the holidays

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
the holidays
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 9:30am everyone ready for Thanksgiving and what are your plans?  I have a busy 5 days coming up and am trying to be positive, but, as you all know, holidays have been difficult for me since my divorce 5 years ago in regards to my daughters.  DD28 didn't even bother telling me she wasn't coming home for either holiday (she lives 1500 miles away).  I got to find out from DD21 and on Facebook.  She's working massive hours now that she's in management and is using that as an excuse for not being in contact with her family.  I private messaged her on Facebook and told her I understood about her working so much, but that she has a family who loves her and would like to hear her voice every now and then.  It's been about 3 months since we've actually spoken.  sigh  

  I told dh he could do whatever he wanted in regards to a Thanksgiving dinner...that I know my DDs would rather be with their father's family, so I just don't care.  His DS29 lives out of state now and isn't coming home nor is my DD27, so that basically leaves just his DS19 and my DD25 and DD21.  So, we're doing nothing.  Dh's family lives 2 1/2 hours away and are celebrating their family dinner on Saturday, so we're going there.  I'm spending my day putting up our Christmas tree as DD27 and her SO are coming to town Saturday (she has to work on Thanksgiving), so we're having them over to dinner to celebrate both holidays on Sunday night as they are going to her SO's parents' for Christmas.  I told DD25 and DD21 to just come over to my place when they get bored at their father's and we'll watch a movie together Thursday night, then get up Friday and do Christmas shopping.  DD25 is finally moving into an apartment, so I told her I'd buy her bedding and DD21 wants clothes, so I told them Friday would be a good day to do it although I hate the crowds and traffic as DD21 is in college and DD25 and I both work, but we all have that day off.  I asked both DDs to spend the night at my place which DD25 was ok with, but DD21 said "Why would I do THAT when I have a bedroom at Dad's?"  UGH  I told her only DSS19 would be home (she was afraid DSS29 was coming home and she doesn't feel comfortable around him after all he's done plus my girls don't really know dh's sons and vice versa).  I told her DSS19 was going to sleep in dh's office on the futon, so they could have the basement bedroom.  I told her sometimes MY feelings should come before HERS.  DD25 doesn't give me any grief as she has finally grown up.  But, she did say when we were talking about he holidays that she HATES the holidays.  I think me and my girls all feel that way anymore.  Plus, I'm taking DD27 and her SO out for coffee Monday morning before they leave fully thinking dh would join us.  He said no way...he doesn't like my DD27 or the way she treats me.  I told him he needed to forgive and get that past as I do and, if he's gonna be that way, then to not expect ME to go out to dinner or be with HIM and HIS kids when they do stuff.  UGH  Blending 2 families at the holidays that just are unblendable makes it extremely difficult.   

  So, I'm trying to remain upbeat, but dh and I both are disappointed at how our lives are at our age.  Having 7 children ages 20-30, we thought we'd have some married with children by now and family holidays would be fun with little ones around, etc...and it's just not the way it's turned out.  Personally, I'd rather leave town with dh and take a cruise.


Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 11-26-2012 - 1:04pm

I know Thanksgiving "week" has already passed, but wanted to chime in.

Laurena, you are so right that it is important to look at why we do these things and ultimately you want to and choose to do certain holiday things.  Like you said, at the end of the day you really do want to.  The problem is when we have expectations that others will appreciate and enjoy it all as much as we do. 

Starting, oh sweetie.  I know we had these same conversations a year ago.  I still have them with my SO. 

I am going to be a bit of devil's advocate here, but I don't necessarily see where your DD's are doing anything wrong.  Now, I realize there have been moments when your feel your DD's are being disrepecful with their words , (which is another topic) but overall it sounds like they are your typical young adults of divorce. 

For example: your one DD was in town.  1) you already knew she was coming, and 2) you already had plans with her Thursday night and all day Friday.  So in black and white, where is the real issue?

