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On Why The Ex-In-Laws Get Our Christmas Card.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

On Why The Ex-In-Laws Get Our Christmas Card.


Our Christmas cards are stuffed, addressed, sealed and ready to hit the mail tomorrow. {Our cards actually include a Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years greeting, hence the early delivery!}

Our Christmas card recipients are lots and lots of family, friends from then, friends from now, neighbors and J's ex-in-laws.

Yep, we send Christmas cards to my husbands ex-wife {T and M's mom}. And family. {And some of them send them to us too.}

Let me be clear. We are not a poster-child family of perfect blended family life.

We could be the poster-child family of a work-in-progress blended family that goes up and down and up again.

It has always been my goal to get along with everyone in our family situation. {Get along=be able to carry a conversation, smile, be polite.}

I'm being honest when I say there are days we're just not feeling it. Over the years, feelings sometimes get hurt. Things are said in haste or emails read in the wrong tone. None of us are ever quick to apologize. It's complicated and confusing sometimes when there are so many people involved.

This blended family co-parenting is a deep, intricate relationship. For all of us.

But here's the deal. These people, these ex-in-laws of J's, these loved ones of T and M's are just that; loved one's of T and M.

They love T and M and T and M love them.

And because we love T and M, we care about the people that are in their life too.

These people aren't just friends passing through life. They are part of their forever people. When I think about the fact that these family members of T and M's are going to be a part of my life forever, I WANT to get along with them, I WANT to feel comfortable with them, I WANT to know them better for we have a lifetime of life left to live yet.

And these people, they are T and M's people.

This means a lot to T and M especially as they get older. The other day M helped me put stamps on the envelopes and came across her grandparents on her mom's side and her mom and stepdad's cards and she smiled and got excited. Some years she'll tuck a special note in for them. Some years she's drawn pictures on the envelope. This year she didn't do either but she noticed.

She noticed that we care about her people.

And I can't think of many better ways that we can show her how much we love her than loving her people.


Anonymous Debbie Swanson said...

I totally agree! Life is too short to get caught up in the day to day stresses--you need to always focus on the bigger picture. In a blended family, the bigger picture is just a little bigger than other families :)

The more people that love and support my kids, the better. If part of my job is to "love" and "support" those people in their lives, I can certainly do that.

November 23, 2010 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger deb said...

Without a doubt, grandparents remain grandparents and their love for the child is separate and apart from the parent's. I think an ex-spouse rises above and teaches their child a great lesson, by acknowledging and even more than that, honoring the other set of grandparents. Good values are taught by example.

Deb Chernick on behalf of Para-kin

November 23, 2010 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

Wow look at you all ready for sending out your cards. I still need to address mine, but hoping I can do that on Friday. What a wonderful post too!

November 23, 2010 at 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an educator, I see all sorts of students dealing with the messy stuff that comes with divorce, but making intentional choices like you have is so very commendable. I know you are the first to say that you guys don't do this perfectly, but because of that humility, I do hope that someday your family has the opportunity to write a book, speak and teach people how to walk this road in the best way possible while "keeping it real". GMS

November 23, 2010 at 9:40 AM  
Anonymous traci said...

I love this. I wish every divorced family could follow suit. It makes for much easier post-divorce parenting when you can move past the issues (which will always be there) and open your heart and mind to more positive living.

November 23, 2010 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

This is something I'd never thought about. I'm impressed. Good job Mama.

November 23, 2010 at 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Jes said...

This is why your kids know they are loved by so many wonderful people, and this is why you make it all work so well. Lovely!

November 23, 2010 at 9:37 PM  

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