Reply
    SR Skin Cream
    9th June 2019 at 6:43 pm

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally
    educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the
    nail on the head. The problem is something not enough people
    are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy
    I stumbled across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  • Reply
    Alpha Test Rx
    12th June 2019 at 9:17 am

    I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your content.
    Your article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for
    new details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  • Reply
    ketofirex3.org
    13th June 2019 at 3:55 am

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s
    both equally educative and entertaining, and without a
    doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough
    people are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.

  • Reply
    Slim Physics Keto Review
    14th June 2019 at 7:24 am

    This is the right webpage for everyone who would like to understand this topic.
    You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that has been written about for
    decades. Excellent stuff, just great!

  • Reply
    Elite Expanse ME
    14th June 2019 at 2:14 pm

    I am not very superb with English but I line up this really easy to interpret.

  • Reply
    Fast Burn Keto
    16th June 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and
    net and this is actually irritating. A good site with interesting content, this
    is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website,
    I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.