Ex-Husbands, Thanksgiving … Ho Ho Ho, and a Bottle of Yum

Image via iStock/Vladimir-Frangoni
Image via iStock/Vladimir-Frangoni

Lately, I’ve been feeling like some lopped off version of Wonder Woman, the Amazon princess with untold strength, constantly battling against the god of war in an attempt to bring peace and happiness to the human race.

In my version, the god of war is played by my ex-husband.

And thanks to upcoming holidays, never-ending gluts of ominous family gatherings, Homeroom Mom obligations, school party supply lists, a full-time job, and a nonsensical god of war, my reality has rear-ended my grand tiara in a full-blown collision, leaving me … lopped.

It's hard to send your kids away to spend time with an ex. Although you know it is good for them, you miss them like crazy and they miss you too.

Once upon a time, I was simply a post-graduate woman – a soon-to-be working mother – with magnificent dreams of becoming a successful author. I had oodles of time to work on my novel, and even more time to investigate the ins and outs of hypnobirthing and diaper pails.

Fast forward to present life and find that I thieve time behind a locked bathroom door to silently chant, “Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.” I’m an active, loving, full-time mother, and my daughter is happy and thriving; but I constantly wonder if I’m doing a good enough job of balancing work and family. I love the success of my professional life, but secretly envy the mothers who, post-pregnancy, were able to “stay home” and now join in on as many school lunch periods as they desire, and legitimately humor the idea of adding more children to their families. I couldn’t “stay home,” and still can’t.

Every single year, during one major holiday, I float outside of my own body and watch my anxiety spin out of control, because my daughter has a seven-day, mandatory visit with the harebrained god of war. I wait in angst to see what new damage will be done to the peace and happiness of my daughter – my personal “human race.” My brain bumbles onward as it treads through each seemingly impossible more-strenuous-than-usual work day, as it responds to yet another niece’s or nephew’s birthday Evite, and as it pushes forward on that now almost-completed novel. I investigate what the symptoms of ASAD are. And I take pages from Dr. Cheryl Lane’s piece on “Helping Your Children Understand When the Other Parent ‘Screws Up.’”

But, as my mother always says, “It is what it is.”

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And so I shall remain here, in this unusual lopped state of wondrous womanhood, until my daughter safely returns and the god of war disappears from our existence for another three months. Because even though my pre-motherhood attitude had a different pathway in mind, I still have a good life – one my daughter can look up to – and for that, I am thankful.

Are you a single or divorced parent? How do you endure a holiday when your child is with the ex?

What do you think?

Ex-Husbands, Thanksgiving … Ho Ho Ho, and a Bottle of Yum

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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1 comment

  1. Nat says:

    thankfully my ex is completely out of the picture but when he did have visitation it was just crazy…how mean he would be to the kids and try to blaim it on me, like keeping their favorite sleeping\snuggle stuff animals and blankets because “his children had a right to have stuff at his house!” now 3 years later with him out of the picture by HIS choice the kids still talk about the stuff animals he “stole” from them. That how they feel, and i just tell them I’m sorry because I don’t know what else to say.

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