Surviving the Holidays as a Sometimes Single Mom

Food & Party 15

Surviving the holidaysGiven my husband's low seniority level at his commercial pilot job, it's pretty much an understanding that he will be working most, if not all, holidays. It seems odd to me that people would sign up to work those days and then just drop them a few days before. Why not just bid to have them off in the first place? This way, we're not always getting stuck celebrating holidays on alternate days.

But alas, they bid their schedule and then drop and we get the shaft. At least now it's a consistent pattern, though there's always part of me that hopes he'll be home for an actual holiday. And who knows. Considering there was a scheduling SNAFU on Halloween that made him home when he thought he would be missing the whole thing, perhaps our luck is changing.

Or on the flip side - maybe we used it all up on October 31!

It's funny how we've gotten used to making changes, and our kids are now used to it too. In fact, I'm not even sure they notice or care. And for the most part, neither do I. though I do admit a little part of me wishes that we didn't have to juggle everything.

Last Christmas, he got called to leave early on Christmas morning, so we scrambled to have Christmas on Christmas Eve, which wasn't such a big deal. We told the kids that Santa stopped at our house first and that was that.

And since he was on call Thanksgiving Day, we celebrated a day early.

What's lovely is that neighbors and friends know our situation and invite us over on the actual holidays, so it's like we get to celebrate two holidays instead of one. And even better, that means less work for me and more leftovers.

I'm not sure if it will be more challenging as the kids get older, but it seems that as long as we keep a positive attitude and celebrate the day as if it were the actual holiday, they do the same right along with us.

I'd love to know how you handle your spouse being away on major holidays.

And a note from Kristen: This will be my last Sometimes Single Mom column here at The Stir. I've enjoyed sharing my experiences and hearing about yours. Best of all, I'm so comforted to know that I'm not alone. If you'd like to read more about my experiences as a Sometimes Single Mom, head over to my personal blog Motherhood Uncensored. 

Photo from Flickr/floodllama

holidays, thanksgiving, christmas


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toria... toriandgrace

We just celebrate late for some holidays or celebrate without hubby for others. When he misses Easter/ Thanksgiving/ 4th of July, we just celebrate with friends. When he misses Christmas, we celebrate late or early. This year I'm having friends up for Christmas day and my daughter will be opening her santa present/ stocking, and we'll save the rest of the presents for when hubby comes home a short while after Christmas. If possible, we'll try to go visit family for the big holidays. We spent Christmas at my parents/ in-laws last year and plan to do the same for next year.

mylil... mylilgooberpea

hubby is navy and currently deployed he missed thanksgiving will miss christmas our anniversary everything. we just celebrate when we can. Hoidays start to feel more like just another day. Its us being together as a family that makes the time special... no matter when its celebrated.
When he is gone i usually fly back home or turn to my military family "our tribe" as we call it, so we are never truly alone.

Brandy Baker

My husband is a soldier and he pretty much misses all holidays every other year. The kids are use to it because he has been in the Army since before they were born. He is able to get online and talk to the kids on the holidays and I take tons of pictures for him. Like you we have friends and family that invite us over so my kids still get to look forward to the holidays and family time.

nonmember avatar Allboys

I decided long ago that we would live our lives to the fullest and if the hubbs was able to join us it was simply a bonus. We have in the past adjusted some celebrations but things like Halloween are not adjusted. I take lots of pictures and make sure that the kids have a great time. It's something you just get used to after a while.

Steph... StephanieSD

When it was just me and my husband, it was easy for us to have small celebrations whenever he was home and if he missed a holiday, I always had friends or family nearby to celebrate with. Now that we have a baby, I don't know how we're going to handle it. Luckily all indications point toward him being home for baby's first Christmas this year, so I don't have to worry about it quite yet.

Just2... Just2busymom

My husband is military and was gone for a year.  My two boys and I spent a month with my parents for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Then saw them again over the summer.  I also had a very supportive playgroup of military wives.  They helped me tremendously.  Thank goodness for Skype!  We got to talk to my DH almost every day!! 

nonmember avatar Therese

Thanks for sharing your time and life here, I'll miss your writing in this space but look forward to reading you at your regular blog. Anyway, this is the first year that my husband will be working on Christmas since we've had a child (Thanks to FMLA he was able to hold last Christmas off even though our son was 7 months old). We plan on doing Christmas early this year with our son and then I'll just spend the actual day with my extended family while he works. It sucks but as you say, you make the best of it. On a side note, he is senior enough to hold a regular line at his airline, but NOT senior enough to hold holidays off. He has already worked every single holiday this calendar year and will be working Christmas and New Year's as well. I don't like it when people call in "sick" after they've bid their own schedules but I do see why they do it. Just becaue you do get to bid your schedule doesn't mean it's any good. In the meantime, we'll try to be flexible and keep patiently waiting for his seniority number to improve!

sodapple sodapple

I'll miss reading your post here at the stir but i'll follow =-D

nonmember avatar Kathleen

Everything you just wrote, including the "why do they drop it" sentiment - yes, thank you. I've decided to embrace it - hubbs can now hold a weekends off reserve line, so we plan an extra Thanksgiving the week before or after. For Christmas,we go join my family and then he gets in when he can (3 hours from the airport). I'm worried about how the kiddo will adjust when he's older, so i do hope you keep writing about this!

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