I am not trying to be cold here, but I have the same conversation over and over again with my SO about he takes things so personal.  Ugh!  He doesn't understand why I don't take things more personal and I don't understand why he does. 

My DS is 23 and yes, I don't see him much and yes, most of the time when he does call he needs something.  So what?  When he is truly distraught over something he calls and asks me what to do.  That is enough for me.  I don't need him to call me just to say hi or see how I am doing.  Honestly, my two big kids go to my mom and dad and my sister just as much me.  I just don't see that as a bad thing. 

My SO's DD22 has sort of adopted her BF's family.  I think that is a wonderful blessing in her life.  She pleasantly suprised us this year and we had a Thanksgiving with her, her BF, my DD12 at our house on Wednesday.  Yes, she spent Thursday with her BF's family. 

I have to admit, my SO did pretty well with DS18 not coming.  He was dispointed, but didn't let it ruin the day.  Which for him, is huge!

Anywho, I guess I am just trying to say to relax and not take everything so personal.  This "I give up" or "I don't care" conversation is surely getting old with your DH.   I don't mean to make light of your feelings, nor do I pretend to understand.  But lack of acceptance is killing you!  Yes, your children should take your feelings into consideration, but that does not mean your feelings come before anyone elses.  KWIM? 

My SO has spent several holidays alone because he did not want to go with me to my mom's or sisters.  So be it.  I stopped playing into his self-pitty and learned that it is okay to go without him and enjoy my family.  I always tell him I would love for him to come, but I understand if he doesn't want to. 

Praise the Lord it is slowly getting better with time.  Going on 7 years now.  Oh, gotta' run....

Love ya' SO! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Thu, 11-22-2012 - 8:47am

  Glad your daughter got to come home, too, Music.  I have a friend who's a nurse and has often had to work various holidays.  My DD28 will be home neither holiday and, as I said, DD27 won't be here until Saturday and not at Christmas at all.

  I read DD21's twitter this morning to find out she's been "home" since Monday and hasn't even called me. She also said something about "them" going out for Mexican her first night home...meaning, I suppose, her father and stepmother.  What bothers me the most is that she hasn't even called me yet when she does, it's always because she's broke and needs my money.  Granted, she's coming over tonight and I will spend tomorrow with her, but she's been over there for 3 days and not EVEN called. And THIS is why I hate the holidays.  I got to wake up today to a stepson and not my own child.  :(  Very sad.  I feel like texting her and telling her since she hasn't bothered to even call and say hi to not bother seeing me at all, but I suppose I won't. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 8:12pm

I'm glad you are getting to spend some time w/ your kids.  I think in a lot of ways it's much harder when you get remarried when the kids are grown & on their own--they don't really feel the need to "blend" with the new family.  My kids were younger (5 & 12) when I got remarried & my 2nd DH had a 12 yr old DD--and my DD hated her!  So it's not totally better--but we still had to do things as one family because we all lived together--well sometimes they spent time w/ their dad but they also spent time w/ 2nd DH's family & his DD spent time w/ my family--she ended up really liking my mother.

I am happy that my DD got to come home for Thanksgiving as she lives in another state now--she came home Monday night late, spent yesterday w/ her father, is home now & will have TG dinner w/ me & my mom, then go visit her kind-of BF and see some friends.  She has the whole week off--but she won't be home for Christmas.

I'm glad your DH likes the cat too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 2:21pm


     It's so nice to have someone who is in the same boat and understands, however, I'm at the point that I've just given up.  The ex has his family around to have holiday dinners with and I don't, so I'm just gonna let my DDs go and do other things with them and not make a big deal out of having a big family dinner.  No point.

