This past Sunday my husband and I were blindsided with the news that his ex would be using her "vacation" time the weekend after Christmas. Our weekend. Our Christmas time with my step daughter. Right away we were furious. The parenting agreement states that each parent is allowed a week of uninterrupted time and we took ours this summer. Coinciding with "our" weekend, not hers. And while the agreement doesn't specify, we both assumed that this was an understood courtesy. Weekends are precious. I guess we should have clarified this.
During our fuming we went over the many ways we could mess with her plans. How could we use our vacation week next year to most impact her? This year is our Halloween and its only days away. We could easily manipulate the day to cut her out. After all she didn't give a second thought to our Christmas plans.
This conversation went on for awhile and when it ended we hadn't got anywhere. We were both still angry, hurt and possibly even more frustrated.
This morning (two days after the initial news) I woke up evaluating my reaction. The anger and the scheming didn't accomplish anything. All it did was make me tired. So tired.
So what do I do? What can my husband and I do in this situation? We can make sure that we enjoy the time we do have. We can plan the few days we do get in December to be full of the Christmas magic. Last year we did a family 12 Days of Christmas countdown. A Christmas activity for each day we spent with my step daughter prior to Christmas. This year we will be starting a little early but we will continue our countdown. I'm also planning extended family celebrations to happen a little earlier in December. That way our Christmas (we get Christmas Eve this year) is still relaxed and just the three of us.
And next year will we plan our vacation time to inconvenience her? No. We will continue to plan events and vacations for our family at times that work best for us. We will continue to think of my step daughter first and what's best for her. As tempting as it might be to do otherwise.
Fellow stepmoms- how do you get through these frustrating situations without completely losing your mind? How do you rise above and put the kids first? I'd love to hear advice right about now.