Am I being unreasonable? Christmas, ex, and my mum

(212 Posts)
oldbaghere Tue 17-Dec-13 11:42:08

Issue from my other thread but I am raging and may have lost perspective.

My mum is terminal. Pancreatic cancer diagnosed yesterday.

Asked my ex if he would swap and let me have the kids on chrostmas day.

He consulted with his family and says no.

Aibu to think that's totally unfair and he is a cunt?

His SIL had to be consulted. She does year about. She said no and refused to swap, apparently.

TheNightIsDark Tue 17-Dec-13 11:46:53

I wouldn't hand them over personally. It falls on your day to have them anyway if you're RP I assume?

Sorry about your mum.

oldbaghere Tue 17-Dec-13 11:47:46

It is his year to have them we do alternate Xmas and Boxing Day.

His SIL does rigid year about with my in laws and her family.

Featherbag Tue 17-Dec-13 11:50:41

Can you appeal to ex's mum? You know - what if this was definitely going to be your last Christmas, how would you feel if I refused to let you spend it with your DGCs? Cos that's what your son is doing to my mum.

MaidOfStars Tue 17-Dec-13 11:54:14

Go to his Mum. Tell her the full story.

Does your Ex appreciate how serious the situation is?

Fairy1303 Tue 17-Dec-13 11:57:10

i'm so sorry to hear about your mum.

no, yanbu.
it's completely reasonable toexpect a little compassion and compromise.

Fairy1303 Tue 17-Dec-13 11:58:11

good idea to appeal to EXMIL

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 17-Dec-13 11:58:22

What Featherbag said and what is it to do with SIL anyway?

I'm so sorry to hear about your mum, oldbaghere.

moldingsunbeams Tue 17-Dec-13 12:01:04

Can you not do your christmas day on christmas eve instead, I think that is what I would do if at all possible.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 17-Dec-13 12:03:31

I'm sorry about your situation but I can understand people not wanting to change Christmas plans at this late stage. Can you not do something nice with the children and your mum on Xmas or at New Year instead?

oldbaghere Tue 17-Dec-13 12:05:14

I just am so angry he has no empathy at all. It's a compounding of me and my family being 2nd class citizens in his eyes.

oldbaghere Tue 17-Dec-13 12:06:22

We all love within half an hour radius. I have never ever ever asked to swap ever. It's not fair.

pianodoodle Tue 17-Dec-13 12:09:56

Sorry to hear about your mum.

If it was me I wouldn't ask I'd just tell them it was happening but then I haven't been in your situation so don't know how easy that would be to do.

I wouldn't be handing them over. Fuck it. Go to your mums a few days before and have a lovely christmas.

I'm so sorry your mum is ill sad

I also second the advice about appealing to exMIL

Nanny0gg Tue 17-Dec-13 12:20:04

Sorry about your mum (been there at the same time of year).

Do you think SiL doesn't know the full story? Can you speak to her and his mum directly?

How old are your DCs? Do they know and can they express a preference?

KellyEllyMincePieBelly Tue 17-Dec-13 12:37:36

Do your children live with you the majority of the time? If so, just keep them at your house. He's being inflexible - join him in his unreasonableness fgrin

Sorry to hear about your mum, I've been there, it's awful.

Can't you just not hand them over this year and then deal with the consequences after. God, if they can't be flexible at a time like this they must be total shits!

HopAlongOnItsOnlyChristmas Tue 17-Dec-13 12:44:01

I'm sorry about your mum. I would second trying to speak to his family again. Do you think he just doesn't understand or that he's willfully being a twat?

tripecity Tue 17-Dec-13 12:52:15

You aren't wrong, that's a completely cuntish thing for your ex to do. And I would just take them to your mums on xmas dayand bugger the consequences. Hes being completely unreasonable under the circumstances. Good luck to you whatever you decide

BarbarianMum Tue 17-Dec-13 13:10:04

I think this Christmas Day is going to be a very emotionally fraught one for you all - depending on the age of your children, perhaps it may be easier for them to be elsewhere.

You are in shock right now, which is understandable and unavoidable sad and there are no right answers for this bit. All I can advise is to make what good memories you can w your mum but not get too hung up on actual events (one last Christmas Day, New Year's Day, birthday) because that can break you.

How well is your mum right now? Can she manage a full family Christmas? Does she want one, or would she rather spend some time just w you/your siblings? Does she want life to proceed as normal (insofar as it can)?

Sorry if any of the above sounds hurtful, I really, really don't mean it to bebe sad.

bluestar2 Tue 17-Dec-13 13:34:02

I'm sorry abt your mum. This news is so fresh to you so it's perfectly reasonable what your asking.

I would go to mil or maybe sil thought fuck knows what it's got to do with her and explain its important for your children to have this with their grandmother and if the tbles were turned how would they feel if you were so unbending. Ultimately though they would be staying with me whether he liked it or not.

I lost my mum this year to cancer. She had a terminal diagnosis 18 months ago. We believed that Christmas was her last but we got a extra year as she responded well. It was a huge bonus. What I learnt though is don't wait for the occasion to make it special spoil her and enjoy her while she is able for it. Most of all don't have regrets. If you feel you will regret allowing them to go then don't.

I hope your ex locates his heart soon.

ballstoit Tue 17-Dec-13 14:27:19

So sorry that you're in this situation sad

I think from here on, life is about keeping stress to an absolute minimum, you haven't got the time or energy to waste. If he won't swap, and it doesn't sound like there's room for discussion, have a fabulous Christmas day with your Mum and DC on Boxing Day. The date is not important,being with family and making memories is.

Perhaps you could have a very different pampering day for you and your Mum on Christmas Day itself? Snuggle up together on the sofa, watch DVDs, eat grown up luxury food like smoked salmon and dark chocolates. Then make the following day the action packed, fun filled family day.

Don't forget to look after yourself, the next few days/weeks/months will be incredibly tough. Lean on friends...in real life and online...sleep as much as you can and prioritise yourself, your Mum and your DC over everything else.

Sending an unmumsnetty hug (and remember it could be worse, you could still be living with the prick wink )

oldbaghere Tue 17-Dec-13 20:57:02

He definitely is'nt going to swap he got one of the dc to ring me to tell me it made no difference if it was boxing day or christmas day.

he also told me that he is entitled to christmas with his family.

empathy central he is.

i told him to fuck off. i'm not for discussing it with him again. also told dc not to talk to me about it because i didn't want to fall out wtih them but that their father was fucking spineless to get them to do his dirty work

i hope he and ex sil are ready for karma. it's a bitch.

Bubblegoose Tue 17-Dec-13 21:02:20

So sorry about your mum sad flowers

If he refuses to budge, can you have your own Christmas Day on Christmas Eve? Do everything exactly the same as you normally would on Christmas Day and the next day when they go to your ex's place the novelty will have worn off.

oldbaghere Tue 17-Dec-13 21:05:49

i have them boxing day so we will do it then

well at least he's proved he's an utter cunt and no one can deny it or say it's me. well except him but he doesn't count

asmallandnoisymonkey Tue 17-Dec-13 21:17:29

I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. I think you've proven who is the adult in all of this, and it's definitely not him.

I think you're right to not discuss it with your dc too - if they're old enough to pass messages then they're old enough to make an informed decision and it seems like they've made one they might regret.

I love ballstoit's idea of a lovely day with your mum and kids stuff the next day.

I do hope you manage to have a lovely festive season though x

Hissy Tue 17-Dec-13 21:23:28

What about your DC, don't they have a say in where they want to be?

Have you told them that their GM isn't well?

When is the hand over to shithead ExH?

I agree, call his mother and ask if it'd be ok for her dying wishes to be completely trampled if she were in your dm shoes? Cos there's no way you'd do that to her.

I say tell your X that all bets are off this year and sil and he can go and FTFO.

oldbaghere Tue 17-Dec-13 21:28:41

I am not going to sink to his level. I am not going to give his family the power to upset me any more - it's done, he has to live with his decision and I hope it makes him happy the sad wee prick

Hissy Tue 17-Dec-13 21:38:26

Bloody good for you love! There's the fighting talk you need! smile

He's a complete wankbadger, although that's an insult to badgers.

worridmum Tue 17-Dec-13 21:45:06

well he does sound like a cunt but in all fairness did you offer him the next 2 chirstmas days in a row ?

If you did he is even more cuntish (is that even a word)

but if you didnt he would still be a cunt but a slight more understandable cunt.

My brother ex wife was equally a cunt when our mother was dying she refused to even consider it sadly she passed away 3 weeks after xmas and her kids havent forgiven her so much so the told oldest now live with my brother full time

oldbaghere Tue 17-Dec-13 21:53:25

no i didn't offer but i don't think it would have made a difference

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 05:12:39

Ha! karmas struck already.