 I told one of my DDs that from now on, I consider dh's family my own, so will be with them for the big dinner.  It just makes me sad that MY children are NOT part of my new family, so will never be with me yet, because their father's family lives around, HE will always get them.  :(  Oh, well.  It IS what it IS, I guess.  Yet, dh's sons will ALWAYS be with us since their mother lives in another state and hasn't been a part of their lives for years.  (She's mentally ill.)  I've told dh he's lucky he doesn't have to share his children, yet I wish he did!  I'm not close to his sons and yet end up with THEM at the holidays.  So, it's like my DDs belong to one family and I now belong to another, yet we aren't together.  It makes me really sad and by them staying with their father more, they, along with his wife, have become "the family" and I'm out in the cold.  Dh told me it was his ex-father-in-law who was the "left out" parent, so understands how I feel.  I tell him at the holidays to just call me "Al" (his ex-father-in-law).  I've decided to just enjoy my girls doing other things, like shopping, going out for coffee, watching a chick flick together...whatever.  

My DD28 actually sent me a text last night with a picture of cookies and told me she was making MY pumpkin cookies.  Like you, I always did the work at the holidays, so it DOES warm my heart that they remember and are continuing those traditions.  I also recently adopted a kitten which made my DDs happy as they know I'm a cat lover and dh hates cats (at least until THIS only took 24 hours for dh to become smitten!).  Their father's entire family hates cats and yet my older 2 both have cats and younger 2 DDs love them as well.'s nice to know I've instilled some good things in my children and their father's family didn't influence them entirely.  :)

 So...we'll both hold onto our positive attitudes and enjoy whatever time we get with our children and make the most of it.  Happy Thanksgiving!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 8:22pm


I understand the wanting to leave town and forget about it all re: holidays also.

What bothers me is the past (quite a few) seems I spend ALL this time and energy on stuff for holiday---and they are here day...maybe half of next day if I'm lucky...............(I'm like you Starting over, in that *dad's* house is our former marital house, and the extra bedrooms/etc---and the thing is, they DONT get the "holiday" stuff over there---he does the minimal....)

So, I tell myself I'm "not doing so much"............but, last year, it STILL seemed like SOOOO much time /effort/thought go into it.............and it's all over with before you can take a breath.

So, this year, I dont even want to THINK about "not doing so much" ....because I feel I pared it down as much as I was really willing to last year.........and still felt bummed.........

So, the other day I was thinking of all of that, and bummed because I feel I'm on a track directly to feeling like last year.....and dont really see a way to change it, tried to change my attitude about it---y'know,...i'm doing it because I WANT to do it (i *could* really refuse to do anything....I really could.  Money only as gifts of anyone I feel I must gift to, and zippo to the decorations, no special meals---order pizza.)  It really COULD be do-able----but, to be honest, I dont want to do that, either. I WANT to do the holiday things.....I just want the good part of it---having my kids here-- to last longer....and somehow I need to start associating the "work" of it with 'enjoyment", because, ...I truly *am*   ***chosing** this............

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 2:28pm

  You are lucky to have a sister nearby.  My sister lives 4 hours away and is all wrapped up in her own 4 adult children and 10 grandchildren.  I saw her over Labor Day weekend and could tell she would have rather been with her own.  The rest of my family all live out of state from coast to coast, so, as I tell dh...I'm an orphan here.  

Did your second XH raise your DD26?  That would be rather odd, but nice, too, that she does have kind of a father in her life.  I wish dh's sons had a mother they could go spend holidays with once in a while.  sigh

 Hugs back to you and have a wonderful day with your sis!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 1:52pm

I think a lot of us here wish the holidays could be different. 

My DD26 is going to my xH's house for Thanksgiving.  Nope, not her dads house (he is deceased), but to her x-step dads.  My DD12s father.   Considering all of the details, I am okay with her doing that, but it does feel a bit weird.  (she works that day, has new BF, etc. etc.)   My DD12 will be with me at my sisters house. 

It sounds like you will spend a little bit of time with your girls, just not how you wished it would be. 

Me and SO were just talking about the holidays and how hard it is for him.  He is with you, and would be just as happy taking off out of town. 

Hugs to you, I gotta' run....