Each day this week, I'm going to dole out a short tip on how to deal with Thanksgiving for dual-families (where you're "stuck" with the stepfamily or the divorced family). So here's the first one....
IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.
No, really. It isn't. I know most things are, but this actually isn't.
If you're having a tough time with some of the strategic arrangements, such as Sarah spending Thanksgiving with her mom and you only getting her part of the day (or not at all) -- or having to "trade" Christmas so that Noah can go with you to your parent's house and meet them for the first time, well, that doesn't have to mean one thing about YOU.
Where the kids do or do not go, how the day actually turns out doesn't mean anything about your self-worth.
Or your relationship.
Or whether it's doomed or will survive. Or is better than the other household's.
Or whether the kids love you more or less than the other parent or the mom or the grandparents or any other adult.
It says nothing about the kind of experience you will have.
Or how Christmas will go.
Or the next year.
It's just a day, neutral and plain, factual and simple.
Nuclear families also go through contortions trying to please everyone on Thanksgiving, like which in-laws to visit. Who's cooking. Who doesn't help clean out. Surly children. Communication issues between the spouses.
You're not alone in your angst!
So lighten up and don't take the day and all its arrangements so personally.
You're the one assigning things so much meaning.
And see how much better you feel in the process.
© 2010 Jennifer Newcomb Marine All Rights Reserved