Christmas is a bitch... or a bastard

Here's wishing for a season of peace on earth and goodwill to all wo/man kind... but the evidence is that it won't be achieved.

Christmas is a bitch -- or a bastard -- for many, and especially the kids! 

Fractured Families

There are more family separations around the holiday season than during any other time of the year.

Ask the family law practitioners, they would know.

Hell, just try to be a fly on the wall at your family's Christmas gathering. Christmas truly tests peace and goodwill.

But it is especially hard on those who are already separated. It is probably not the other partner that they are likely to miss, but the children.

Where will the children will be on Christmas day? 

Over 1,000,000 children live in separated homes in Australia (ABS Family Characteristics). That is one in five.

Just over 50% of those children get no overnight time with the other parent. That's 500,000 children whose other parent will not get the chance to see the excitement and joy on their child's face on Christmas Day (ABS Family Characteristics).

And just over 25% get to see the other parent rarely meaning once a year (maybe Christmas?) or never.

Xmas sux!

Forget peace and goodwill, where's the humanity?

If you are the parent without access to your children this Christmas, there's two possibilities.

One is that you don't want to see your children. Geez, have a heart - for your kids' sake!

The other is that the other parent is preventing you from seeing your children. A poison arrow direct to your heart from his or hers. WTF!

Just to be clear, the custodial parent could be him or her. However, it is more likely to be her than him by a ratio of about five to one: 79% of children from fractured families live apart from their father (ABS Family Characteristics). My own view is that this pathological desire to keep the children from the other parent is not gender-related, it is much more likely to be opportunity-related. Women simply get much more opportunity than men.

Why you can't see your kids

In the worst versions, s/he (the custodial parent) leaves jagged glass in the trench between you and your deepest wants and desires -- quite simply, access to the kids.

S/he gains self-pleasure from watching your efforts to drag yourself through this no-man's land, bleeding, bruised, battered only to be delivered a gut-wrenching "Nup". 

How strikingly contrary to the Christmas-spirit of gift-giving. 

The biggest challenge - which may even be felt by those exposed to the positive version of gift-giving - is to reject the need to reciprocate!

Show some love, a little affection, a little compassion. If not to the kids, to the other parent displaying a psychopathology.

And if you can't do that (through lack of access or lack of will), it might be better for you to simply have a really nice day at home alone.

The masculine mystique - the boot is on the other foot

An article in the Guardian recognises that men face sexist challenges just as do women.

Or rather, just as women face challenges in the public, work sphere, men face challenges in the private, domestic sphere.

This is The Other Glass Ceiling.

In the 1950s and 1960s, 'women ... were saying: “Some of us might want to work.” In the 2000s and 2010s, 'men ... are saying: “Some of us might want to work less.”'

Or another way: 'Women were saying: “We want to be taken seriously in public life.” Men – some at least – are saying: “We want to be taken seriously in our private life.”'

See the full article at The Guardian, Mark Rice-Oxley, "The 'masculine mystique' – why men can't ditch the baggage of being a bloke" 22 November 2017.