a stepmom with joint custody, your life is measured in “kid time.” For our
family, that means I’m often found with a calendar in one hand and my opposite
index finger touching each Friday and mumbling “Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No.”
We won’t have the kids on your birthday.”
need to reschedule the pumpkin patch trip. We won’t have the kids that
make it to your party, sorry. We have the kids that weekend.”
who have their children all of the time, this can be a hard concept for them to
understand. My husband and I are asked out to dinner, out for drinks or to a
Braves game often—but we usually have to turn them down. “Sorry, we have the
kids that weekend,” we say.
friend replies. “Can’t you find a sitter?”
where people often think I’m crazy, but no. We can’t. Ever. We will never hire
a babysitter or ask someone to watch our kids on our time.
it; my husband and I are selfish with our kid time. When people ask to see us
or do something “kid-free,” we turn them down. Always. It’s just not worth it
to us. We love all of our friends, truly, but when we only see the kids every
other weekend, giving up that precious time to do something we could do any
other day of the month is just not OK with us.
unfortunately, the same applies when other people want to spend time with our
I’ve learned quickly that the only people I should worry about pleasing are our kids.
We get it.
It’s hard when you want to see your grandchildren, but your son only has them
every other weekend. We know grandparents want their own time with our kids,
cousins want to invite them over for sleepovers and aunts and uncles want to
take them out for lunch, but my husband and me? We come first.
sending our kids off on our only Saturday for two weeks. We hate having to tell
their grandmother that, no, they can’t go to Chuck E. Cheese with you because we want to spend time with them. We hate
feeling guilty, but we’re selfish. They’re our children, and it’s our time. We
don’t mind doing big family outings together, but if someone’s planning a fun
day with our kids on our day? Well, we’d like to be involved.
holiday season gears up, this applies even more. We hate that everyone has to
accommodate our custody schedule for holiday get-togethers, but there’s nothing
we can do about that. And, unfortunately, a lot of feelings get hurt because of
this. We know each side of our family has its traditions and schedules, but
our family is no different than any other traditional family; you have to be
beginning of our relationship, I worked really hard to please all of our
family. We would attend two Thanksgivings on the same day, two Christmas
celebrations and still have to run around to either pick up the kids from their
mom or drop them off. It didn’t take us long to realize that no one was
benefiting from this. People were either upset we had to leave early or angry
we arrived so late. Our kids were exhausted and tired of being in the car, and as for my husband and me? Oh boy. I just don’t want to relive those days.
learned quickly that the only people I should worry about pleasing are our kids
and, as we delve into the holiday season, I’m putting that at the forefront of
my mind. They are the most important things in this world and they are the ones
we’re calling all of the shots for, no matter what anyone else thinks.
sometimes that means turning down a party invitation or rescheduling a fun
activity. After all, our lives are
measured in weekends and there’s only a few each year. We’re going to make them
Are you a
stepparent with joint custody? How do you juggle keeping everyone happy with