Today I spent this christmas morning (it's on the 24 of December in Germany) with my two older daughters.
It's special because their mother and I separated 9 years ago and we have been divorced for 6 years now. We've all adjusted to life this way a long time ago.
Our older daughter is 14 and is going through puberty in the worst way. There have been many conflicts between her and her mother for years to the point that they both call me to help mediate or find a solution somehow. On the one side that is great to feel needed and trusted in such situations but it also amazingly strenuous trying to find a solution and benefits both parties. Our younger daughter is often caught in the middle and crawls into her shell. The situation affects her very much too.
Even today there had been a short conflict. She was sent to her room for having such a bad mood, and rightly so. I waited about 15 minutes before I went upstairs to talk to her. I spent the time just listening to her. I listened to her complain about Christmas is always stress, how mommy snaps at her just because she herself is in stress, how mommy plans things out without telling her and then she has to cancel appointments with her friends and gets stress from her friends because of that, and on and on and on.
At no time did I try to tell my daughter off, nor did I agree with everything she said ... I just listened. We listened to some music, she told be about a couple of songs she liked, etc. After a few mintues felt better and I did too.
It's hard to stand on the outside and try to regulate what goes on inside. Sometimes I had to let her and her mother work things out on their own because at times they were both just stubborn. One has to find a balance in all things.
My girls will be with me the next couple of days and I live for that!