Blended Family Holidays

 Christmas Tree

It is the week in between Christmas and New Year’s. Reflecting back on this past holiday, I have to admit it was different from what our blended family is used to. Normally, my husband and I spent much of our energy on figuring out when we and our 4 children will be able to be together. Our ex-spouses are flexible with us as to when, where and how our holidays work, which we very much appreciate. We have learned through the years that flexibility is the key.

 

This year was different…our oldest, my bio-daughter, who is 19 is a Certified Nursing Assistant in a town close to us and is working her way through college to become a Nurse. She has chosen a career path that will mean she will be working holidays. So, I felt we should make our plans around her work schedule – after all, she has no control over that. Our next oldest, my bio-son is 18 and is in the delayed entry program in the Navy. He will be attending boot camp in March. I admit my anxiety about this being our last Christmas together for a while was very high. Our other two children – my step-daughters are 15 and 13 and still living under our roof, so finding a time to be with them at Christmas wasn’t as complicated, we just needed to coordinate it with their Mother.

 

We had my husband’s family Christmas the weekend before Christmas – which was nice because it wasn’t as rushed and everyone was able to be there. Except my daughter who had chosen not to be there. I was very disappointed by that. I found out my son didn’t want to be there, but didn’t have an excuse to NOT be there so he came – reluctantly. My husband comes from a wonderful family, they are all very nice and have accepted me and my children with open arms.

 

My family Christmas was different – we had it Christmas Day because that was when my daughter and my son could be there. It was short – because she also had to go to her Father’s, but it was nice. My step-daughters weren’t there because they spent Christmas Day with their Mother. What made it different was that there was no time that the 6 of us were all together. We opened presents from each other, but not in front of each other.

 

My question to the Family Fusion Community is this – should we have made sure there was a time when all 6 of us could have gotten together? I am not sure why we didn’t insist that happen? Do you make sure that happens in your families?

 

I feel bad because my children have literally 5 families to be with during the Holidays – mine, my parents, my husband’s family, their dad’s family and their step-mom’s family. There are also girlfriends and boyfriends in the mixture as well.

 

What is more important? Should I insist that my bio-children come to my husband’s family’s Christmas? Should I only care that the 6 of us get together? Please give me a direction……THANK YOU!

 

Kay Berg is a bio mom of two children. Annie is 19, and Brad is 18. She is also step-mom to Bethany, 15, and Meagan 13. She has been married to her husband, Rod for almost 6 years. She is the Director of Religious Education, and Youth Minister at a Catholic church in Northern Wisconsin. Kay and Rod are learning how to blend their family on a daily basis, sometimes it goes well and sometimes not. But each day is a new day to learn and grow.

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2 thoughts on “Blended Family Holidays

  1. Hi Kay – Being a stepmum too, I think your comment about the importance of flexibility is key. You’ve made what works for your family work & that’s what matters!

    I wrote a post on our blog about having a ‘different’ stepfamily Christmas & the theme of a comment we received seems relevant. The commentor isn’t part of a stepfamily but spoke about living in a different country from her family with her partner a nurse and spending holidays without her family due to distance & her partner due to his work schedule. The reality is that difficulties with scheduling Christmas holiday celebrations aren’t unique to stepfamilies. Choices like yours are made by lots of families for lots of different reasons. I think you’ve done a great job in working everyone’s schedule & if after this year’s experience if it’s important for you that everyone is together to celebrate Christmas – there is always the option of having a ‘Christmas in July’ next year!

  2. Hi Kay – Being a stepmum too, I think your comment about the importance of flexibility is key. You’ve made what works for your family work & that’s what matters!

    I recently wrote a post on our blog about having a ‘different’ stepfamily Christmas and one of the comments we received seems relevant here. The comment wasn’t from someone in a stepfamily, but she lived overseas & her partner is a nurse. She is separated from her family at holidays due to distance & work schedule. The reality is juggling calendars around Christmas celebrations is not unique to stepfamilies. Choices like yours get made all the time by all types of families for lots of different reasons. I think you’ve done a great job in fitting everyone in as best as possible! If after this year’s experience you want to make sure everyone is together at the same time & place – there is always the option of a ‘Christmas in July’ for next time!

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