Hello friends! Are you still in the post Christmas haze? I’m moving slowly, and happily so. I’m sure I’ll get a crazy burst of energy over the weekend and start doing all.the.things. But for now, I’m still enjoying the after Christmas heart-so-full feeling.
If you’re looking for the after-Christmas sales, you can find them here, but I also wanted to recap our Christmas while the feelings are still fresh.
Hopefully, opening up in this way will let you in a little more on what life is like for me as a divorced mom. I haven’t talked much about it- it takes time to process, and honestly, sometimes I need a break from all the feelings. You guys and this blog allows me to do that. #thankyou
It’s been almost a year since I’ve lived in my house alone with just the kids, so I’ve had a period of time to adjust to doing things on my own, in my own way. I will admit that I’ve found it incredibly challenging to be a divorced mama, just from the standpoint of the amount of energy it takes to do everything on my own.
By the time the kids go to their Dad’s house, I’m so exhausted. I will literally just sit on my couch and watch hours of tv, too pooped to do anything productive. Then, I get my shi*t together and try to get “ahead” with work, errands, and anything I can do so that I’m prepared to give my all again when they come back.
Sometimes I wonder how long I can keep this pace up. But, just like anything else, you just keep putting one foot in front of other and keep on keepin’ on.
It feels too quiet when they aren’t here, but I’ve also realized that I like having some alone time. I need it. I miss them like crazy, but we Facetime and I can also text James.
I truly love the holidays and this year was no exception. I decorated to my heart’s content, cohosted our 4th annual Favorite Things Party, visited Santa, went and looked at Christmas lights, watched Christmas movies, and baked and planned and shopped and wrapped gifts for the kids. I got Christmas photos of the kids, but then never got around to turning those photos into cards.
I’m learning to let go of things that I just can’t get to. Good enough has to be good enough. I’m also leaning into and accepting this divorced mama life. Actually, I’m doing more than that. I’m embracing it. I never wanted to be divorced and I have grieved the marriage and relationship I had hoped to have.
And now I find that I’m finding my way. I almost feel guilty for saying I feel happy. But I also vowed to be true to how I feel going forward and to not deny or supress my feelings. The truth is, I’m doing really well.
I must point out, part of my happiness is seeing the kids thrive and be happy themselves. It would be incredibly difficult to feel good if they weren’t doing well. I’ve carried so much guilt for being divorced and not having the kids grow up in a two-parent home. I still struggle to some degree with that. Hopefully, in 2020, I can heal that and let it go fully.
Our Christmas was really lovely. On Christmas Eve, after the kids had gone to bed and house was clean and the gifts were wrapped, I took a few moments to take it all in. As exhausted as I was (it was 1 am!), a true feeling of gratitude and satisfaction overcame me. I thanked God for helping me prepare a warm, holiday home for the kids. It felt like everything came together and I was so thankful.
It was important for my to convey my love and appreciation for my kids, especially this year, so I wrote them each a little letter and set it out for them to read in the morning. I plan to do that every year going forward. I wrote one for my Mom too- she’s really been such a rock and help with anything I need.
On Christmas morning, Jordan woke up at 5am and got in bed with me until James came in at 6am. Their reactions and pure JOY when they saw the gifts under the tree was the BEST!! James immediately said “thank you” and gave me a giant hug. That boy really is something special.
Jordan went down the stairs asking, “Where’s my Paw Patrol Pup Pad? Where’s my Paw Patrol Pup Pad? ” This girl is too much!! It was the only thing she asked Santa for, thank God he delivered!
James and Jordan both love to play cornhole and one of our dear friends is a talented carpenter. I asked him if he would make James a cornhole set and he happily agreed. His wife, one of my closest friends, painted it and I bought the cornhole bags. I knew this gift would be extra special, having been built by someone James is close to, and it’s one of a kind- something he can have for years to come. I think it turned out amazing!
Jordan was crazy for her play kitchen (and I was happy I had a gift card to use toward it AND that it came ASSEMBLED!) My mom gifted Jordan an adorable set of pots and pans and cooking utensils and she ended up playing with it for hours Christmas morning!
James had an electric guitar at the top of his Christmas list and is now ready to rock! Can you even guess how many times I’ve already said, “turn it down!”
Luckily, this one isn’t as loud! 😉
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At grandma’s house, Jordan loves to play with these stacking dolls and my mom got her a set. I think they are soo cute! It came with 10 pieces – a teeny, tiny baby at the end!
Of course, we ate Baked French Toast and I had an extra cup of coffee!
I was so glad Jordan wanted to wear the dress I got her at the Nutcracker Market. And she told me which barrette to put in her hair (“just one Mom!”) and which side of her hair to put it in!
I’m just thankful beyond belief for these kids and so happy that our year is ending on a high note. They went to their Dad’s later on Christmas so that the holiday was shared.
I wrapped up my evening at my brother’s house with all the cousins and extended family. It was really a nice time, though I did feel the heart pang that James and Jordan weren’t there. I’m sure that’s natural, but I know they were having a great time.
When they come back, we’ll still have lottsssss of Christmas break left to enjoy. So much so that I’m not sure what we’re going to do!
If you are going through a divorce, or just having a hard time, I truly hope you have a family member or close friend you can trust and lean on. Accept their love and support. I know that this time of year can be incredibly stressful and emotional.
For me, letting people help support me was one of the greatest gifts I could give myself. We need it! And you bless people back by letting them be there for you. And then the cycle grows and continues. The love flows and that’s how it should and can be!
If you have some helpful tips for how to get through these challenging times, I would be honored if you would share in the comments. I know this community of women would be blessed by it.
And, don’t forget: I’m giving away my December Loves and you can enter here! It’s a small way to give back, but I hope it blesses one of you!
Have a great evening!