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Holiday Stress and Family:Be a Super Hot Mom for your Kids

By Elyse Wilk

So many families in our society, including mine are blended. My husband has 2 boys from a previous marriage and I have 1. The painful decision regarding where the kids spent the holidays was determined by what was agreed to and became the "family's bible" -the divorce agreement. This paradigm that structures many families' schedules should be at the very least challenged.

The fact that there must have been a point in time that we liked our ex-spouse is a difficult sentiment to reconcile. When our feelings change from "I do" to "I don't anymore"a new passion replaces what was previously considered to be love. Often it turns into a vehement hatred that eclipses every other emotion. In my case and my husband's, our divorces to our previous spouses cost much more money than our weddings and honeymoons combined. That's an intense amount of animosity and in all probability after such a bloody battle has taken place how could there ever be a place on Earth to find common ground even if it is for the good of the children.

There are at least two factors that will help bring you to this place. They are the love of your children and time. My husband's ex-wife used to *HATE ME*. In fact there was no reason for her to feel the way she did because I didn't break-up her marriage or cause her any financial setback. Instead I cared and provided for the children, picked them up or dropped them off, was nice to her parents and genuinely loved the boys. She hated me so much that she continually bad mouthed me in our mutual community. I just let it go in one ear and out the other. Eventually her bad words about me were overtaken by my kind, consistent actions. Ultimately no one believed her fictionalized cacophonic effusions regarding my past or cared to listen to her nonsense any longer.

Enough time had passed that I felt it would be appropriate to pressure her into behaving differently and getting what I wanted from her. My reputation for not making empty threats precedes me and I'm not an intimidating person. While we were walking together one day I carefully explained to her that in the future when she would no longer be receiving child support that I would kick into high gear and lavish her future daughter-in-laws with expensive gifts, trips and trinkets and that when the "family bible" the divorce agreement would be moot I would win over her big time and she would be completely alone on the holidays!

She believed me and begged me to tell her what I wanted in return. My response was simple, "Peace, Tranquility and Harmony!" From that day forward she loves me and I love her. It was a magical moment; we spend holidays together as one big happy family. Strangers observing us can't figure out our familiar relationships. Not only is our immediate family close but so is our extended family. We love her cousins and their friends and vice versa. We have become the best functionally-dysfunctional family I know. We are amusing to our friends because they can remember what it was like for us back then. At my stepson's wedding this past July I danced with my husband's ex-wife's boyfriend while she danced with my husband at their son's wedding.

One night, while we were washing the dishes together at the end of a big Thanks Giving dinner, she hesitated a moment while drying a plate and asked, "How can you sleep with that asshole?" referring to the love of my life and my husband. I laughed at her amusing question but also understood that she was sharing with me how she truly felt. But despite ourselves we did it; we made it work for our children and there have been too many rewards and blessing to count. When the time is right for you to be willing to share your children and your love you'll know it in your heart

Elyse Wilkis a Wife & Mother of 1 son, 2 stepsons and our dog Liberty.
Small Business Owner,Writer, Property Manager & Developer, Restaurant Owner & ACS Reach to Recovery Volunteer.

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