It can be hard to feel thankful about your life after divorce when you are divorced or a child of divorce, especially during the holidays. For the parents, it’s a matter of financial stress and sharing time or not seeing your kids on a holiday; it’s also about difficult feelings such as loneliness, grief, and maybe even anger. For a child of divorce, he or she may not be dealing directly with the financial stress, but a child can sense and absorb the adult’s pain and tension. A child can feel all of those emotions listed above too, such as grief over seeing one side of the family and not the other. A child can miss what it was like to be with his or her parents all in one house.
And the exhaustion of coparenting isn’t just during the holidays; it’s all year-round. The bouncing back and forth between homes. New stepparents and/or stepsiblings. Moving out of a familiar home. Seeing loved ones less. Sometimes a huge change of lifestyle. During my time writing about divorce, I have spent time interviewing 12 adults who were children of divorce and one subject said it rather well when discussing what it is like to go back and forth with two distinct families: “It can be humbling to live two different lives.”