Today’s guest blog is a subject that is very close to my heart. I will be sharing Christmas day with my daughters farther. She will spend half the day with me and then half the day with him. The first year we had to do that I cried and beat myself up about hoe messed up Christmas was now and such. Nowadays I don’t see it like that at all. I tell my daughter how lucky she is that she gets two Christmas days. I remember the last Christmas day that I spent with my daughters farther. It was horrible. There was an atmosphere that was there every day of the year but because it was Christmas day it was heavier than usual. Neither of us wanted to be there but we both wanted to share our daughter’s day. Christmas is led by my daughter now. She decides where she wants to go and when and as much as it would kill me if she ever didn’t spend Christmas eve with me, I would respect her choice of where she wants to be. Because it is her Christmas not mine.
Today’s blogger is someone who I speak to on a deep level. We challenge each other on things and try to make sense of the world around us. His views on being a singe dad at Christmas (And the rest of the year) give a good insight to what many men may be feeling at this time of the year. When I asked him to write he said he didn’t know how…now he is talking about the next time he writes. Its good to get your feelings out even if its down on paper.
This man is on a personal journey of growth both as a man and as a farther. I hope that I have been a positive part of that journey and I hope this blog gives reassurance to those who need it.
May I introduce to you….
Thoughts of a single farther at Christmas
I always look at Christmas as a time for reflection over the year gone by. As I begin to reflect on my past year (slightly earlier than usual), I start to realise that this has been a year like no other.
For the past 365 days give or take a few weeks, I have been a single Father of two children, one 12-year-old girl and a boy of 4.
Initially the thought of not living in the same house as my children made me feel sick to my stomach, to think I’d not be coming home from work and hearing both my kids simultaneously call out “hi, dad” and my youngest rushing to the door to see his dad. Asking my oldest if she had started her homework and waiting for the dodgy excuse as to why she hadn’t. Then it hit me…., what will people say, will they look at my kids differently? Will they look at me differently? I was ashamed to have played my part in yet another broken home? This on top of other revelations left my head in a mess and almost a state of mourning, paranoia and constant anxiety.
As I moved out from the home, I’d shared with my children for 12 years I realised all I had was a few bags of clothes and trainers and my PS4, I had nothing. I couldn’t take the Tv, car or anything because it meant my kids would have to go without. So here I was, alone, hurting and had nothing but more importantly scared of how this situation would negatively affect the relationship between the kids and me. You see, I’m that guy who’s always with one or both of his kids, people joke and say my son is like my shadow and the same for my daughter when she was that age. To think we were going to be living separately and that I might miss out on our Saturday morning karaoke was something I shed tears over( bet our neighbours didn’t), I spent the next few weeks constantly worrying about the effect the breakup was having on my children. After a heart to heart with my oldest in which she said “as long I get to see you and can call you when I want, I’ll be ok” I realised that maybe things were not gonna be as bad a I expected.
Since that day both my children and I have spent a lot of time together having new experiences and visiting new places, I’d probably go as far as saying, had this break up not happened maybe we wouldn’t have as good a relationship as we currently enjoy. As I look forward to sharing my children’s company at Christmas I’d say to anyone who’s at the beginning of this break up period and dreading what it’s going to be like, talk to your children explain the best you can what’s going on without blaming anyone and quite often they will surprise you with their outlook and maturity.
I look at it like this if my children are happy then so should I be and I for one can honestly say both my kids are very happy.