Normally we swap the kids on christmas day at 8pm. that's been the time we stuck at a few years ago when they were younger to get them a late night but still give whoever had them a chance of a christmas day of a decent length.

I have a text he sent a few weeks ago confirming he will be returning them to me at 6pm. its obviously a mistake and I haven't done it yet but wibu to send him a text confirming that I will be expecting the children with me at 6pm as per his text of yadda yadda date?

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Wed 18-Dec-13 05:19:07

I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum sad

Rage at fuckwit, the hurt and anger needs to be directed somewhere and that useless fuck seems like a good place to send it. What an utter bastard.

What do the kids want to do? I'd go with that myself.

I wouldn't text him, no, I'd simply make it clear when he picks them up that you will be seeing them at 6 as arranged. No point in arguing about it for a week.

Much love - cancer is a bastard sad

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 05:26:23

Kids are older and he's sold them the what's a day it doesn't matter line.

They're teens and twenties so I can't physically put the in the car.

But the it's a day can work both ways. If it's only a day then what does it matter to him?

She has stage4b metasised so the prognosis is bleak.

But I have a text from 6 November confirming he will return them to me at 6pm and I intend to remind him of that. I am normally flexible but not on this any more. 6pm And not 5 minutes later.

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 05:29:13

He usually gets one of the 20's to drop the teens off on Christmas and Boxing Day. So he is less disturbed. But the text says he will be dropping off so I shall send a text later that says

To confirm. As per your text of 6 November x and y will be returned to me by you at 6pm on Christmas Day. Please note a copy if this text has been provided to my solicitor and should the arrangements in this text be deviated from then I shall not hesitate to take legal action.

Don't think a court would do anything but it'll give him pause for thought

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Wed 18-Dec-13 05:39:21

Yes - if it's only a day, then it shouldn't be any problem for him to have them another day instead... I'd sell them the retort of 'It might be my Nana/Gran's last Christmas and I want to spend it with her you fuckwit'

Mind you - if they are teens and twenties I would have hoped they'd have told him to shove it themselves!

We have had quite a bit of cancer in our family - so I do understand (well, as best someone else can) sad It is a complete and utter bastard. How long was she 'clear' for?

Have a cup of tea & think about whether it's really worth sending the text or not. I wouldn't bother, I'd just let it lie until the day then comment on expecting them as 6 as he said. If you text him it will just turn into a row and he'll be more of a prick and you'll get more upset... save your sanity.

Does your Mum live far from you?

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 05:44:19

mum and dad are 20 mins away.

He is an arse. Kids are so used to placating him one did tell me he thought it wasn't fair but at the end of the day I am not going to lean on them. Neither, however, am I going to say anything other than your father is wrong in this and I am never going to forgive him.

I am normally so flexible and wouldn't have worried if they weren't here til 8or9 on Christmas Day.

Not any more.

TalkativeJim Wed 18-Dec-13 09:27:17

Oh yes.

I don't think that the word 'flexible' now exists in the vocabulary you use with him.

And one day he will suffer for it.

It's good that your children are older. They may not be mature and string enough to tell him to stuff it now, but they can see what he has done... One day, this little flock of chicks will come home to roost. Maybe on one of his grandchildren's first Christmases, who knows?

TalkativeJim Wed 18-Dec-13 09:27:50

Oh and I am very sorry to hear about your Mum OP thanks

Nanny0gg Wed 18-Dec-13 19:38:30

If they are older, can't you explain to them what it would mean to you and your mum?

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 19:48:27

he got one of the kids to ring my mum and ask her if it would be a big deal if they came on boxing day.

of course mum said no and cried when she put the phone down. i was there.

20 something kid then phoned me to discuss, not knowing i had been there, and i just said "I am not going to talk about this wiht you because you and me would fall out bigstyle but you have been manipulated by an expert and tell your father he's a spineless wonder for getting you to do his dirty work for him"

and i put the phone down.

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 19:50:36

because of course she's just glasd to see them as much as she can because she only has a few weeks left. 3 months. 12 weeks. so of course she won't say no it doesn't suit because she's so desperate to be with them

he has made himself all by hiself look like an utter cunt and every single person who i have told has said he's an utter cunt but ...

i could refuse to allow the kids to go but it would be a total rage sessino and the kids would be upset and i care enough not to want them caught in the middle

birdsnotbees Wed 18-Dec-13 20:13:19

I'm really sorry to hear about your mum, OP.

You are being amazingly fair to your kids by not dragging them in, BUT if I was them I would want to be told - calmly and without too much emotion - that actually it's not just another day. That actually their dying grandmother wanted more than anything to spend one last Christmas with them. That she said she was OK with it just because she was being kind.

If it was me I really would prefer to be told the truth, and then left to make my own decision.

The last thing I would want is for people to pretend it was OK when really it wasn't, and then either to find out or to realise that wasn't the case when it was too late to do anything about it.

They are grown-up kids but they may still be too young to realise the gravity of what your cunt of an ex is suggesting.

Please spell it out to them.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 18-Dec-13 20:17:47

FFS Ghoul are you for real?

The OP's mum is dying and you think people are entitled to stick to plans. Where was the plan for the children to lose their Nana?

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 20:25:26

I will never ever ever swap or move times ever ever again for him. Not ever. He's blown that.

He said "your mum didn't mind" and I said I mind I wanted it for us as a family and the kids

and he said

"it's not all about you"

but it is, partly, yes it's about my mum but ti's also about making memories for me and the kids

he's an utter .. I don't even have words. Calling him a cunt is unfair to cunts.

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 20:27:06

I've told the kids I really wanted it and it was important to me.

And they said they want to be there but it's only a day and what does it matter - which is their father's line.

but he can fuck off. not one thought more is he getting in my head.

I did tell him 6pm sharp on christmas day and he looked shoccked and i said well i'm sure you understand as per your text i have made plans and it's far too late to change those plans now at this late stage

fuck off twat

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 20:28:31

do you know he actually said

none of us know if this will be our last christmas.

well yes but it's not QUITE THE SAME AS HAVING A DEATH SENTENCE IS IT YOU DICK

I totally agree with Birds not bees. Spell it out to the kids that for their GM its not 'any other day' it's the last Christmas Day she'll ever have. There will never be a chance to do this day again, or make up for it.

Nanny0gg Wed 18-Dec-13 20:32:10

I agree with the others.

Spell it out to the children how important it is.

I think they'll regret it if you don't.

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 20:32:27

I will just take them over at 6pm and we will stay over and I shall be able to get drunk because we will stay and we will have all the whole of boxing day there

TheGhostOfPortoPast Wed 18-Dec-13 20:33:41

Surely if they are teenagers they can make their own minds up in the circumstances? Sorry about your mum xx

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 20:36:47

they are teens but he is leanign on them and leanign on them because it's his famly christmas.

to whoever asked i now offered him as many christmas days as he wanted and he still said no

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 18-Dec-13 20:37:12

Your children are grown up. You don't need to go through him. If it just another day then why can't they spend it with their Nana, do it for her, who possibly won't ever see Christmas again?

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 20:37:31

I can actually type, usually. I'm just shaking. sorry

birdsnotbees Wed 18-Dec-13 20:38:50

It's good that you've told them how you feel, but tell your kids how your mum really feels too - then that hideous line about "it not all being about you" doesn't apply.

It's so admirable you don't want to put pressure on your children, it really is, but please please tell them what their grandma wants.

You sound brilliant, by the way.

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 20:39:11

Apparently he has the right to have them and it's up to him and htey're with him christmas eve yousee so it would mean a fucking row to billyoh

but . the next weekend it's wee cousin's birthday on my weekend and there's a party and can he have the younger two. no.

or mummy's birthday. no

or posh rellie visit. no

not ever ever no will i ever ever say yes to him ever ever again

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 20:43:34

This is terrible. And in this i AM bu.

he is very EA but it's subtle and he's hard to pin down on it - all the stuff he's doing on the kids is how he dealt with me and it's so hard to combat

This time, what he's done, every single adult i've told has said he's wrong and all kinds of a bastard.

So everyone can see what he's like, exactly what he's like, and he's done it all by himself.

I feel vindicated. and I've said to a few people - now you see what he's like. Now do you understand what I put up with.

And that makes me a bitch, I know

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 20:49:31

I have just spelt it all out in a completely ranty angry text to DC1. Who is 24. And told them that I need this christmas day and if they don't all stand up for me and stand with me then I fear that i will find it hard to forgive them. They all want to be grown up when it suits them and now it's time to show me that they are.

Maybe not the bestest idea, but at this point I don't care.

Nanny0gg Wed 18-Dec-13 20:52:02

I don't think that was unreasonable at all.

