It had all been theory until now: Spending the holidays with only my kids and me. When we decided to separate just after Christmas last year, we devised a plan for the time we would have with our children, but it was never real until now. I wasn’t sure how it would go. I was concerned about how being in a new house and not having both parents there when they woke up would affect the children. It was my first Christmas as a single parent.
Although I was happy that I was finally settling into a new home with the kids and me, I was anxious about not being in the home we had planned on being our “forever” home.
It hasn’t been an easy road for their dad and me. We generally get along for the kids’ sake, but we are still navigating this for the first time: living apart, transferring the kids back and forth, holiday schedules, new and changing relationships, and so much more.
Christmas morning, they ended up being fine. My ex came over so the kids could open their Santa gifts with both of us there. After he left, I made a fun breakfast, the kids played with their new toys, and we spent time together that we wouldn’t have otherwise had if their dad and I had still been together.
Our time together is much more meaningful because we don’t get as much of it.
Later in the afternoon, I packed the kids up and brought them to their other house, the house we shared when their dad and I were married. The house we brought the twins home to after they were born. The house our dog passed away in. Going to that house and having to use the door rather than the garage is always weird. Having to knock to be let in rather than walk in without announcing myself first.
After the kids were settled, I went home, cleaned up from the day, made myself some dinner, and watched a Christmas movie on the couch while I ate. It was quiet. It was something I probably wished I had the chance to experience when I was still married.
But that night, I just missed my kids.
Divorce is interesting. The relationship between my kids’ dad and me is ever-changing. But there is one constant: The children are our first priority.