I’m lucky that I’m a pretty good sport about sharing with my ex-husband, since taking turns to be with the kids is how we divorced parents roll. My crew went to their dad’s the same nights each week until they left for college and, to this day (15 years after we separated), the plan to be with me one year and their dad the next for Thanksgiving dinner remains in effect.
I realize that sharing the kids for the holidays is the only fair thing to do, but I have to admit that there are times I just don’t want to do that. What gets me is not the compromise of the situation (well, maybe somewhat—after all, I AM the mom!) but rather the more complex matter of not feeling whole without my kids. The emotions are further complicated when the gathering includes my niece and nephew, who I am certain will ask where their cousins are when I walk in to my brother’s house on Thursday.
Since this is the holiday to give thanks, I suppose I should just man up and be grateful that I get to spend every other year with them while we stuff our faces with turkey and not focus on the years I don’t get to look at them across the table.
This is most likely just temporary anyway, as they will have families of their own at some point and then even more parents to please and add to the holiday rotation, unless they just buck the system and start their own traditions at home which cannot possibly include everyone anyway. I will be ahead of the game at that time, as parents of intact families won’t be comfortable with sharing their kids at all, and I’ll be a pro, at least in theory.