What It's Like To Be A Child Of Divorce During The Holidays

What It's Like To Be A Child Of Divorce During The Holidays

"How do you divide a one day holiday between two parents?"

This past Thanksgiving was the first time that I had to have Thanksgiving dinner in two separate homes. It was odd, to say the least. According to American Psychology Association, about 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. Growing up if you had asked me would I ever think that my family would have entered into that statistic, I honestly wouldn't have been that surprised. Over the last few years, it just started to feel different, and I never wanted to be that statistic but it happened. Kids see everything and being the eldest child in my family I saw a lot.

The holidays, for most people, are an exciting time to spend with family. Yes, of course, fights will happen and drama will occur because that's what happens when families get together. We all know that really weird family member that usually starts it all. For me, the holidays have just become a time where I have to figure out how much time I will get to spend with which parent and if I will get to see my brothers at both places. How do you divide a one day holiday between two parents? A few hours there and a few hours here. It has turned the holidays into a time where I am more stressed out about forgetting the presents or food for the house I need to have it at.

I still am able to go Black Friday shopping which I have been doing since I was 10. That is 10 years of tradition that won't end just because of the separation that has occurred in the family. Christmas in 2015 was already split up, and I got the idea of being with one parent one day and then the other another day. I grew up distanced from my extended family due to location, so I was used to it always being small. People often think "Oh well no you get two Christmas' that's double the presents. Why are you complaining?" That right there is the real problem with the holidays, it is no longer about families and celebration anymore it is about how much stuff you can get. A materialistic world.

People fail to understand that for children of divorce, the holiday season isn't what it once was. It was a time to celebrate and be happy. The traditions are no longer there, and it is difficult to adjust to the new way of doing things. My family had always put up the Christmas tree together on Thanksgiving, and we would decorate the house together. Now I just decorate my apartment and listen to Christmas music. The nice thing is that it takes me a lot less time, but it is different. A new change that has been difficult but I am learning to make new traditions for myself and bringing the joy back to the holidays.

Being a college student, I find is rather difficult to have divorce in my family even more than a child. In fact, choosing between your two parents instead of having them tell you where to go makes it that much harder. You’re the only student that isn’t looking forward to winter break. How do you divide those few weeks? Who do you go see first? Who do you spend Christmas with? Are you going out on New Year’s, or do you need to appease one of your parents and stay in? Will there be any time for friends? So many questions that add stress because they are your parents after all and you don't want to offend anyone.

I have realized that there is no reason to act like everything is OK and putting on a facade would not make the situation any better. Divorce makes the holidays more complicated, but still possible. As the Christmas season vastly approaches, I just hope that we can all focus on the joy and the birth of Jesus Christ instead of the things that now control our culture.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.

I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Home For The Summer

Home sweet home.


Now that school is finally over, I packed up all my stuff and finally got to go home and be with my family again. More specifically, I got to see my dog.

Moving out was a hassle. I didn't realize how much crap I actually had. Sure, it started off not too bad when I moved in, but over the course of the year, more and more stuff came into my possession. By the time I was supposed to move out, it was like I had twice the amount of stuff from when I started. It took two days to officially move all of my belongings back home.

Since being home, I've noticed a couple of things.

First of all, my mom missed me a lot. Hi, Mom. :)

It's not like when I went to college, I completely disappeared from my mom's life or anything like that. We talked on the phone often, and she would visit me sometimes to take me and my sister out to dinner or something with our dad. Also, with the number of times I had gotten sick throughout the entire year, it was like every other week I came home.

The first day I came home, she made a run to the store and called me asking if there was anything I needed, and I said not to my knowledge. She came home with a crap ton of my favorite ice cream and snacks, just because.

Another thing she's been doing is cooking every night. My mom works during the week, so understandably when she gets home, she doesn't always feel like slaving away in front of the stove to make dinner. However, for whatever reason, my mom has made it her sole mission to make me gain 20 pounds by the time the fall semester comes around.

She knows I hated the food at school, so whenever she cooks dinner, she mentions that I love being home because I get to have real food. I mean, I'm not complaining. Who doesn't love a homecooked meal?

I can tell my dad is pretty happy about me being home with the new change in the menu.

Second of all, for the time being, I have A LOT of free time.

Now, this will change once I get my summer job, but as of right now, I have nothing to do. Both of my parents work during the week, and I didn't really keep in touch with the majority of my high school peers, so I have no one to hang out with. I mean, I could see some of my college buddies and sorority sisters, but everyone lives far as hell away.

This is kind of difficult for me. Not because I can't just spend time alone; I have no problem with that. However, I'm used to having a full schedule. Aside from just being used to it, I like it. I'm one of those people who likes to keep busy.

When I'm out and about or have a lot of things to do, I feel productive. Now, I just feel lazy because I literally have nothing to do. To try and counteract this, I've resorted to doing a personal project throughout the summer.

I just need something to occupy my time. Boredom sucks.

I'm glad to be home, though. Living at college is great, sure, and you have all this freedom to do whatever you want and you won't get in trouble or whatever, but I don't really care about all of that. Family is very important to me.

My mom, as crazy as she is, is my best friend, I tell her everything. Living away from that can really stink. Makes me wonder if that is why I kept getting sick so much. Like it was my body's way of forcing me to go home and be with my family.

This summer is going to be a much-needed break from school. I'm excited to see where things go.


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