Today I was texting my daughter’s dad trying to figure out the schedule for Christmas and winter break.
When our court order was put in place, we agreed to a holiday schedule that made sense for him to spend time with her that worked around his work schedule. Up until that point he had always worked untraditional hours instead of the typical 8-5 so we both assumed that is how it would always be. Currently, he has a job that graciously allows a lot of extended time for holidays. This means the holiday schedule in our court order does not work.
Being flexible for holidays is so important to me because whatever schedule was ordered by the court, isn’t always in the best interest of the child. I mean, I highly doubt the state of Arizona considers which date holidays fall on before writing out the paperwork and making it the law for the next 18 or less years. To be honest, the state SHOULDN’T HAVE TO EITHER.
But that is a different topic for a different day. Heading to a podcast near you— soon.
When we work together as a healthy co parenting team, my daughter gets the most out of her parenting time with her dad as well as me. When we are flexible outside of our court order, my biggest focus is making sure my daughter gets as much time as possible with her brothers when with me. One of her brothers, my stepson, has a different parenting schedule and is out of the home 50% of the time so making sure she is home when he is home is important to my family.
Thankfully, my daughter’s dad also values and respects this. He has even sacrificed his parenting time or done pickup/drop off on occasions. Are there some instances where there are bigger sacrifices? Yes, usually around holidays.
This year we are in a pickle deciding what is the best holiday schedule.
Last year, we did exchange every day for four days in a row during Christmas week for my stepson. Guess, what?! This year we get to do it all over again! I’m sure you’re thinking,
oHmYgOsH tHaT iS sO mUcH bAcK AnD FoRtH FoR a LiTtLe KiD.
I agree. But we’ve done exchange every day four days in a row for two WEEKENDS in a row just over a month ago so this is a cakewalk.
It broke my heart seeing how it affected him when it could have been prevented.
Could we put my daughter through the same schedule so she gets the most time with her brother? Over my dead body. In my *humble* opinion four exchanges, four days in a row is not in any child’s best interest.
Maybe a Christmas miracle will happen and my stepson’s mom will be open hearted to flexibility within their court order. Don’t hold your breath, folks! I’m not going to. Either way, I see God constantly at work and I know it will be okay. Actually, it will be MORE than okay and we will have an amazing Christmas celebrating Jesus. Because if it weren’t for that court order from the state of Arizona, we wouldn’t see my stepson at all for any holidays.
So as I text back and forth throwing out ideas to my daughter’s dad and listening to his ideas, we are still in a pickle. This year each of us will end up making sacrifices. Someone is going to sacrifice parenting time, someone is going to do more drive time and, unfortunately, two tiny humans are going to have less time together.
We make these sacrifices because that is what will set my daughter up to enjoy time with everyone she loves. I will always work hard to continue doing that.
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Hey Sister! I’m Mandy. I live by my faith, love my husband & kiddos, will do anything for tacos and believe community is life changing.