What Being A Single Mom During the Holidays Really Feels Like

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Today I picked out the perfect Christmas tree, and as the guys loaded it onto my car, I had to smile. My girls were going to love it!  

Not too tall. Not too fat. Just right.  

Becky and Katie requested color lights this year. I wanted white lights, but let’s face it, the holiday season is all about the kids.  

'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You Charleston Moms Single mom
May your home be merry and bright!

I returned home, unloaded the tree, and placed it into the tree stand. Perfection on the first try – yay it’s straight!  

I asked Alexa to play Christmas music and pulled out the first set of lights.  

In a few hours, my girls would be home, and the tree would be ready for them to put on ornaments. I sat back, admired my lighting skills, and waited.  

You see, I am a single mom of two amazing daughters, and this is the year that my ex had the girls during the Thanksgiving break.

For some of you, this may be your first year “sharing” your children during the holidays, and it is pure hell. This wasn’t what you ever envisioned for your family, and this whole new reality just doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t feel right.  

It’s supposed to be the most magical time of the year, and instead, it is a mixture of hurt, pain, and so much blame.  

Can this really be the way that every holiday will be for me and my kids?

There were moments that I couldn’t breathe.  

Times that I walked away from the celebrations to shed a tear. Many of my responses were, “I will get them on such and such date.”

Facetime was time to “put on my happy face” as I would talk to them and tell them how much I missed and loved them.  

Dialing his number to call the girls – I dreaded. I didn’t want to talk to “him.” I was angry. I was hurt. I hated what we were doing to our family. . . to our children, but deep down we knew that it was the best thing for all of us.  

Fast forward a few years to this afternoon. The girls came home, and the first thing they noticed was the tree. They squealed with delight at all of the bright lights and immediately started putting on ornaments. My holiday season could officially begin! 

My ex came in to drop off their bags and greeted me with a hello and a smile. I even invited him to put on a few ornaments with the girls. He stayed for about 20 minutes as we talked about their Thanksgiving festivities, and Becky losing another tooth.  

I realized a long time ago that my girls were always watching.  

They could see the hurt in my eyes. They could hear the pain in my voice. They could see from the way my shoulders shook that my holiday was not happy because they were not there. 

It had to change. I had to change. 

I had to learn to value my time with them so that they could enjoy the magic of the holidays. My feelings had to go to the wayside so that they could find joy when we were apart. I didn’t want them to worry about their mommy’s holiday happiness.

Together, my ex and I were able to put our differences aside and put the holiday focus on them.  

Each of us has a different story, but as a single parent, I believe that the first year of “sharing” during the holidays may be the hardest.   

Our kids are only little for a short period of time. Try to focus on the magic of the season and the joy that it brings to them. Hopefully, this will be a comfort to you during your hours without them. 

They love you. They miss you bunches. They will be home soon.  

I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You Charleston Moms Single MomIs this your first year of “sharing?”  How are you holding up?

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Holly Simpson is a Hoosier by birth and a Southern Girl by Heart - loving everything Charleston. Growing up in West Ashley, she spent countless hours on the water with her family and friends. Put her on a boat and that is in her official happy place. Holly is a proud single mother of two daughters, Katie and Becky, and refers to them as her “mini-mes.”   She has been an active leader within the PTA and is now a room parent for her daughter’s class. The girls and her are always busy but during football season you will find them cheering on their beloved Clemson Tigers. Holly is a Lowcountry Real Estate Professional with Local Homes and Land. For her, Charleston has changed so much in the past few years and she hopes that Charleston doesn’t lose its charm. She believes that you can have it all - you just have to work at it, believe in yourself, always have coffee and/or wine readily available, and forget about sleep.