At 24 he should be thinking about his gran not what kind of a good time he can have at his dad's.

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 20:53:11

I am fucking well fed up appeasing everybody and being considerate of everyone else's fucking feelings and not wanting to upset the kids or my ex or his mother or his fucking bastard bitch of a SIL.

I count. I matter. My feelings count. And if they can't see that they can call fuck off and my grown DC will be lower in my estimation.

it's not dc1 who phoned it was dc2 - dc1 is less malleable and i know right well why ex picked dc2 to phone his gran, coz dc1 would have told him to get lost.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 18-Dec-13 21:01:42

Well done! Absolutely the right thing to do. Seems everyone is cowed by this bully and it needs to stop.

And yes, he is right, isn't all about you but it isn't the reason you want your children for Christmas, you want them for your mum who it IS all about. Or should be and he doesn't get that.

birdsnotbees Wed 18-Dec-13 21:04:40

Good for you. And you know what - you do count, you do matter. This is your last Christmas with your mum. If you can't tell your own kids exactly how you feel and exactly what you want, well, when can you?

FourLittleDudes Wed 18-Dec-13 21:05:22

I'm so sorry about your mum, and I'm sorry your ex is such a dick!

I alternate Christmas with my exH too. This year is my year to have them but exHs dad died last month and this is the first time his mum would be alone at Christmas. Before he even asked, I offered to swap days! How could anyone with an ounce of compassion not do the same. ExH will be staying at his mums with the DC Christmas Eve until Boxing Day morning.

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 21:07:35

fourlittledudes - that's what i think i'd have done if i were you.

i don't understand why you wouldn't my brain doesn't compute how his brain works at all

thepig Wed 18-Dec-13 21:19:22

Aside from everything else, where broadly yanbu...

Yabvu slagging off their father to them.

Whatever the issue, you made those kids, then they had to go through a break up, so be grown up enough to keep your squabbles away from them.

It's HORRIBLE for kids whatever age being stuck between two parents who dislike each other, and trying to placate both sides.

oldbaghere Wed 18-Dec-13 21:24:12

oh really?

I didn't slag their father off.

What I said was he's a spineless wonder getting his child to do his dirty work. He is.

I said I need this christmas day for me and for my dad and for their grandpa.

How is that slagging off the two faced nasty cunt to them exactly? I'm saying that on here, I am not saying to the kids.

Turkeywurkey Wed 18-Dec-13 21:44:59

Wow, what an utter shit.

We have a lot if issues with DSDs mother and arguments over getting her involved in conflicts between parents and normally I'm firmly of the view that you absolutely do not involve DCs in disagreements over contact even when the other parent gets them involved.

In this case I really think you have an exception. I would tell the children exactly how much it means to their grandma to spend her last Christmas with them, I would tell them she had cried after speaking to them when they said they wouldn't be there and tell them that you expect them to consider her feelings and that she doesn't think of it as just another day. In a family that hadn't separated a child thinking they could opt out of a last family christmas would be put in the picture like this and I think you should be fairly blunt with them all about it.

It sounds like they are now of an age where they can have a say in what happens with contact in which case they should also be old enough to consider not just their own immediate wants but also what kind of people they want to be.

If they are accepting of this plan then keep them with you. Frankly I'd break a court order if there is one for this - and I'd never never normally advocate that!

When do you see them next? Can you talk about it in person with them rather than over the phone?

SantaRedLegs Wed 18-Dec-13 22:29:24

How old are they if they are teens and 20s?

Can you sit down with them and tell them about your DM's prognosis? Surely they would see that it would be nice to spend Christmas with her and with you?

If not then I really have no words sad I'm so sorry about your DM but I'm struggling to comprehend how your children are behaving sad

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 05:28:22

They are so scared of breaking the rules around contact and giving him his time that this is completely new to them all. I don't know what they think will happen if they say no to their father. This is the negative from me being flexible and nice. The access rota must be adhered to and this is dad's christmas day and the world will stop if they don't go there.

dd is going totalk tp him but at the end of the day if it's going to distress them then i'll let it go. just like i do every time. but he will be getting a letter from my solicitor saying that any flexibility is now gone and that the arrangements will be rigidly stuck to.

I had imagined that this access rota nonsense would evolve and be more flexible and for the older ones who don't live at home it generally has but this is just... it has tobe flexible when it's his mum's birthday and there's a family dinner planned on one of "my" sundays and i have to change my plans but not when it's my mum's last christmas.

I jus tdon't get it

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 05:57:16

Dear X

You have an outstanding request with me to have the children for 2 extra days at X time to facilitate a holiday.

This request is denied. My answer is no.

Kindest regards

OldBag

To send or not to send, that is the question....

TobyLerone Thu 19-Dec-13 05:57:54

Yanbu, obviously, and he is clearly a cunt. He sounds so much like my XH that it's making me ragey to think about.

But I still don't understand why adult children have -contact arrangements' with their dad, and why you and XH are still making arrangements for these adults between you confused

I think that when this is all over, you need to talk to your adult children about the fact that they are now too old for all this crap, and that you will be having no further part in arranging contact with their father on their behalf.

I'm sorry about your mum flowers

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 05:59:55

Toby that's the thing. They are so caught up in this nonsense that they can't see that it's OK to tell him no.

but at the same time I don't want to put emotional pressure on them because at the end of the day they come first and I want to make all this as easy as I can for them.

TobyLerone Thu 19-Dec-13 06:00:03

Surely a contact arrangement between adults isn't legally enforceable?

I'd send the text, but not until after Christmas.

TobyLerone Thu 19-Dec-13 06:00:33

Your adult children need to grow up, then.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:03:42

They do. The contact arragement wouldn't be legally enforceable for them but it is for the younger ones.

i'm so angry with him because he has to have his time to which he is entitled, well you know what, just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should. I would have probably offered him to have the kids if the boot had bene on the other foot and done so gladly. but he doens't get it.

he's very asd in his ways, as is dc2, and he doesn't cope well with change. nor does dc2 and the way it is is how it is and how it has to be and the world will implode if we have to wing it a bit.

and i've tended to go along wiht that for the sake of an easy life.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:04:54

Sadly I think in the interests of trying to protect them from him and from his unreasonableness, and in the interests of trying to always be seen to be fair, and putting myself and my feelings last, I have done the wrong thing. I have made them think that I am somehow less important.

TobyLerone Thu 19-Dec-13 06:11:26

I don't think you've done the wrong thing by trying to protect them. Not at all. I've done the same, as have many of us, I'm sure.

But at this point it might be time to make them step up and take responsibility for making their own arrangements. They can deal with him directly, they can see him whenever they want, and they can make their own travel arrangements.

You're perhaps not doing them many favours by shielding them any longer, much as it's your instinct to do so.

I feel your pain, really I do. Stick rigidly to the arrangements for any under-18s, and let adults sort their own.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 19-Dec-13 06:11:30

If its just another day whys it so important to him or his sister?

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:12:03

I am trying to think in all the years since we split I don't think I have ever ever ever denied him if he asked for the kids on an additional day for something.

I took the view that if it mattered enough to him to ask then I should be accommodating. Look where that bloody got me.

I've never asked him for an additional day. I know my best friend has seen this thread and she can confirm it. I have never ever asked him for an additional day for anything. In all the years. Never. Not once. For anything. And he's asked me for loads.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:15:48

The problem is that he and his family do this rigid year about thing Sock. His SIL does one year with her family, one with my in-laws. So this year, is her christmas day with my inlaws family, and next year she and my ex BIL will be with her family on christmas day.

And she is not prepared to move days.

Which I can understand throws their plans to have christmas with wider family of brothers and sisters and aunties and cousins into confusion.

But I just would have thought for one day they could have changed.

Kids have been leant on in as much as "it's your other granny's christmas day and we are all getting together as a family for her blah blah"

Well god help me but if he ever asks me for as much as 5 minutes I'll be saying no.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:18:00

He had a family member get married. Kids and him were invited.

I took the kids and bought their outfits. He did give me half the money but not all.

I "let" him have the kids all day that Saturday and sat up late waiting for him to drop them home when he was supposed to have them home

fat lot of fucking good it did me. The one time I ask it's a no.

