11 Dec Stepmom, Do You Miss Your Own Family?
“I married my husband eight years ago, and I haven’t seen my own family at Christmastime since then,” stepmom Kristi shared.
“He and his ex-wife share 50/50 custody over the holidays, which means we can’t ever leave home. I miss watching my niece open her gifts, the special talks with my dad over breakfast, and helping my mom prepare dinner. It makes me so sad and lonely.”
I have two nieces that I love as if they were my own. When they were little Christmastime with Melissa and Maria, (and then later on their stepbrother, Ian, and stepsister, Brittany), who are now all grown, was one of the most enjoyable parts of my holiday.
I get it.
I also truly understand the sacrifices of stepfamily living. Once you marry a person with kids, most of your life, plans, vacations and holidays are tied to another household.
The children have two parents who live in two homes. Logistically, it’s part of the marriage and the reason behind stepfamily complexities.
In my humble opinion, (I say this because some people aren’t going to like at least one of my choices), you have four options:
- First, at least periodically visit your family alone.
- Second, you can ask your family members to come to your house.
- Third, you can celebrate the holiday on a different day/weekend with his kids.
- Fourth, continue the way you have been knowing that it’s just a few years until the kids are older.
This is a decision that should be made jointly by you and your spouse. He needs to respect your craving to see your family. And you need to respect that his kids are only going to be young for a season. They deserve to have their family, including dad, at Christmas.
Once they become adults then a compromise needs to be discussed. Your husband may need to periodically sacrifice time with them. This should not be about who “wins.” Stepfamily success occurs when both adults are willing to sacrifice their own desires, and learn when it’s time to be the one giving and the one receiving.
If ONLY one adult is doing all the giving, and the other refuses to budge or listen to the hurt of their spouse, then it’s a marital problem, and not a stepfamily problem.
“Blessed is she who has believed
that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45, NIV).
Copyright © 2017 Laura Petherbridge. All rights reserved
Laura Petherbridge is an international author and speaker who serves couples and single adults with topics on relationships, divorce prevention, and divorce recovery. She is a featured expert on the DivorceCare DVD series and the author of When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, The Smart Stepmom, co-authored with Ron Deal, 101 Tips for the Smart Stepmom, Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul, a devotional.
Laura’s website is www.The SmartStepmom.com
Click here to learn more about her upcoming retreat for stepmoms
This post is an excerpt from her most recent release Seeking a Silent Night: Unwrapping a Stepfamily Christmas.