Disjointed: lacking a coherent sequence or connection.
You may or may not have noticed my lack of blog posting recently. It’s been a funny few weeks. Not necessarily in a bad way, but not entirely good either. I’ve had ups and downs, good days and bad – and have desperately been trying to promote my book by writing several guest blog posts which will hopefully be live soon. There’s been vomit and nativity plays and nights out with wonderful friends. There’s been a visit to Father Christmas and endless shopping and wrapping of presents. But what there hasn’t been for me, is festive cheer.
I’ve desperately been trying to get into the Christmas spirit – normally by now I’m totally Christmas crazy – yet this year it’s just not happening. And the reason, the painful truthful reason as to why I’m not in the festive spirit, is simply because this year, for the first time in twelve years, for the first time ever in her beautiful life, I will not be spending Christmas Day with my daughter. For she will be with her father, at her wish.
As many of you regular readers will know her father wasn’t exactly enamoured with the idea of becoming one at such a young age and he did pretty much everything in his power to make it not be true. And so for the first few years, when he was rather inconsistent in his presence, she was blissfully all mine at Christmas.
As a single parent, who’s father had passed away just two years previously, Christmas was always spent at my Mum’s house, where we carried on all of the wonderful Christmas traditions that had started during my childhood. It was wonderful, something I always looked forward to with immense excitement, and soon there came new traditions as we grew as a family and welcomed more people in. The phrase ‘all good things must come to an end,’ now springs to mind for after a long time of me trying to get her father regularly involved in her life – because even though I had formed a firm opinion of the type of man he was, I strongly believed she had the right to know him and make that decision for herself – we started alternating Christmases. He would have her from shortly after her school broke up until Christmas Eve, and then the next year he would have her until Christmas afternoon, when she was picked up on the way to my Mum’s.
This year, without either of us talking about it (our communication has been a bit crap of late) I assumed the same would be true. However my daughter’s father had other ideas which promptly placed her rather uncomfortably in the middle. Now I know at times she can be – along with every other twelve year old – quite a challenging human being, deep down behind all of the pre-teen hormonal rage she has a truly beautiful nature and hates upsetting people. She was torn and teary and it was horrible to see. So, in spite of everything I was thinking and feeling at the time (namely rage as her dad hadn’t been particularly friendly in the discussion) I handed the decision over to her and told her that I would support her 100% in whatever she chose. I reassured her that her Nanna and Uncle wouldn’t hate her, and neither for that matter would I. And – frighteningly quickly – she chose to go to her Dad’s.
I didn’t show her my hurt or upset, I didn’t voice my dismay all at her decision. I hugged her and told her I hoped she’d have a wonderful Christmas, and reassured her that yes, we’d do Christmas Day all over again for her on Boxing Day when she was to be collected. My husband and I then worked out our Christmas with the boys and my family (his mum and dad always come to us on Christmas Eve and prefer to spend Christmas Day at home just the two of them, so that was sorted!) and how and when we could pick her up on Boxing Day. All worked out. Daughter happy. Dad happy. Me…well you can imagine.
I hope you don’t think me trivial or indulgent for writing a blog post about my upset, because yes, it is just one day and I am incredibly fortunate in so many ways…yet for me without my daughter there, even for one day, Christmas simply will not be the same. There will be something missing. Part of me missing. Christmas undoubtedly becomes magical all over again once you have children, and that magic doesn’t stop when they become a pre-teen (she still wanted to see Father Christmas the other day) and it’s hard to know that for the first time I’m not going to be there to see it. And this will be the first of many, a new tradition now formed whereby every other year she is not here to celebrate with me, with us, with her brothers.
Since making the decision I can tell she’s still been torn. Whenever Christmas has been talked about I’ve also been incredibly torn – for if I say how excited I am she gets hurt and thinks I’m not going to miss her…and yet when I say it won’t be the same without her she gets equally upset and demands that I will be ok and have fun! Safe to say I’ve not been able to do right for doing wrong so to speak! No change from the norm there though really either – living with a pre-teen really can be a mine field!
