I've gotten lucky enough to have two parents that love me, my brother, and sister more than anything and have always had our best interests at heart. I know that a lot of kids have very bad experiences with divorce, and there can be a lot of challenging situations that affect how it happens. So I'm happy to recognize that I definitely got a better situation than most, and it never really affected me negatively. My siblings and my schedules have always been split equally between my parents, and however it worked best for whatever we had going on.
The only time I can say I really feel the downsides of having two separate homes is during the holidays.
Children of divorced parents can handle holidays very differently, as with anything, and for my family, it worked best to split it up evenly like the rest of our days. We got Easter with my moms family, Thanksgiving with my dad, and Christmas is where things got interesting. For most of the time I can remember, I've had Christmas Eve dinner with my dad, gone to my mom's house to wake up and open presents, back to my dads, then to see my mom's family in Syracuse.
While this routine has never caused me stress or tired me out like some people would expect, it doesn't mean holidays are always easy.
It can be difficult as a kid, and even still at 18 years old, to have to leave one of my parents for the holidays. Every person wants to cherish each holiday with the people they love most, and for me, it means leaving one of those people, and for one of them it means not seeing their kids. It has really made me appreciate the time during the holiday season that I can spend with each of them, which is especially important now going to college three hours away from home.
Although it can be tough, I've always seen the bright side of things and loved the holidays. As a kid I even felt bad for other kids who didn't get to go to three different houses on Christmas, each house meaning more food and another round of presents. Now that I'm older it's definitely less about getting gifts, but I can admit it's still fun to do presents at three houses and go through the excitement of opening and watching your family open gifts you got them throughout the day.
Every holiday tradition, like picking out and decorating a tree, making Christmas cookies, listening to Christmas music and watching movies, I can do with both my mom and dad and there are no downsides to packing on the holiday traditions. For other families, I know it isn't as easy to enjoy holidays with divorced parents living separately, so I know I have a lot to thank my parents for, for making these times as easy as they can be. And for anyone having a hard time, I hope it's possible to see the bright side of things and make the most of the holidays. Everyone deserves to feel the holiday spirit.