Mmmbacon Thu 19-Dec-13 06:25:08

Hi op I am so sorry for what you are going through,

We received the same news with my aunt, dads sister, 3 months, they were devestated,

my mam rang each of us in turn to "remind us" that she knew we knew we had to make a special effort for the weeks that were left to visit and keep her sirits up, to bring our dc as aunt was childless and she loved our dc as if they were her dgc,

My aunt actually lived for just over 12 months after first discovering she was sick, she went on a holiday with all her siblings, and lived for our visits, the stories of the mischief the smalls got in, seeing new born babies thrive, a wedding and exam results, She lived in a nursing home for the 12 months as the surgery had.left her paralysed,

I would speak to your children again and tel them this is not about their dad or even about christmas, but as they are older and adult enough to appreciate, that every day from hear on is important and that you know they will want to spend as much time as they can with their nana every weekend and free time while she is well enough to enjoy it and draw comfort and strength from their visits,

I'm afraid there will be more weekend to come, and your dc need to realise that family comes before a schedule, even if your ex is too .... To realise that,

TobyLerone Thu 19-Dec-13 06:28:22

Why would you buy the children clothes for an event their father wanted to take them to? And why would you buy clothes for an adult child at all?

He's walking all over you because he knows he can. Stop letting him.

I totally get the thing about wanting to be the 'fair' one, and never saying anything bad about him. I always try to be the grown-up/bigger person when it comes to my XH, because someone's got to and because it makes me realise that I am vastly superior to him! but sometimes it does me no favours at all because he just continues to be rude, snide, underhanded and unaccommodating.

Tapiocapearl Thu 19-Dec-13 06:31:07

I think if you have to, do another day as Xmas day. Even exams eve? I agree with being totally inflexible if they are totally inflexible. Your ex has no empathy what so ever. He should really make an independent decision and letting his sister then decide what she wants to do. Sister could just continue with her original yearly plans and your DS could do this year with you, next year half a day at each, the following year at your exes.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:33:05

Toby that's exactly it. rude, snide and underhanded.

he asked me to take them because he had no idea what to buy. I didn't take the oldest, but I did take 3 of them.

He said he'd square me the money, and then I only got half because they could wear the outfits again, and it might be at one of "my" events.

They never have.

I will never ever ever again agree to anything from him. Not ever. I am so so angry it's not true. Of all the stunts he has ever pulled, this is the lowst.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:34:11

It's not even his sister.

It's his sister in law. His brother's wife.

The temptation to put xyz are a shower of cunts all over facebook is overwhelming smile (I won't I'm venting here instead)

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 19-Dec-13 06:37:01

Thanks for explaining that but I'm still failing to 'get it' can his sister not visit her parents Christmas Day if your children are not there?

Is one of your kids especially good at supervising adults or first aid incase of choking,is your exSIL prone to choking?

It does not matter what they want to do because they can still do it with or without the kids because after all its just another day.

Sorry to be daft but you totally had me on side the second you typed he thinks he's entitled to xyz, I fucking hate parents who bang on about there own rights.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:40:31

Sock fwiw I don't get it either. but ever since she arrived into the family we have had to adhere to this rigid schedule. I have no clue why. Perhaps the sky will fall down if we don't?

It's all about his rights. I've always put the kids first and myself last. Even lower than him in some ways, in that if I'd planned to go to my mum and dad on a sunday with the kids for lunch and he phoned and said "it's mum's birthday on Tuesday and X has organised Sunday lunch can I have the kids" ... I said yes of course, phoned my mum and dad and said we'll be over another time.

Fuck but I was spineless. Why did I do that? Why was I so stupid to think I was doing it so that i'd "banked" favours and if I needed one ever then it would be a given? Not that I really think it's a favour in the circs I'm putting it very badly.

But. fuck you bastard. What goes around comes around.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 19-Dec-13 06:40:40

Sorry I didn't notice the sil bit. Ok so change my post (in your head) to say sil with his parents

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:42:34

I just do not understand it.

But as was said. He's a shit. Isn't it nice to know he's so predictable and doesn't disappoint? grin

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 19-Dec-13 06:43:07

I wouldn't be able to stop myself pointing out that she can stick to what ever plan she wants but I didn't have to.

What on earth are hey going to do when the kids have family's of there own.

TobyLerone Thu 19-Dec-13 06:45:24

The massive advantage of getting the adults to sort their own shit out between them is that you have to deal with him less.

Stick to the arrangement with the younger ones to the letter. Don't engage with him in any negotiations. You don't even really have to speak to him if you do this, except for working out school holidays arrangements, IME.

And if your younger DC are teens, they'll be 18 soon enough and you can completely wash your hands of his bullying and manipulation. Think what a relief that will be!

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:45:35

I am afraid as far as I'm concerned I'm so angry now it's unbeleiveable. I don't do raging angry I rant a bit but I always give in for the sake of peace adn family.

Never again will I do that for him and there's a lot of years yet of access and he's fucked for me ever to swap or do even 5 minutes that suits him.

TobyLerone Thu 19-Dec-13 06:47:32

Why was I so stupid to think I was doing it so that i'd "banked" favours and if I needed one ever then it would be a given?

Ha! I hear this!

You made the mistake of thinking that he's a normal, rational person. Schoolgirl error grin

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:47:32

toby that's exactly what I mean. Older ones can do what they like, I have to say I'm disappointed in them but not surprised. They are getting manipulated by him and this whole chrismtas palaver has gone on as long as they can ever remember

But fuck the lot of them. yes it's only a day and yes I will have them from 6pm and we'll go straight to mum and dad's.

and be there boxing day.

But as far as fuckwitbastardcuntknobarsewankdick is concerned. Flexible does not exist in my vocabulary.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:48:10

grin Toby. You "get" it. grin were we married to the same man?

TobyLerone Thu 19-Dec-13 06:48:37

Go, OP!

<shakes pompoms>

TobyLerone Thu 19-Dec-13 06:49:35

I think so grin

The best part about all this is that WE'RE NOT MARRIED TO HIM ANY MORE!

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:50:26

AIBU to almost wish he's late so me and the police can turn up mob handed to SIL and BIL house to get my kids? grin

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 06:51:26

Toby you are SO RIGHT grin

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 19-Dec-13 07:04:57

He got his teenage child to ring his dying grandmother to ask if she didn't mind missing Christmas with them?

He is an utter tosser.

Lilacroses Thu 19-Dec-13 07:11:58

He is an absolute disgrace. What a despicable person! I think you are completely spot on with your rigid plan after this. Speaking as someone who had very controlling in laws I would add that until your kids start standing up to him he won't change. He sounds dreadful and I'm so sorry you have to put up with this,atsuch a sad time.

Jaynebxl Thu 19-Dec-13 07:13:22

It is really horrible that your mum is dying and that this will be her last Christmas. It is really horrible that your ex won't swap days.

But now that it is sadly settled that things will stay as planned you have to make the best of it. Have a great Christmas day on boxing day instead and enjoy being with your family. If you are bitter and angry the only person it will hurt is you (and possibly your children). For the sake of your dc and your dp you must get over this, hold your head high and smile your way through Christmas.

I think it would be a bad idea now to refuse any swaps allowing ex to take dc to events. It will only make you look like the bad guy plus your dc will miss out on nice events with the other half of their family. You don't want it to look like you are using your dc as pawns to get back at your ex.

MoominsYonisAreScary Thu 19-Dec-13 07:24:20

What a wanker, I would never swop or give him extra time again

So sorry to hear about your mum.

Jinsei Thu 19-Dec-13 07:39:30

So sorry to hear about your mum, OP. I have lost two loved ones to pancreatic cancer. It's very difficult. sad

Your ex is a tosser, no doubt. But if you don't want to fight him on this one, perhaps just change the way you look at it. If the kids are at his, you can spend some quality time with your mum on Christmas Day, then get everyone together when the kids return that evening. Or just do it all again on Boxing Day. What will really matter to your mum is that she sees them all. She won't want you to be upset and unhappy.

Also, might I gently suggest that you may be very glad of having the kids with you for Christmas next year?

Hope you are ok.

kungfupannda Thu 19-Dec-13 07:56:07

Your older children are adults. They are old enough to be asked to make a difficult decision, and to do the right thing by the family member in most need.

I would sit them all down, calmly, and spell it out for them. Could your dad join you for that conversation.

No mincing of words, no shouting. Just "It is time you all grew up and realised that sometimes you have to do something a bit difficult, or make someone angry, to do the right thing. This is what I expect of you."

Sorry you are going through this.

JennetDevice Thu 19-Dec-13 08:19:53

I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. I agree with everyone else that your ex is an unreasonable arse. Unfortunately I doubt he will change his mind now. Why not focus on celebrating Christmas Day at 6 pm when all your family will be together? Wait until then to open the presents and have Christmas dinner later. Don't allow your ex to spoil your last Christmas with your mum. He is an arse and will always be one but don't let him taint the memories of what should be a happy reflective time for you all.

Sadly what is happening to you is what happened to my family last Christmas when my lovely MIL was dying. Everyone thought she was unaware of the squabbling but she knew. Please try for your mum's sake to let it go.

