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What happens at Christmas when you’ve separated but it’s the first year living separately?

It’s taken two years for me to get to this point, but my answer is you do it the way you want to do it. Which is how we’ve done it from the start – kindly, lovingly and respectfully.

As you know, Michael and I moved into our two homes side by side a month or so ago. Overall it’s been an amazing experience. I love my new home with a passion I could never have imagined. The girls have settled into two new homes and new town (although one still prefers our old town and all its charm and friends).

And the flow for the girls on the ‘family compound’ is pretty sweet. It keeps unveiling possibility and ease.

Michael and I are there for each other in little ways – meals (shared as a family or given), jobs that need two people or preferably not me, discussions about parenting, the ongoing tasks that run smoothly when you talk when you need to talk or drive a kid somewhere when you need to drive a kid somewhere.

There are no hard and fast rules regarding where the girls sleep each night, but Michael being a shift worker means when he’s not there, neither are the girls.

And then came Christmas. But what could have been a new negotiation became a default setting on previous years. I offered to host (not so secretly proud to show off my new home), both sets of grandparents came as they’ve done before and my brother flew in for the occasion as he does every year.

We ate, we exchanged gifts, we hung out and Michael even hosted a Christmas trivia competition.

Is there any point even telling you my same-Christmas-just-different-location story? Yes, if only for those of you considering separation. Or for those who are in the early stages of separation. Know that you can choose to do it Your Way. Not the conventional way. Not the way you’ve seen others do it. YOUR WAY.

If only for those of you considering any changes in your life. Or starting any new adventure, whether it be in relationship, business or life. If only for those of you brave enough to have conversations that matter.

Know that you can choose to do it Your Way. Not the conventional way. Not the way you’ve seen others do it. YOUR WAY.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Nadine says:

    Ours was an unconventional separation that flowed into an unconventional divorce and now I simply call us a “modern family”. My ex helped us (my then 3yo son and me) relocate into a sweet rental cottage of our own. He later moved in for a while when I bought a new home (that arrangement soon soured…the concerned majority were vindicated). My mum let him share her place for months. He quite often stops a night or more (when he’s minding our dogs) at our current family home. My partner of 9 years and father of our 7yo appreciates his intelligence and accepts his idiosyncracies. They like the same movies and happily accompany our nearly 17yo to the cinema while I go shopping or stay home in the hope of finally watching Downton Abbey. My 7yo thinks the ex should be his step-father (because why should his big brother get all the perks). Lastly – and I think this is a good sign of where we’re at today – the ex spent Christmas day with my big, noisy, irreverent extended family. Nothing extraordinary there except this year our son was in NZ having an extraordinarily adventurous time with his dad’s funloving people. I will be picking him and the ex mother-in-law up on Monday.

    • Robyn Patton says:

      I love your story Nadine! So few and far between from what I can gather. Your Christmas Day really did prove the connection is based on love…just a different kind of love. Thankyou for sharing 😀

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