I need to take a moment to break down dynamics. Because we have quiet a dynamic. But also without knowing this, you may not fully understand why holiday planning is so hard!
My side of the family has my mother and step-father, my father and my step-mother, my sister, and my grandpa. Most of my family lives at least an hour away. Now, also remember I have my children from a previous marriage so we also manage so we also manage holiday visitation (which isn’t always bad– as when it happens locally it is next door to my parents). As a last aspect, remember I still work medical (and although I am lucky to have Christmas day off) so I still have to work holidays.
On my husband’s side there is his mother, father, sister, brother, some aunts, and grandparents. Each sibling has a spouse and children too. Most of his family live within 10 minutes of each other. Now, remember his children came from a previous marriage as well. So we allow freedom to celebrate with the other parent, but this is the first year where our direct plans depend on when the co-parent allows visits (every previous year, we all lived very close to each other… but the co-parent has decided to move almost an hour away). Most of the family is close here but a few live 3 hours or so away.
My job, my children’s visitation, and Shawn’s children’s visitation have made planning very difficult. Then we add on 3 more people’s work schedules. It really has made traveling impossible. It has made any planning so hard. In order to celebrate as a family– we decided to go to my mom’s. The trip isn’t as far and we can have (almost) all the kids together for a little while. This allows me to easily work the day before and the day after. It doesn’t matter if I get off late the day before either. I urged people to take the trip the other way– leaving me behind. However, we are a family and want to celebrate as one. My other complication is my schedule is ready a month out, so my requested dates off must be put in very early. So far between 4 work schedules other dates have been hard to determine (which kills me). I know that everyone wants their date– but in order to plan, I need information sooner. In order to plan, we need co-parents who work with us instead of just what they want.
It really seems like this scheduling is getting harder and harder the older everyone gets. When you would think things would be easier. It doesn’t help matters we have so many families to plan with. Not just our families but also our kids’ other side (because no matter the disagreement, it is a holiday). So many working parts– so many places for hiccups. I suppose this is another challenge of a blended family.