Missing Out On Special Moments With Shared Childcare

My eldest daughter's time is shared between her Father and me. Do you ever get used to not having your children with you? This year I spent my first Christmas Eve in 6 years without my eldest daughter. She was at her Dad’s house. I’m sure she was full of anticipation for Christmas Day, but I couldn’t help missing her. I tried to distract myself, but my Instagram feed was full of pictures of Christmas Eve boxes and families posing in their matching PJs. I couldn’t join in the fun. Matching PJs or a family picture with my big girl missing wouldn’t feel right.

As excited as everyone was for Little’s first Christmas, my baby didn’t understand what was coming; a Christmas film would be ignored and she’s too young for Hot Chocolate with marshmallows. Once she was asleep I spent the evening tidying the house and wrapping presents. While I appreciated having the time to do these things I would have preferred to have shared the magic on Christmas Eve with both my children. My big girl would have loved to hang her’s and her sister’s stockings. Little is just too young this year...

A baby reaching into a large stocking

Last year M rushed into our room carrying her stocking. She was full of excitement and amazement that “He” had been. This year we were woken up like most mornings by Little. We gave her the stocking and there was no amazement at what was on the bed in front of her. She enjoyed pulling the gifts out of the stocking, in much the same way that she enjoys pulling clothes out of the washing basket, but she knew nothing of Father Christmas and why she has received the toys.

When M was dropped off at my house around midday on Christmas Day she ran straight upstairs to her room. I ran after her and got that moment. The moment when she realised she did have a stocking here too. The excitement in her face lit up her eyes and her voice was nearly enough to make up for missing the night before.

2 children looking up at a man holding a large present

For the rest of Christmas Day I had my two girls with me. M helped Little open her presents, they played together, they tried to pull crackers. There are many great moments when you have children, but Christmas is one of the best. Yes there may be arguments from too much excitement and sugar, but with all the presents, treats and family time you are guaranteed some moments of magic.

2 children looking at a christmas present

Boxing Day morning and my eldest was off again. 4 whole days away this time. I’m sitting here still surrounded my her new toys. Many still unopened. The crazy, busy non stop Christmas Day already seems so long ago. Now I need to be tidying, organising and getting on with the all those things I have been putting off until after Christmas. But a part of me is missing like it always is when M isn’t here. 

It’s nice to have a break from M at times. It gives me the opportunity to focus on her little sister, my partner, blogging. It’s nice to have the break, but I have part of me missing. At times it is just like I have forgotten to put on a favourite piece of jewellery. I keep reaching for it, but it’s not there. Other times it causes a sharp pain in my chest like part of my heart is missing, like someone ripped the piece of my heart out through my chest. There is so much I want to share with her, so much we could do, but it will have to wait.

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