I really hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

Nanny0gg Thu 19-Dec-13 08:51:40

I would sit them all down, calmly, and spell it out for them. Could your dad join you for that conversation. No mincing of words, no shouting. Just "It is time you all grew up and realised that sometimes you have to do something a bit difficult, or make someone angry, to do the right thing. This is what I expect of you."

This ^^

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 19-Dec-13 08:57:43

Why do these men not realise they have no 'rights' only 'responsibilities' to their children? The children have all the 'rights'.
Having my own frustration with an Ex only bangs on about his rights as though DC are a possession and never ever thinks about what is right or best for them.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 09:13:57

I would sit them all down, calmly, and spell it out for them. Could your dad join you for that conversation. No mincing of words, no shouting. Just "It is time you all grew up and realised that sometimes you have to do something a bit difficult, or make someone angry, to do the right thing. This is what I expect of you."

This ^^

This ^^

I am surprised how upset I am about this, probably because I can feel your upset, anger and disappointment in your posts.

Your ex is a wanker and your children are being unfeeling sad.

newforest Thu 19-Dec-13 09:14:18

This happened to my sister last year, except it was her ex's mother who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. My sister always had her daughter Christmas day and he on Boxing day. He asked her to swap so they could have at least one Christmas day together to make it special for his mother and she agreed without question (she has been stubborn in the past over swapping days!). His mother died not long after.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Thu 19-Dec-13 09:36:16

OP I'm so sorry for your mum.

I agree too with kungfu's post. You need to spell it out to your DC. I can't think of anything more cruel for someone facing their last Xmas that even that isn't enough to make your DC realise what's important. You need to tell dc2 that his GM cried after she spoke to them. This matters for her. They all need to know how important this is. I cannot believe not one of them, independently, can see that. You know it's going to be your GM last Xmas, you make that effort to make it special for her.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 09:39:31

I honestly think you are making too much of this. Do you think you could be redirecting the anger you feel over your mum's illness to your ex and kids. I think you should all stick to the Xmas plans that you have. You can enjoy some quality time with your parents on Xmas Day and then you can all do something together when you have the children on Boxing Day. It sounds as if this is what the children want too and their views are important as well. Perhaps they want a fun time with your ex's family on Xmas Day where they can forget about their sadness about their grandma? Please don't blame the children because they react differently to the very sad news about their grandma.

Nanny0gg Thu 19-Dec-13 09:43:12

GhoulWithADragonTattoo

They're not all children. I don't think them having 'fun' at Christmas outweighs the care they owe to their mother and grandfather, let alone their grandmother. Why should they forget their sadness? They should be trying to make her last Christmas a happy one so that everyone left has fond memories of this time.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Thu 19-Dec-13 09:45:04

Ghoul, do you think that someone facing their last Xmas shouldn't be a priority?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 09:46:58

I meant children in the sense of the OP's children, I realise some are adults. Having a nice time with their Dad and his family on Xmas day (as has been planned) does not mean they cannot also give love and support to their mum and grandparents too. It does not have to be on Christmas day and I think fixating on one day is not very helpful to anyone.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Thu 19-Dec-13 09:57:33

Ghoul, your missing that fact that it matters to the person dying. Who won't have another Xmas. The 'any other day' crap really is hollow when the person who is dying wants that one day with her family.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 10:07:09

Ghoul - are you really as unfeeling and cruel as you are coming across?

A dying person wants her grand children with her on Christmas Day.

FFS you still think the OP is making too much of it?

The OP is posting, is fighting to give her mum what she wants BECAUSE HER MUM CAN'T.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 10:07:45

I'm not missing that, but that is what I mean about it not being helpful to fixate on one day. The ex here understandably wants the Xmas he has been planning for. The children want to go there, possibly partly to take their minds off things with their grandma. The OP and her parents can still have the Xmas day they planned and then they can also celebrate with the children in the evening and on Boxing Day. I actually feel very sorry for the children being caught in the middle. OP should focus on what she can do with her mum on Xmas day and what they can all do together when kids get back instead of getting angry with her ex and the children for wanting to stick to the original plan.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 10:08:57

The OP's children really need a reality check. I know plenty are inherently selfish but ffs this lady is dying.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 10:10:26

FFS it IS just one day. It is the 25th December that EVERYONE knows is the day that matters. Boxing Day can be nice but with the best will in the world it feels different and tbh nothing trumps anything but a lady who is dying sad.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 10:11:50

NO, Ghoul. You are missing it. The GRANDMA wants the children with her on Christmas Day. Not as an afterthought for a couple of hours in the evening (if indeed that is on offer.)

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 10:13:40

I'm not unfeeling and have massive sympathy with the OP's situation. But I do think that it's important to focus on what she can do to make the Christmas period special for her mum and the rest of the family. In my opinion that includes accepting the Xmas day is only a relatively few hours and it's more important to focus on the good things she can do rather than allowing the fact that her ex wants to stick to the plan spoil things.

Caitlin17 Thu 19-Dec-13 10:19:36

I'm a bit puzzled why grown up children can't make up their own minds whether they spend Christmas with you , him or neither of you. I imagined when first reading this you were talking about children children, not adults.

Fairy1303 Thu 19-Dec-13 10:21:39

I didn't think the children were adults?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 10:23:34

Some are adults and some are teens.

TaraLott Thu 19-Dec-13 10:45:57

It all does seem a bit odd, I have grown up DC and I know what they would do.
They'd tell their Dad they would see him on Boxing day.
I don't really see how you can dictate if they will see him on any weekend though, mine come and go as they please and don't see us on any set dates (except birthdays and Christmases).
I suppose if the teenagers are young teens then you can say what and where they will be but not someone in their twenties surely.

TaraLott Thu 19-Dec-13 10:49:58

And I should have said I hope your Mum has a lovely Christmas and boxing day with you all.
We've had some cancer in the family this last few years and it's a difficult time for everyone.

ljny Thu 19-Dec-13 11:08:55

The grandmother cried when told her grandkids wouldn't be there for her last Christmas.

It isn't a "relatively few hours" for this dying grandmother. It's important to her. That's what matters.

Agree with those saying Op should lay it out to the children. They're teens/adults, old enough to knowingly choose for themselves.

My kids would want to know, in time to do the right thing. For heaven's sake, what will next Christmas be like with the grandfather, who will likely remember and regret that they didn't share his wife's last Christmas.

I say this as someone who's not even a member of the dominant religion so Christmas wouldn't matter in our family. But for most, it's the one time of year when every possible service and institution is closed so families can come together. Its the major cultural sentimental family gathering time.

The ex has no compassion. But these are not powerless young children, they're teens and adults. You can't always protect them.

It's the dying gran who matters here. I'd hope her grandchildren would want the time and the memories with her. Their father's family will have other Christmases with them.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 11:19:19

ljny - your post is very eloquent and summarises the situation well. However, where the children go on Xmas Day is outside of the OP's power and control. I still think she should take the focus off Xmas Day and concentrate on what is in her power; enjoying her last Xmas with her mum and doing something with the wider family in the evening / on Boxing Day. Any upset now directed towards the ex and the children is actually counterproductive and it is tarnishing OP's mum's last Christmas when it doesn't need to.

caruthers Thu 19-Dec-13 11:22:40

So sad about your Mum and I hope you're holding up and enjoy your time with her.

The problem seems to be with your children who are older, at the ages they are now I would expect them to want to spend time with their grandmother at Xmas considering the circumstances.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Thu 19-Dec-13 11:32:55

Actually ghoul, I think the OP's DC need to see that upset. They need to see and understand the effect their decision, along with their dad and his family, is affecting the OP. Bugger the 'making the best of things' to minimise their guilt. Sometimes, there are things that really, really matter, and it doesn't do anyone any good to pretend otherwise. Making the best of your last Xmas when you know the people who matter most to you, don't think your last xmas is of enough importance to them to be there, means the 'making the best of it' will still hurt. It'll cause enormous hurt to that poor woman, who is going to have enough fucking pain to deal with in the coming weeks. It'll hurt their GF. Their mum. None of that hurt can be justified at all. And they all need to know that.

squeakytoy Thu 19-Dec-13 11:37:23

These children are all old enough (including teenagers) to be making their own decisions about how they spend their time over Christmas without the op and her ex arranging contact times surely??

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 11:39:24

That is too much pressure to put on young people who are losing their grandma. From what I've read here they don't want to be horrible they just want to have the Christmas they'd planned with their dad. Causing a family row over this, rather than making the best of it, is surely going to upset OP's mum a lot more than accepting that the children have plans for part of Christmas and will be there for their grandma when they can.

