Gratitude Gives Me Grace

The holidays are coming. Trying to navigate the Holidays as a blended family always seems to ratchet that stress up a notch. We have three kids with three different custody orders. That means coordinating schedules for three kiddos with the input from 6 parents (not to mention extended family members). It is challenging, to say the least. We rarely get all of the time that we want with all three of the kids during the holidays. It used to make me upset and frustrated. I felt like everyone else had a say in what was going on in my life except me. And nothing puts me over the edge like feeling powerless.

I’d bitch and complain to friends and family about how unfair it was and how uncooperative everyone was being. Chris and I would spin and argue over what was the best way to handle everything and how to get what we deserved when it came to time with his kids. Do you know what that got me? Miserable holidays. Do you know what it didn’t get me? Any more time with the kids. If anything, time was wasted by being so wrapped up in my temper tantrum about what we weren’t getting that I wasn’t even present when we did have them.

What if the answer isn’t more time but more appreciation for the time you DO have? Appreciation and gratitude sure feel a hell of a lot better than bitterness and resentment. I noticed that appreciation keeps me grounded in now and stops the desire to chase for more. It also helps me stay focused on what matters most, time with my kids, and making the most of the time we have together as a family. 

What if focusing on what you’re not getting is making you miss out on what you already have? And I’m not saying you can’t make requests for more time with your kiddos during the Holidays; I’m just saying don’t be emotionally attached to the outcome. Don’t let a “yes” or “no” make or break the Joy you get to share with your family. The Holidays are just dates on a calendar. Those dates mean nothing until we assign meaning to them. Holidays are what WE make of them. We have the power to make them joyous and memorable or miserable events we’d rather forget. Maybe this holiday, the best gifts we can give ourselves are more gratitude, more understanding, more patience, and more appreciation. And allowing ourselves these emotional blessings make it that much easier to share them with all the other people we come across this Holiday season too.