Thank you all for the wonderful comments and advice. Somedays are harder than others. I hate seeing or hearing that the girls are upset. When they were dropped off Sunday night the 4 year old had quite the breakdown because the party was over and we were all gone. She loves going with her dad and had no idea that the part would go on without her. Ugh - just breaks my heart!
When I divorced, it killed me to not have my kids on holidays. Their dad had them the first Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Every other holiday sometimes does that.) He had them every other weekend also.
It was important that I not make this difficult for my two children. I gave them my cell phone so they could call any time they wanted to. I got them suitcases so they could take their clothes and things to his house without a problem. I told them they had to go and try to make it work even though they didn't want to go.
There is a reason the other person is an ex. Sometimes it has nothing to do with parenting skills.
Make it easy for the kids to go. Make plans so they don't miss your celebrations. I had Thanksgiving on another day and we celebrated Christmas when they got home. When they had the weekend with their dad, they had the cell phone and they knew that although my life went on, I didn't make fun plans without them.
Accept their feelings. They have a right to love both parents. They have a right to be happy regardless of whatever is happening. Listen if they want to talk but never speak badly of the other parent. They will form their own opinion and if you say bad things, it might color your relationship.
Hope this helps. My kids are adults now and are happy and well adjusted. They see their father and me and I don't ask them to choose. I still have Thanksgiving on another day. I actually celebrate Christmas on Dec 26 so my children don't have to choose. Some have in laws and I don't want them to have to choose there either.
Make their lives easy. Love them. Accept their feelings. Help your sister. Smile. You can do this. The kids will survive. So will you.
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This is all too common. Sad for all....more for the kids involved. But all members of the family on both side will feel the pain of this. Hope it does get better as you settle into this reality, and learn to deal with it .
MY NEW saying: (borrowed from Delila)
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That's great advice Mandy. I remember when my brother and his wife were going thru a divorce. I cried also because I felt like I wouldn't see the kids as much as I used to. I was angry at my SIL for it. Once I got over it, I began to understand and I enjoyed my time with the kids as much as I could. I was the Aunt that spoiled them rotten. It sounds like they've got things figured out pretty good. It's what's best for the kids.
I'm so sorry there is a divorce............. you're not over reacting - you're reacting! And grieving for the ending of something. thats ok.
If the parents are dealing with this in a way that keeps the channels of communication open and the girls are happy seeing their dad - then you must be seen to be supportive of this - if the girls pick up on this they will start to ask why and it could put a negative spanner in the works where at the moment at least, things seem to be fairly amicable.
Do grieve and allow yourself to cry, but remember that so many divorces are spiteful, angry and the children are used as weapons - be thankful that at least these two parents are being responsible.
Stay strong, you will be needed as the months go by I'm sure.
My sister and her husband are going through a divorce - and I am the one who is a basketcase. He gets the girls every other weekend and every other holiday. They are also going to try to give the other one a few hours with the girls on the holidays that aren't theirs.
I am not handling this well at all. I cry about it all the time. Even now, just talking about it is bringing tears to my eyes. I ended up locking myself in the bathroom yesterday when he came to get them so the oldest didn't see me cry. I love those girls so so much. And it breaks my heart when they leave. Even though they are excited to go with daddy. I know that I am completely over-reacting, but I just can't seem to stop it.
How do you deal with something like this? I'm sure it gets easier with time, right? But how can I be there for the girls when all I want to do is cry?
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