Are you a childless holiday orphan?

Holidays are tough. We often find ourselves surrounded by families full of parents and children and feel left out because we can’t share in the talk about kids and babies and pregnancies. We may come up against people who bug us about when we’re going to have children or why we don’t have them. They may even make wisecracks about us being the ones without children.

The only way around this is avoiding those people and either spending the holidays alone or spending them with people with whom you feel more comfortable. If you have to do the family thing, try as hard as you can to forget what you don’t have and enjoy the good parts of the festivities. You do have things to be thankful for, I promise. And hey, there’s pumpkin pie.

Another holiday challenge kicks in when your mate has children from a previous relationship. If they live with you, they will most likely be with the other parents for the holidays. If not, they may be with you, or their time may be split between parents so you only get a taste of parenthood. And sometimes, it’s harder being with the stepchildren than it is being without them. Hang in there.

In our situation, the older kids were on their own by the time we got married, but they mostly spent their holidays with their mother, and the grandchildren were hustled back and forth between Grandma and their dad’s family, so we didn’t see much of them. Michael, the youngest, lived with us from age 12 to 20. Before that, we got him on the holidays, but after he moved in, his mom claimed him. Most Christmases, we had limited kid time and felt pretty left out. Once we had all three and the grandchildren at our house. That was the best Christmas ever. Unfortunately, it only happened once.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are special days, but try not to dwell on what you don’t have or what doesn’t happen on those days. There are 363 other days in the year to do something special just for yourselves and invite whoever you want.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I’m on the road this week, but I hope to post again on “black” Friday. I am thankful for all of you.

4 thoughts on “Are you a childless holiday orphan?

  1. I actually enjoy being around kids during the holidays, because I love kids, but absolutely don't want to have any of my own. As you know, there are a variety of physical, mental, emotional & financial reasons that I cannot/could not handle motherhood (I won't bore anyone else by going into them. *blush*)

    Suffice it to say, the holidays are awesome because I can have fun with other people's kids, yet I can give the kids BACK to their parents at the end of the day. 😉 I know I'm probably in the weird, tiny minority in my position of being someone who hates the idea of having kids but loves the idea of being around other people's kids.

    Hugs from your friend & former coworker,
    Shari K.W.


  2. Thanks, Scary Shari, wish I could hug you back. It has taken me a long time to get there because it used to make me too sad, but now I enjoy other people's kids, too. However, it is quite nice to send them back to their parents when they get unruly. 🙂


  3. I choose not to spend Christmas with my family, and my husband and I travel overseas to Bali. I find Christmas emotional and what might have been. I never envisaged I would never get to see the excitement on a child's face on Christmas morning. I am so thankful for your blog, Sue. For the first time in my life, someone else feels what I thought was just me all these years.


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