PenelopePipPop Thu 19-Dec-13 11:40:12

OP - this situation sounds awful. But speaking as the adult child of divorced parents please don't tear your adult children off a strip about what they should do. You say he is emotionally abusive of you. Perhaps he is emotionally abusive of them too. Being caught between their feelings for their dying grandmother, their acutely distressed mother and their bullying father must be really hard for them. That hardship is redoubled by the fact this is Christmas and will be your mother's last one. They cannot be in two places at once. They have had years of their Dad telling him he wants them at a specific time and place and them feeling they have to jump to it. They have not stood up to him before, and they may be shocked and hurting too. This is not the easiest time for them to start asserting themselves now. My own Dad can be a terrible bully when he doesn't get his way and the fallout can rumble on for months and months so even when you think it has been forgotten about you'll get a nasty email reminding you of the time you let him down by not doing something he wanted.

But it will not be your mother's last chance to see the grandchildren she loves and cares about. Even a few weeks gives a lot of time for loving and sharing and creating the memories that will help you all when she has died and you need to support each other. If your memories are dominated by arguments and pain that will help none of you.

Your ex is an insensitive bastard. But don't let his lack of compassion hurt you and your children more than it has to.

Forget him. Focus on the days you will all be together and how you can make them really meaningful for all of you. Are there meals your mother used to cook or films you all enjoyed watching together or places you went to with them as children or board games or daft family traditions you can share then?

SamU2 Thu 19-Dec-13 12:10:15

I replied to your other OP so you know my children lost their father on Friday.

Pretty much everyone wants to spend Xmas day with my boys. I want them here because they are going to be devastated and I want to keep an eye on them. Their step mum wants them as she wants to be around them loads as it is her connection to their dad. Grandparents and so on.

So we all worked together to find a way around that we can all be happy with, asking the children for their opinions too, obviously and without making them feel like they were being pulled in every direction.

We thought this would be his last Xmas but he went fast. The plan was that they were going to spend all of Xmas with him and while I wanted to see them, I more than understood the importance of spending the last xmas with someone dying, and thankfully, so did my children. Who's turn it is becomes irrelevant when someone is dying.

However, mine are young. If they were older than they are it would be completely their decision and they would get to decide full stop.

Inkspellme Thu 19-Dec-13 12:11:42

Firstly, My sympathy on your mom. Horrible, horrible news for you all.

I would agree about talking to your children about the reality of the situation. Tell them how important this is to their grandmother and now is the time to show her how much she matters. 100% agree with the poster who said that you need to tell them what you expect of them.

They're really not all children and are old enough to put others first -even on christmas day. they will have others. your mom won't.

Gladvent Thu 19-Dec-13 12:37:23

I am so so sorry to hear about your mum. And so angry at your ex. When you have been told you have less that 100 days left none of them become 'just' a day FFS.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Thu 19-Dec-13 13:18:30

IMO Ghoul you're coming across not so much as 'cold, hateful, insult blah blah' just 'not getting it.'

SpecialAgentFreyPie Thu 19-Dec-13 13:19:14

Woah left page open for too long blush sorry!

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 13:25:44

I am sorry for yours and your children's loss SamU2.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 13:36:40

You're right SpecialAgent, I don't get it. Much better to have a big family, Xmas showdown over this so the OP's mum's last through months are overshadowed by a family feud. Much better than my suggestion of OP having a wonderful Xmas with her parents and getting together with her children on Boxing Day!!!

Nanny0gg Thu 19-Dec-13 13:43:32

Ghoul - The children want to go there, possibly partly to take their minds off things with their grandma.

See, why should they have their minds taken off things with their grandma? That's exactly where their minds should be.
Death has to be faced and giving comfort to people in their last days should be a priority.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 13:47:01

So they shouldn't have any fun over Christmas or indeed at all while their grandma is ill? These are young people some are still children. Why shouldn't they have the fun day they've planned with their dad. I'm sure their grandma is never far from their minds , but it doesn't mean they can't have any fun at all.

SamU2 Thu 19-Dec-13 14:05:26

Actually, I think Ghoul has a good point.

At this point, as hard as it may be, try to drop the argument and make another day special.

My children's father's last wish was to see our children have fun. He told me that he wanted them to continue to do their school play's, continue to dance in their competition if they felt up to it. It was very important to him. He did want to see them all over Xmas but he would never had not wanted them to miss a fun occasion when he was dying, he wanted them to have those last few weeks having some nice times (as nice as you can possibly have) knowing full well the upcoming months were to be devastating.

So I think I have changed my opinion.

While the OP's children should make time for their grandparent I also don't see too much of a problem with them making special memories and spending time with her another day and having one day where they get to be just kids/ young adults having fun.

SamU2 Thu 19-Dec-13 14:06:03

plays... not play's.

PenelopePipPop Thu 19-Dec-13 14:11:12

'So they shouldn't have any fun over Christmas or indeed at all while their grandma is ill?'

Hmmm. You see I'm kind of with you Ghoul or at least I don't think it is as easy as the children should be with their mother and grandmother and that is definitely the choice they should make. This a fraught time. Feelings are running high. There is clearly a history here. Putting a lot of pressure on won't lead to better choices but it may cause hurt feelings.

But I don't think your argument about fun makes any sense. Of course the children could have fun if they spent Christmas Day with their mother and grandmother. It sounds like that is exactly what she wants. And they are teens and adults. Hopefully they won't really be thinking 'Well it is my last chance to spend Christmas with Granny but I'll be on the XBox from 7am at Dads so I'll go there'

It is really sad. But I do wonder if it would be better if the OP said 'I would love you to spend the day with us because it is the last time we will all be together. I know you also have a commitment to your Dad. I think you are old enough to make your own arrangements so I'm not going to interfere or judge because I know its tough being torn in two directions. Obviously if you spend the day with your Dad I'd really like it if we could all have a day together to celebrate Christmas with Grandma on Boxing Day so we can make this time as special as possible for her.'

Then the choice is there. It is a lot less frightening for them. They are not suddenly responsible for the feelings of loads of other adults. They are only responsible for themselves.

Nanny0gg Thu 19-Dec-13 15:26:29

So they shouldn't have any fun over Christmas or indeed at all while their grandma is ill? These are young people some are still children. Why shouldn't they have the fun day they've planned with their dad. I'm sure their grandma is never far from their minds , but it doesn't mean they can't have any fun at all.

Just because their grandma is dying it doesn't mean it has to be doom and gloom.
No-one is saying sit in a darkened room and don't speak!

Have you ever been in a hospice? It can be light, bright and joyous. If the OP's mum is anything like my mum (who died just after Christmas, when I was in my early 20s) she wants a 'normal' Christmas. Whatever that means in the OP's family.
For us, it was presents, Bing Crosby on the stereo, roast turkey, Christmas telly, card games, turkey sandwiches and all of us together for the last time, including my DB, DSiL and their young family. My uncle popped round to help carry her downstairs.
Boxing day was with their friends as they'd always done.

No doom, no gloom and no direct talking of the situation. Though to be fair, as far as I know, it was only me, DB and his wife who really knew how bad it was as I was the one who had the 'conversation' with the consultant to spare my dad. (and I was younger than the OP's son at the time).

So, no reason it shouldn't be a happy time that they can all look back on fondly.
Sometimes, people just need to do the Right Thing.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 16:07:20

Nanny - That does sound lovely and I'm glad to hear that you and your mum were able to enjoy her last Christmas like that. thanks

Sparklymommy Thu 19-Dec-13 17:42:42

OP my heart goes out to you and I totally understand why you are feeling so angry. At the start of this thread you were asked if you could appeal to your ex mil and ex SIL. I think this is the way to go to be honest.

Also, how poorly is your mum? Is it possible that having the children there all day could be too much for her? Perhaps you could compromise and have them back earlier in the day and spend the afternoon with your mum.

thanks for you and your mum. And I hope you manage to sort something out.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 18:07:08

Ghoul. With respect. You do not know my mother. You do not know that she has been in town today planning the christmas surprises that get hidden all around the house with clues for the kids to find. Even me and the big kids. You do not know that it will be all doom and gloom and depressing whilst with my family.

There will be a sing song with kids on instruments and in a band with their grandpa. There will be silly hats and daft games and general nonsense.

The depressing house will be the one they are going to where there won't even be a cracker.

But sure, feel free to make all kinds of judgements when you don't know the charaters involved.

Can I also ask. Is your mother still living? Do you have any idea what this is like to face?

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 18:11:29

I have been told I am not to contact ex MIL or ex SIL. And I won't. The kids have been told that this could be his mother's last Christmas and that they have a duty to her too. I intend to let them go there on Christmas day but they WILL be returned to me at 6pm when we will go to my parents and stay over and be there all of boxing day.

He did indeed get his 21 year old child to phone their grandmother and ask if it was ok that they went elsewhere on Christmas day to whoever asked.

