An Open Letter To Children Of Divorced Parents

An Open Letter To Children Of Divorced Parents

Just in time for the holiday season.
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Dear Children of Divorced Parents,

With Halloween over, the most dreaded time of the year is upon us. The month of November is the official start of the holiday season for most Americans. For some people, this is their favorite time of the year. Unfortunately, children of divorced parents see it a different way. That’s you. When your parents first got divorced, everyone tells you how jealous they are of you: you’ll now get two birthdays, multiple Christmases or Kwanzaa’s, two Thanksgiving dinners or more gifts for Hanukkah. While that statement is true in a way, the multiple holidays also bring immense stress for some of us.

Almost every holiday you’ll be forced to ask yourself if it was your mom’s turn or your dad’s turn to have you. Did they have you last year or was it two years ago now? Will one parent get you for lunch on Thanksgiving or for dinner? What if they both decide to have Thanksgiving at the same time? Will one parent have a place to go if you end up with the other parent? Or will they spend the holiday alone?

A big choice you’ll have to possibly make is which parent will not have their kid on a major holiday. Believe me, I understand how completely difficult it is to have that hanging over your head. You may or may not love each parent equally, but if you do, the guilt you feel is real, and over time, that feeling never really fades away.

Maybe one day your parents will get remarried, and this is good in a way, but for the holiday season it only adds to the chaos. On Christmas Eve, you’ll go to your mom’s house, then to her mom’s house. On Christmas, you’ll go to your dad’s house, then his mom’s house. Then the next day, you’ll have to go to your new stepdad’s family’s house and so on. Christmas is no longer daylong but rather a week long. And when you’re spending so much time traveling back and forth, the real meaning of Christmas is lost. And this can be true for any holiday, not just Christmas. It’s no longer known as a day to celebrate, but a day to pretend like this is the normal way to celebrate holidays. And it really isn’t.

Not being able to celebrate as a family during holidays kills us more than people realize. Anyone who comes from a divorced family dreams of the days when their parents were still together. You wish for the chance to go back so you can truly appreciate what little time you had as a complete family. If your parents didn’t have a good divorce, this only adds to the stress of the holidays. Some of you may have been lucky enough to have parents who are still friends, but I guarantee that that is almost always not the way it works. When your parents hate each other, there’s a big chance that they’ll try and pit you against the other parent. So for holidays, insults about how one parent celebrated or what they got you for the holiday get thrown around. It will be a competition until the very end.

Speaking of gift giving, that can become very tricky too. Your parents will only get so much time with you. This means that one may know you better than the other, while one still thinks that you play with hot wheels or Barbies when you’re now 16 years old. The biggest problem that you may run in to is repeat gifts. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen kids get the exact same thing from each parent and have to play it off like it was unique. It’s extremely hard to fake excitement when you get something for the third time.

So, all of you divorced kids, here’s to you. I understand you, I feel your pain and I am here for you. We’re all here for you. You may feel that no one understands your slightly negative outlook on the holidays, but rest assured that you are not alone. Your parents won’t understand. Your friends may not understand. But if you can make it through the holiday season this year, then you can show them all that we are the strongest type of children out there.

Signed,

One Of You

Cover Image Credit: Kayla Green

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.
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This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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Facebook, I'm Sorry For The Harsh Break-Up, Will You Take Me Back?

I never thought I'd want to get back with you but here I am.

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FB. Such old friends.

Yet, we meet again.

I didn't think I'd ever scroll on you once IG and snap came along.

Now I'm getting bored and I want you back.

I dumped you so easily for the new and improved and I'm sorry.

I want to love you again.

From your videos that make me burst out laughing at the videos that make me burst out happy tears.

From your local news updates to your global news updates you always make sure I'm in the know.

From your delicious food videos that make me want to try new things to your groups that make me feel like I'm a part of something.

You always make sure I know what's going on with my family and you constantly remind me of the good times I had last year on this day.

You allow me to keep my pictures organized and keep in touch with old friends I otherwise probably wouldn't be in contact with.

You enable me to be myself and tell all of my friends and family how I'm feeling.

I see more than just a 10-second picture when I'm with you.

I see more than an edited photo and a caption kept in the notes of an iPhone with you.

Instead, I am filled with facts, updates, anniversaries, and birthdays.

Real life events and things happening in my city.

Job opportunities and even shopping.

You let me raise money for any fundraiser, charity or organization I want to raise money for.

You let me see the things my loved ones are doing live at any moment.

You keep me so easily connected.

You do so many things for me I never even imagined.

So with that, I'm sorry IG and Snap but my heart belongs to FB now.

Forever and always.

Love,

Your New, Avid User

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