Holiday Parenting Time

So, I want advice before I say anything because I’m upset and don’t want to overreact. My ex and I went to court Thursday and he gets every other weekend and every other holiday, and it was to go in effect this weekend, so he has them for Easter. In our papers, it states that if he isn’t going to be home for the visits and the babysitter must watch them then he must forfeit his visit and not get them. He just informed me he’s been at work since 8 am. My kids didn’t do Easter at all. And he wouldn’t let me have them for Easter. I want to say something. But I need to vent first, so I don’t say anything stupid. Am I wrong for being upset? He went against what he was told to do by the court. And my kids didn’t get to do Easter today – Erin

Dear Erin – First let me say, I applaud you for bringing your frustration to this forum… it’s a valuable opportunity to vent and – more importantly- to be with others who have #beenthere;donethat!
I had a similar experience. When this happened to me – the most important thing I had to remember was that this (that) particular Easter had passed… and all of the frustration in the world wasn’t going to bring the day back.  I’ve worked with too many parents that have made this type of incident the centerpiece of their co-parenting relationship….setting a negative tone that compounds like daily interest. In my co-parenting relationship, I learned too late that #words matter. So, in a couple of days, I’d (take a really deep breath) and say something like this …” We agreed to X, I’m hoping we can respect each other’s time with the kids… and we can learn to be flexible once everyone is more comfortable with the arrangement.” Co-parenting is tough stuff – especially where holidays, birthdays and other family celebrations are concerned. As a divorce mediator, I can’t tell you how much time we spend creating a holiday parenting time schedule.  Again, resisting the urge to “go off” was a lesson I had to learn… often. The goal is not to “rollover”.. but to realize that the agreement is a live document, that will need to be – over time – tweaked a little bit here/there. Truth is when it comes to parenting schedules, #flexibility is a survival tool… put in your back pocket, because you’ll need it a lot.

Co-parenting is tough stuff – especially where holidays, birthdays and other family celebrations are concerned. As a divorce mediator, I can’t tell you how much time we spend creating a holiday parenting time schedule.  Again, resisting the urge to “go off” was a lesson I had to learn… often.


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