Growing up I had what seemed to be the perfect family.
Two loving parents, three siblings, a dog and a nice house. We were the perfect American dream.
It was a shock, yet not a shock when my parents split up after 20 years of marriage.
I’ve spent a good portion of the past 10 years being bitter that I no longer had the perfect family.
I’ve been mad on almost every holiday since. Mad that instead of having one house to visit I needed time for two.
Then I got married. This meant it wasn’t one family, or two families but three families that were vying for our time on holidays.
It made me mad.
I started to hate holidays. I no longer associated Christmas with the joy of Jesus’s birth or the excitement of opening presents, I associated it with spending half the day in the car and the other half saying sorry to relatives for having to rush out to the next family. No one seemed happy with us and truth be told I was angry inside that everyone couldn’t see how miserable it was for me and my family to spend time flitting from place to place never really getting to relax and enjoy the holiday.
Then I turned 30.
I’ve been trying to let go of controlling things and be a more go with the flow type of person. I’ve decided I can’t make everyone happy so I am just going to do my best to keep my little family of 5 happy and not worry so much about what everyone else thinks.
Still inside I held on to this anger. Any time a friend complained about their parents dropping by unannounced or their big family vacations - I wanted to yell at them and tell them they had no idea what they had and to be grateful because it can be taken from you in an instant. I wanted them to realize what they had. The truth is I now realize that part of me wanted to wallow in my sorrow and lament that I would never again have a family vacation where both of my parents were there or that my parents didn’t just show up unannounced.
This morning as I got dressed for the day after my 9 mile run with my speedy friend – it hit me LIKE A TON OF BRICKS.
My parents might not be together anymore but what I have gained from this is MORE than I had before.
My dads wife is coming this morning to hang out with Colton and Miles while I get some errands done. She has been doing this for the past couple of weeks and just having a couple of hours to myself has been amazing. When you don’t have kids you don’t appreciate the little things as much – going to Starbucks alone – not having to fly through the grocery store because you have a kid screaming…….so to be able to get coffee ALONE is nothing short of amazing to me.
Today will be the first day however that not only is she coming and watching the boys for a little – but after that she is going to go volunteer at Chloe’s school. She will do this weekly.
I gained a women who cares DEEPLY about my children. Instead of feeling like I have TOO many people to see or keep happy - I’m going to focus on the fact that I have MORE people. More people who love me and my kids. More people to love and spend time with.
Even writing this out feels ridiculous to me. Why was I so focused on the negative aspects of divorce? Why could I not see that even sad things are often blessings in disguise. Why couldn’t I see that my parents were both happier and that it wasn’t meant to be. I see that now.
I have three families. Not one, not two, but three.
Chloe, Miles and Colton are lucky to have THREE grandmothers.
Why it’s taken me 10 years to finally see the bright side of my parents divorce – I don’t know – but I’m glad I’m seeing it now at 30 instead of 10 years from now at 40.
Life is all about perspective.
What today could you look at differently? Allow something you once viewed as negative to become a POSITIVE.