Need Excel Spreadsheet for Step-parenting/grandparenting on the Holiday?


Christmas Day is my second holiday as a stepgrandparent. My daughter’s second marriage added two-step grandchildren to my two blood grandchildren, in her family. Blending families means multiple parents, two houses and myriad grandparents .My daughter’s revamped family has a total of four parents. Each kid has a divorced Mom and Dad plus their newly remarried Mom and Dad. Each set of children will spend Christmas twice- once with their divorced father and once with their divorced mother but in different houses. It is worthy of an excel spreadsheet.

Merging families means blending rituals. If one family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve and the other Christmas day -it’s a clash of cultures. In my daughter’s case everyone does Christmas day, so no collisions. But all the kids still do just half with one parent and half the other.

My blood grandson will spend Christmas week with his Dad. My daughter’s new husband ‘s children spend the holiday with their Mom. My blood granddaughter will spend Christmas week with her Mom and grandfather- my ex husband. So she will have an early Christmas with her step grandfather and Christmas week with her grandfather. As all these bloods and steps are teens, time with friends and boyfriends must be allowed. So all four children will gather with their blended parents and three sets of grandparents on Christmas. The complications are myriad.

The festive season takes a genogram to map.

But in our case it’s a joint venture. The second set of grandparents my ex husband, my husband and I have become friends. We understand our supportive role and have all worked to shore up our adult children and grandchildren. . My ex husband and my present husband get along well.  The five grandparents will be anchors to this rebuilt ship

On the bright side of the exponentially exploding numbers, I have four piles of gifts, instead of two, for the grandchildren I love to give and this answers a deep need on the holiday and all year round

I look myself as a gift this Christmas. Stay steady, stay married, stay the same grandmother, the same steady presence, the counterpoint to incredible change.

I have to be the background, the supporting cast; the backstage crew that helps the play go on. For the new cast members, I am the green room, the welcoming place for the nervous new stars.

About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
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