And if he ever asks me any kind of favour ever ever again I am going to say no. I cannot get past that he would do this and I am so angry but I will never ever ever agree to anything else for a favour for him ever ever again.

landrover Thu 19-Dec-13 18:17:08

OP, how old is your mum? Just wondering if it was sort of expected? xx By the way, I wouldn't let ex upset the day at all, you have a lovely day with your mum and the kids will join you in the excitement later, it will be fine xxx

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 18:17:55

Shes just 70. So it really wasn't expected.

landrover Thu 19-Dec-13 18:20:21

Well OP I'm really sorry, but def don't let him spoil it, and don't forget older kids tend to not get up till lunchtime anyway, so he may not get to see much of them anyway wink

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 18:27:20

I jsut don't understand his mindset. In other ways too. Daft stuff. I do stockings for the kids and I had bought nice santa and snowman ones when they were younger. Lsat year I got more grown up ones for the younger ones and he got DD to ask me today if he coudl have the santa and snow man for his brother's young children.

And I actually don't know what to say.

Hawkmoth Thu 19-Dec-13 18:30:35

"Get fucked"

Sorry you are going through this OP. it must be utterly baffling when a person turns out to be such a total and utter shit.

landrover Thu 19-Dec-13 18:32:58

IGNORE HIM ignore ignore xx

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 18:34:53

Right. So. He's told me no to Christmas Day. He KNOWS I'm fuming. He KNOWS I'm beyond angry.

But he has the GALL to get DD to ask me for some felt christmas stockings that would cost him maybe a fiver total out of poundland??

Why on earth would anyone think that was appropriate?? On what planet is that even reasonable?

landrover Thu 19-Dec-13 18:39:52

He is trying to wind u up, big smile and DONT LET HIM xx

Fairy1303 Thu 19-Dec-13 18:41:05

Ignore him OP, he's just trying to get to you. Don't give him the air space!

Lambzig Thu 19-Dec-13 18:45:56

This thread has made me so angry on your behalf OP. Just remind yourself that he has to live with what a terrible human being he is.

I wonder if he has told MIL and SIL the truth if you are forbidden from speaking to them.

I am so sorry about your mother and my heart goes out to you.

landrover Thu 19-Dec-13 18:49:20

Also, what the hell has it got to do with his sister in law? Do older kids really spend time with their uncles and aunties at xmas?

landrover Thu 19-Dec-13 18:50:36

Quite frankly Id be tempted to say that the kids are old enough to now sort out their own holiday arrangements and you have no contact with him ever again! xx

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 19-Dec-13 18:52:47

I'm confused. The children are not young, they are old enough to have their say over contact, so it can't be court ordered or enforced. Surely the answer is to speak to your children instead of being furious at your ex because unfortunately, he's probably not going to change.

landrover Thu 19-Dec-13 18:55:35

I agree Candy, the OP should opt out of having anything to do with ex xx

Squidwardtenticles Thu 19-Dec-13 18:57:03

Wtf has it got to do with your sil? Cheeky cow.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 18:58:13

Some of the kids are old enough, but some aren't candy, so the older ones are going along with it for the sake of the younger ones because it IS court ordered for the youngers.

I just texted him "WRT santa and snowman stockings. Are you fucking kidding me?"

fuzzywuzzy Thu 19-Dec-13 19:00:54

Oldbag I am so sorry you're going thro this.

From now I'd have just one text for any requests he makes; 'That won't be possible' no emotion, no apology, no nothing, just nope.

That also takes away any satisfaction he may derive from knowing he is upsetting you.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 19:04:23

Fuzzy that's a brilliant response. Because he can't argue with that.

And now I am going to go and have a bath and get some wine and see if I can sleep tonight.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 19:08:18

OP - (I refuse to call you your username as you are far from it!) You stay strong. Just accept you were with a twat and it has taken a while to notice but you owe him nothing and actually don't have to even answer his pathetic texts. People treat you how you allow them too and you don't have to allow such crap from him.

stickysausages Thu 19-Dec-13 19:09:47

thanks

BruthasTortoise Thu 19-Dec-13 19:18:11

Your ex is a dick. A complete an utter dick as is his sister. FWIW my DHs ex phoned the DSSs an berate them for authorising one days absence so thu attend their Grandmother's (DH's mum''s) funeral. So you're not the only one with a dickheady ex and the kids do eventually recognise them for what they are. flowers so sorry about your mum.

Divinity Thu 19-Dec-13 19:35:53

"Get fucked"

I spat my tea out reading that. grin

He is enjoying playing mindfuck games isn't he? Definitely go with the unemotional txt responses. Get all the emotion bit out here or with RL friends first. You could always play MN bingo with him "Did you mean to be do rude?".

So sorry to hear about your mum. flowers

Divinity Thu 19-Dec-13 19:36:41

*so

TidyDancer Thu 19-Dec-13 19:43:22

I'm so sorry you're going through this. What a horrible situation.

Your ex is a cunt tbh, which is about the most helpful thing I can say.

Thinking of you. thanks

I am very sorry to hear about your mum, I hope you can have a precious memory making day together and enjoy a wider family Boxing Day.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 19-Dec-13 19:47:43

Bruthas,

I had a thought earlier the ops ex could get together with your dh's ex. They are very suited and it would be funny as fuck

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 19-Dec-13 19:59:41

I do think the adult children should decide where they want to spend christmas, they are adults after all.

As for your ex, we only have your side of the story. If you consider it a "favour" to let him see them on non contact days then its little wonder he is inflexible. The children should be free to spend time with either parent when they choose to, they are not "owned" by anybody.

TBH, you are both seeing the children on Christmas day so the children get to spend time with both of their parents and any extended family each side chooses. Surely thats the fairest way anyway?

starofbethlehemfishmummy Thu 19-Dec-13 19:59:52

Teens and twenties?
Surely the twenty something(s) can make up their own minds then?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 20:14:57

OP my advice was to take control of what you can and not worry about what you can't. Basically avoid unnecessary drama for your mother's sake. You're obviously unwilling to consider that that may be a better solution but that doesn't make me a heartless person. My advice is still avoid getting too caught up in the specifics of Xmas day.

I haven't lost my mother thank goodness but I lost my grandma at a similar to your kids and it was horrible. I hope are able to enjoy the time with your mum without letting a row sour things.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 20:20:22

Ghoul with respect and I really don't mean this badly.

You have no idea. Until you are facing this, you truly have no idea.

HappyMummyofOne - I do consider it a favour when I've planned a lunch with MY FAMILY and he wants to have them. I DO consider that a favour.

As far as only having my side of the story, yes that is true. But trust me, there is a lot more to this than just this one event. If that was the most useful thing you could think to post, why did you bother?

Yes it's a favour when he rings me on "his" day and he's an hour away and can't pick them up from where he's supposed to and will I go and get them. Yes it is a favour when I'm on my weekend "off" but he has to work so they are dropped on me with no notice and I have to change my plans. Yes it's a favour when he wants me to traipse the town on MY time to buy them an outfit for a wedding I'm not even invited to.

Are you generally hard of thinking?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 19-Dec-13 20:41:48

I'm stepping away from this thread now. I didn't intend to wind you up or defend your ex. All I wanted to point out was that if this turns into a big bust up it could sour your time with your mum and your future relationship with your kids. I was urging caution and finding the best way though rather than taking on a battle you probably won't win.

I'm going to hide thread as my considered and more measured advice is obviously not what you want to hear.

I am genuinely sorry about your mum.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 20:50:14

Ghoul is still missing the point. There is no big bust up as OP will have her day as it looks to be panning out and everyone will try their best to have a good day. She will not let rip at her ex in front of anyone and everyone will carry on and then live with the regrets - or not - later.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 20:58:19

Thank you Toffee, that's it. There isn't going to be a big bust up - I wouldn't do that to my kids or to my mum and dad. Losing a grandma is not the same. I've lost two. And trust me, it is not the same.

I will do the right thing because that's the type of person I am. Just because I am venting on here doesn't mean I am venting (other than to close friends) in RL.

What I won't do is forget.

Andro Thu 19-Dec-13 20:59:35

I too think that (certainly the adult) dc need to know how upset their grandmother was/is, it's the kind of ting that can be revealed inadvertently - or even thrown out in the throes of grief.

My other concern is for the OP's dc, what kind of emotional impact is it going to have when they realise that their father is an EA ass with the empathy and compassion of a dumper truck? How damaging is it going to be for them if/when they realise just how thoroughly they've crapped on people who (unless they share their father's personality traits) they know adore/d them? A quick scroll through the relationships board in general and the stately homes thread in particular is clear evidence of the long term damage caused by actions like the OP's ex is engaging in.

