Shared parenting at Christmas (sucks!) 

Once upon a time small girl’s daddy and I rocked shared parenting, and my we were smug about it. Check us out not having to split Christmases or argue over who’s turn it was to have birthdays. We spent most our free time together with all four kids, holidaying and sharing days out and birthdays.

Wow aren’t we mature we’d think.

We’d spend Christmases together all 6 of us,small girl’s daddy coming over first thing Christmas morning, having dinner then staying the night so he could have a festive glass or two.  Our unconventional, yet workable family unit served us well for a good few years.

Pride, as they say though, comes before a fall.

We fell.

Mr and Ms Smuggington are no more.

The point came where it just didn’t work anymore, there was way too much bickering and sniping and it all just stopped feeling nice. It’s a shame but it happened and the last few years have been very different.
Christmas is somewhat of a battleground now.

Who gets Christmas eve?

How do we share small girl’s time on Christmas day?

Can we agree not to make gift giving a competition?

Who gets to do panto?

What about New Year?

It’s an exhausting exercise in compromise and putting small girl first but oh it’s hard and stressful and fraught with resentment in all honesty.

Turns out I’m not great at sharing. As I always say, I dislike the term Shared Parenting (Co-parenting doesn’t feel right either!) We don’t ‘share’ small girl like she’s an object, we do though share her time. At Christmas time more than any other I have to rein in wanting to have it all.

All her time.

I want to do Christmas markets and ice skating and panto.

I want to do Christmas eve baking and crafting and I want to do our Christmas eve hamper.

I want to watch Christmas movies in brand new pj’s with hot chocolate on Christmas Eve with ALL my children.

I want to read small girl’s Christmas bedtime story.

I desperately want her to wake here Christmas day, to open presents before breakfast.

I want her at OUR table for Christmas dinner then to play with her new toys before all of us snuggling to watch Doctor Who before bed. ..

I’m sure daddy would like the same, he’s a brilliant daddy and that little girl of ours is very lucky. The elder 3 are stuck with just me!

However I know I can’t have it all. I know I have to give a little, I know small girl loves her time with her daddy as much as with us. It’s not easy though, doesn’t get any easier with time.

Grown up, mature ‘small girl’s needs come first’ me will make an appearance once Christmas negotiations kick in.

Responsible parent me will make compromises and sacrifices and tell herself it’s just one day.

Rational, semi sane me will bite her tongue and take deep breaths.

Then, when negotiations are done and plans are made I’ll pour myself a large glass of wine, swear a bit, maybe throw something and likely have a little cry.

It’s OK though because Christmas will be great. Small girl and indeed my elder 3 will all have a fun time. They always do.

Small girl is comfy, cosy and happy and settled at either house because (say through gritted teeth if necessary but. ..) shared parenting works for her.

She has different, fun traditions at each house. She does declare daddy’s Christmas dinner the best though which makes me want to serve roast daddy for Christmas dinner,  but she always enjoys her Christmas. She’s always happy and declares every year to be ‘the best Christmas ever!’ and really, grumpy mummy aside, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it??


My Facebook page is here

Me, Being Mummy

Burnished Chaos



23 thoughts on “Shared parenting at Christmas (sucks!) 

  1. You are amazing to have managed to do this. I’m sure she feels so comfortable at both homes because you managed to spend so much time together at first. I can’t imagine how hard all that negotiation is and not sure it makes it any easier but well done you. Clearly managing a really difficult situation very well! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t imagine sharing Piglet’s time on Christmas day….. or on any day! But as much as you’d like to serve roast Daddy sometimes it really does sound like you’re doing a great job of making it work #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can see how hard it must be especially at this time of year. I’m sure that your children will have a fantastic Christmas. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x


  4. I’ve been quite lucky with shared parenting Christmas. The Boys dad is great, and he loves him to bits. But, he loves going out drinking with his mates at Christmas. So he has him when I want him to and lets me get all the fun stuff! Good luck this year, I hope you find a nice balance. #FamilyFun

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My cousin goes through this as she’s in the same shoes and all I can tell is that both you and she do a fantastic job, it must be so hard, I can’t even begin to imagine. Hope you’ll have a nice Christmas. #familyfunlinky

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t even begin to imagine being in this situation but I have seen families where the resentment and fighting destroy Christmas for everyone involved. As hard as it is, it sounds like you’ve really made it work in the best possible way for your daughter and that’s amazing 😘
    Thank you for joining #FamilyFunLinky x


  7. I can imagine it is so hard to have to share at this time of year. But, you are an amazing Mum and are so good at focussing on what is best for your little one instead of what is best for you. That to me is the ultimate sacrifice in parenting and you make it on a regular basis. Admire you for it, I really do. Thank you for linking up with Honeybee Linky, see you for this week’s too I hope! xxx


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