So for now my job before she goes on Christmas Eve, is to embrace what time we will spend together over Christmas, and make it as magical and special as I can. I’m lucky I have my awesome husband and gorgeous boys to celebrate the day with and my heart goes out to others who are not so fortunate. For families come in all shapes and sizes and each have their own challenges to face.
And for us, I’m determined that Christmas this year will still be a magical one…just a little disjointed.
redpefferIona@redpefferDecember 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm (9 years ago)
It’s really hard when things change-whether through choice or necessity and at Christmas this is magnified even more I think. Of course you’ll miss your daughter, and she you, but hopefully you’ll all find a way to make the most of it, it might just take some adjusting to.Reply
Dean BDecember 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm (9 years ago)
Oh you definitely have every reason to be off the festive mood! I’d be the same if I were in your shoes 🙂 Nonetheless, hope you have wonderful Christmas with your family 🙂Reply
sarahmo3wDecember 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm (9 years ago)
Not at all indulgent! I’m really sorry to read this and totally understand why you feel like this, especially as it seems her father hasn’t been much of a dad to her in the past. Hope you enjoy Christmas as well as you can. XReply
Mummy GlitzerDecember 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm (9 years ago)
Oh sweetheart; it is totally understandable you feel the way you do! I know you will make it all so fun however. xxReply
uncheshire wifeDecember 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm (9 years ago)
Maybe she’s opted to go there for the novelty value, you know see if the grass is greener. I’m sure she will soon be wanting to get back home to you all. xReply
emilytealadyDecember 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm (9 years ago)
I agree, I think the change, the novelty is exciting but I suspect she will soon realise what she is missing. We all have to experience things,to learn, to grow. I hope you all have a lovely day, I know you will feel a little sad, bittersweet, but you are such a good mum, and she will never be able to say you never gave her the opportunity or choice to do as she wanted. Big hugs, and massive glasses of mulled wine. XxxxxReply
Amanda Egan (mummy misfit)December 19, 2013 at 10:38 pm (9 years ago)
My heart bled for you when I read this. Yes,families change and kids grow up but it doesn’t make it any easier, does it?Reply
Our family has been going through huge changes over the last few years, and Christmas always heightens the feelings.
You sound like you are doing everything possible to make it right for her and of course you’re both going to find it strange.
I really hope you both find a way of enjoying your time away from one another (sounds impossible to a mum, huh?!) – but then take even greater joy in your time together 🙂 x
Charlie AlbersDecember 20, 2013 at 9:44 pm (9 years ago)
Oh lovely… what a horrible dilemma for you. I had no idea I am sorry 🙁
Quite rightly you assumed she was yours for another Christmas and hadn’t talked about it because it has been and you thought it would always be so…
I am sure come the day she will be missing you dreadfully and wishing she was with you, it will feel so strange not being with you as this has been her comfort for so long and if she is anything like me in years to come she won’t want to spend a second without you and you will find she is still celebrating Christmas with you everyday whether you like it or not 🙂
You have given her the chance to make the decision and you are right when you say you can’t do right for doing wrong and everything you say is taken the wrong way. But I am sure deep down she has her regrets, her worries about this new experience ….
I totally and utterly sympathise with you, with ALL of you because I am sure everyone including your lovely babies will all miss her on Christmas Day – but it is only 1 day and be safe in the knowledge she will come back to you on Boxing Day and whilst she may grunt and shrug you MUST know as soon as she sees you she will feel like home.
Because let’s face it you ARE her home, her everything. You have been the one constant in her life and all she has ever known. This new experience of spending the day with her dad?
Well, he can try, let her go and try it out, but I am telling you NOTHING beats a Christmas with your mummy, nothing beats the warmth and love that your mother gives you..
BUT… have a truly magical time with the rest of your lovely clan and then have a second round of fun on Boxing Day.
Much love, hugs and kisses sweetie xxxxReply