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Happy Thanksgiving from a Grateful Ex-wife

Thanksgiving for me is all about family. I miss the gatherings when I was younger, for sure. Now that I have a family of my own it has become somewhat of a challenge to make Thanksgiving as cheerful as I remember. This is attributed to many factors: relatives passing, relatives moving, and difficult family dynamics that have developed over my 25 years of existence.

My father, growing up, “was never around much.” I say that lightly because we have an excellent relationship and I consider us to be pretty close. My parents never married and unfortunately disliked each other too much for my sister and I to get the most out of him. We lived with my mother, he sent cards throughout the year, and we got to see him on Summer Break and the occasional Christmas. It wasn’t until I moved out that I got to know him very well, and now he is my closest living relative so I see him often. (Not that that’s a preference… A majority of my mother’s family simply prefers the cold of Ohio and I’m too much of a Florida girl.)

Since my ex-husband and I have gone our separate ways, we’ve managed to keep a close distance so that Gaia can see both of her parents equally throughout the year. I admit I thought I hated him for a while and I blamed him for most of our hiccups, but it’s been long enough that I can move past that safely and I feel like we’ve turned into quite the parenting team.

We split major holidays evenly. This year Gaia is gone and spending Thanksgiving with Carlos’s parents. I get her for Christmas, so she’ll be spending it in Ohio with my family. It’s rough, I won’t lie. The first thing I wanted to do this morning is make hand-shaped turkeys with her and then slap an apron on her tiny waist and make her slave in the kitchen with me. (I can’t believe I forgot to do hand-shaped turkeys before she left…)

But despite all of that, I am really grateful for the man I have to share this burden with. We’re friends now, at least. We go to lunch together, we talk about our life goals and offer each other advice, we share and swap ideas about how to further our child’s development. We don’t fight anymore and Gaia gets to witness a healthy, caring relationship between both her parents.

I’m going to take this moment to give a shout-out to all the men and women who step up to be a part of their children’s lives regardless of the relationship with the other half. This Thanksgiving is about family; whether it’s the one you were born into or the one you’ve chosen, just live peacefully.

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Comments

  1. You are a role model for all those people who go through divorce. Thanks for writing this post!

  2. It takes a lot of work to coparent like that. Good for you for making it work for your child!

  3. So glad you guys get along and she can see that! Sorry you are missing her this holiday!!!

  4. Yea it is hard when you parents are not together…but if they are friends it does help the kids a lot. Lots of younger folks these days need to make note of that…and try a bit harder to get along with their exes…just for the kids sake.

    Kids will remember!

  5. Hand shaped turkeys are terrific! And, just remember… your Christmas will be just that more special when she is celebrating with you and your family in Ohio! Hopefully we’ll have snow for ya’ll 🙂

    Dawn from With a Side of Thriftiness
    and coming soon… Celebrate the Bump!

  6. You are quite lucky to have someone who share the parenting with you! My kids see their dad 3 times a year, max and he MIGHT call once a month or two. I do that for them, but while I know you miss her today, it is a blessing to have someone who loves her enough to be involved

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