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Christmas in a Blended Family During a Pandemic

It's that wonderful and unexpected time of year for so many families across the globe. This year will no doubt be 100% different during the holidays and for that, I know that anxiety and loneliness are at an all time high this time around.

For me, since being apart of a blended family, as much as I try to put on a happy and positive face on for my family, I constantly feel an emptiness and and sadness for the fact that our family isn't always complete on Christmas Day (which also happens to be my birthday as can feel bad for me later, aha!)

We rotate years with my Bonus Daughter's bio mom, but even in the past, there has always been an issue on the day where there is absolutely no cooperation, and we find ourselves consumed with arguing, chasing and not knowing whether or not she will let us see her, and in previous years not at all over the course of the whole Christmas break.

I've never understood the pleasure someone might have in taking so much joy not only away from your daughter's other side of the family, but from the father who is broken without his daughter at the most family oriented time of year.

This year has been a whirlwind of emotions through arbitration, a pandemic, homeschooling, uncertainties, losing our case of gaining full custody because there just isn't "enough" alienation going on, ongoing vehicle issues that have cost us thousands, and trying to parent a child who is completely brainwashed against us. Don't get me wrong, things could ALWAYS be worse and I am completely grateful for the roof over our head, the food in our bellies, our health and the fact that my husband and I are still able to work through this. But, that doesn't take away from the mental load we have had to take on.

My supportive role this year has been intensified immensely. I have been carrying the weight of everyone's emotions this year and I'd be lying if I said I don't always have time to focus on my own. My husband is severely defeated. He has been fighting an almost impossible battle for years and is the most dedicated Dad I have ever seen in my entire life and never gives up- I feel extremely fortunate to have him for our kids sake. But, at the end of the day I know he is sad, and at this point in time, legally, there is nothing he can do. As a parent, this is a fucking helpless feeling and I don't wish it on anyone. I will always offer my affection, ears and shoulders to lean on but, deep down I know nothing will fix it until his daughter is no longer a victim of the confusion and alienation.

With that being said this Christmas, I am thinking about the Blended Families.

The ones who are trying to get through the holidays of not being together.

The ones who are being targeted through alienation of their children.

The ones who are able to get over their hatred of the other parent and actually come together for the child(ren).

The ones who have biological children who just wish they had their sibling with them for the holidays.

The ones who might be together for the holidays but are dealing with children comparing Christmases, gifts and being unappreciative of the hard work you put in.

And most importantly,

The ones who no matter what, put their children first and never give up.

Merry Christmas and Here's to a better New Year!

Dana Benwell

Nother Mother Podcast

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