My Ex doesn’t know how to cook, but our shared custody agreement gives him the kids for Thanksgiving. Money is tight for both of us, and he has shared his concern about being able to cook the meal. We both believe it’s important for the kids to honor tradition, as it’s the first big holiday since we split up. I was thinking about going over the night before and prepping the meal or going first thing in the morning to get it all started for him and the kids.
I don’t have any interest in getting back together. I just want to do this for the kids and for him.
– Should I Make the Dinner?
Dear Should I Make the Dinner,
Wow! Your inclination towards self-sacrifice is impressive. Have you thought about how it would effect you to do this? It might be too selfless. I see you spending time with your family, putting in the effort to make the meal, then going off on your own. It might make you sad to do all that work and then leave. I always agree with putting the kids first, but not if it hurts you!! Your priority is to take care of you.
Another option is for them to have a slightly less traditional Thanksgiving. The meal could be an inexpensive rotisserie chicken, stove top stuffing, instant potatoes, and gravy! They can finish it up by baking a frozen pie, or purchasing an already baked pie or two! That is a meal easy for even a non-cook. It’s more about enjoying food together. Not just the contents of the meal!
Keeping your own feelings in mind, if you still want to make the meal and your ex is open to you making it, you may want to stay long enough to enjoy the meal with them. You can leave the clean up to the ex and the kids. Your kids may misinterpret your spending the holiday together. Be sure to consider that before you act on this option. If you decide to make the meal and leave, be sure you have some fun plans of your own with either friends or family!! Your kindness and generosity, tells me you have lots of friends.
Good luck with your decision. Whatever you choose to do will be the right thing for you, your kids!