OP, I wish you strength and the best Christmas you are able to create.

oldbaghere Thu 19-Dec-13 21:08:45

The probolem is the adult DC are far enough away that they won't be home until Christmas Eve. So the first opportunity I really get to talk to them face to face will be Christmas Day.

I am just going to grit my teeth and grin and bear it.

But please anyone dealing with a man like this, please please don't do what I did because really you do yourself no favours in the long run.

Andro Thu 19-Dec-13 21:13:08

It doesn't need to be face to face OP, it just needs to be calm and in the 'you need to this so that you can be prepared' format.

With that said, you know your dc and the rest of us don't so you have to go with your instincts.

BruthasTortoise Thu 19-Dec-13 21:26:23

Jeez sock I don't think either I or the OP could cope with double the trouble grin

TalkativeJim Thu 19-Dec-13 21:27:50

I quite like get fucked too actually.

It's strangely unemotional too.

Him: 'I would like to request that the children can be with me on x Weekend blah blah blah long involved supercilious text'

OP: get fucked

Not even a capital letter. Not a punctuation mark wasted on him.

get fucked

Vivacia Thu 19-Dec-13 21:38:07

OP, this sounds terrible, terrible news for you and your mum to have received. It would make me feel so angry as well as upset. I do wonder if you are directing some of this anger towards your children and ex?

He's being incredibly unreasonable by refusing to be flexible. However, I think you are both being unreasonable for involving the children in this. He by getting them to phone their grandmother and you for telling them that you'd find it very difficult to forgive them not spending Christmas Day with their grandmother.

I don't understand why grown ups are being dropped off at 8 (or 6 by mistake) so that they can get a good night's sleep. I don't understand why they aren't making their own plans for Christmas involving friends and boy/girlfriends' families as well as their own.

I agree with ghoul that I'd be taking power and influence away from your ex by not making Christmas Day the major thing. Make it one of a few important, happy days over the Christmas period.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 21:41:35

If you don't tell the children how upset your Mum is at the thought of not seeing them, will they be devastated afterwards? They shouldn't need telling they should be with Granny but as they appear immature maybe they need it pointing out the regrets they might have?

Vivacia Thu 19-Dec-13 21:45:18

I'm sure these children and adults have a close and loving relationship with their grandmother, given how the OP feels they should spend Christmas with her, so their behaviour is puzzling.

However it's not necessarily a sign of immaturity to not want to spend time with a grandparent.

Andro Thu 19-Dec-13 21:46:50

I don't understand why grown ups are being dropped off at 8 (or 6 by mistake) so that they can get a good night's sleep. I don't understand why they aren't making their own plans for Christmas involving friends and boy/girlfriends' families as well as their own.

Going on what OP had said in the course of the thread, it's because they've been so conditioned by an EA prick of a father that they are scared of what will happen if he doesn't get 'his' time. The 8pm drop off is a hold over from/part of the contact arrangement for older and younger ones respectively.

Vivacia Thu 19-Dec-13 21:56:44

If that's right Andro then that's terrible for the children. Why would you go along with that? (Other adults I mean, not the "children").

Flatassantassacks Thu 19-Dec-13 21:58:48

I haven't read every single post but I cannot abide when people say 'I lost my grandma' and I was in bits like you. Yeah with all due respect losing a. Grandparent is horrible. Losing a parent? Until recently I knew how this felt and a 'friend' insists on trying to match it up with her losing her grandad last year. She lost her grandad at 34, I lost my dad at 34.

It's not a competition but until you actually go through, you can't know how it feels so don't try to by saying you do.

sorry I digress. Just a pet hate.

OP I'm with the majority, fuck him.

Sorry about your mum.

Andro Thu 19-Dec-13 22:09:52

Speaking from my own experience (my mother is beyond toxic) people outside their trusted inner circle just don't know; my father is under no illusions and will not accept her behaviour, but extended family/friends/acquaintances outside of her inner circle believe she is the wonderful, caring, engaged society matriarch she appears to be. Not a single member of her normal social circle would believe me if I told them she regret having me, thinks I'm a freak, thought it was funny when one of my brothers nearly killed me or any of the other things she's done over the years. People like this are adept at playing the 'game', appearances can be very deceiving.

The trusted inner circle are as toxic as the person him or herself and/or cowed by the strength of toxic person's personality.

Vivacia Thu 19-Dec-13 22:12:36

I get that, I was kind of thinking of the OP.

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 19-Dec-13 22:32:33

OP I really think you should be addressing a portion of your righteous anger towards your adult children. They are being pretty spineless to be honest, either that or pretty callous. They are adults, it is up to them where they spend Christmas Day; they shouldn't be hiding behind the excuse that Daddy made them do it.

PenelopePipPop Thu 19-Dec-13 22:34:42

"Going on what OP had said in the course of the thread, it's because they've been so conditioned by an EA prick of a father that they are scared of what will happen if he doesn't get 'his' time. The 8pm drop off is a hold over from/part of the contact arrangement for older and younger ones respectively."

This.

Which is why accusing the children of immaturity or demanding they 'know' the impact of the situation misses the point. They almost certainly know but what are they meant to do when caught between an abuser on one side and two hurting people on the other. We don't empower people who may be victims of abuse by ramping up the bullying on both sides. We empower them by letting them know we respect their choices and will love them no matter what - which the OP and her mother very clearly do.

If the ex here has been being a twat about access for years and years they may have suffered a lot of hurt about these arrangements already - children always always always know when there are petty squabbles between adults about who pays for what, or who will be where when and it always hurts. Because the message they get is that for Dad scoring points over Mum counts more to him than being with them. So they redouble their efforts to please Dad. Which will never work because actually this isn't about them. A man who lacks the compassion to say 'I'm so sorry about this terrible news. Of course you need to spend Christmas together' will never be able to place his children's needs ahead of his own. His children however, have spend decades trying to put his needs ahead of theirs to get him to love them.

The morally right thing for the children to do may be to say 'Dad this Chrismas we need to be with Mum and Grandma'. But they can only do the right thing if they know the OP's got their back and will understand if that is too hard. Not because she's furious and hurting too.

Andro Thu 19-Dec-13 23:14:30

I was kind of thinking of the OP.

She didn't go along with it, she extricated herself from the relationship and has tried to protect her children as much as possible in the best way she knew how. Unfortunately, the courts don't seem to realise how damaging contact with an EA parent can be and/or only see the good side of the person in court (ditto SS etc) so contact is deemed beneficial and an order made. The OP has complied with the order and been reasonable about other important events - these are the acts of a good parent and she can't be faulted for them - the kicker is that her ex defines unreasonable and there's little she can do (other than pick up the pieces when her DC figure out that they fairly effectively pooped all over their hurting mother and grandfather as well as their dying grandmother).

oldbaghere Fri 20-Dec-13 05:28:51

What Andro and Penelope said.

i talked to DC1 last night. I kind of get what he is saying. Without going into all the gory details, he and DC2 know I am not pleased and know I'm not a bit happy. Partly they are so conditioned that they have to be there for contact and the fear and all that has been said, yes it's that in part.

But it's also. Contact is court ordered for the younger ones. I ahve to send them. I'm asking them to be without their siblings on Christmas Day because I have to send the younger ones.

And my ex inlaws family dynamic is toxic. DC want to be there partly to protect younger dc (I will explain that in a bit) and also to ensure that they leave on time so that they are with me for 6 and no later.

A family member in their teens who will be at Christmas day with my in-laws is psychologically bullying at an extreme level. This child has, for example, told a child in school who was upset that they should "do the decent thing and commit suicide". My older DC don't want to leave my younger DC open to that and will be watching and protecting the younger DC. Which they and I know right well their father will not do.

oldbaghere Fri 20-Dec-13 05:38:01

If we had time I would go for a variation of the order for this year. But we don't have time. And actually, what would it achieve? The kids know, and at some point they will realise. And I will pick up the pieces. If I had gone for a variation and fought this - I would have been the bad one who denied him his rights to his access blah blah and it would have given him yet another stick to beat me with.

He isn't normal. His thought processes and behaviours are not normal - except in his head to him. I work with a woman who used to work very closely with him and the number of times in the last couple of days that she has said "I cannot believe he is doing this". But I can. Because I know exactly what he is like and how he will operate. The good thing from this is that now everyone will know what he is like.

EA people toxic people narc people like him, unless you've lived with one you cannot comprehend. And the apple didn't fall far from the tree. he learnt it from his mother, hence me not contacting her

oldbaghere Fri 20-Dec-13 05:54:33

Out of interest, HappyMummyofOne, what should I call it when he asks me to put myself out and change my plans to accommodate him? I use the phrase "asking me a favour" because that's what I would call it if a friend asked me to do something for them.

What should I call it when he does the same?

RedorBlack Fri 20-Dec-13 06:39:45

I'm so sorry op about your mum & your utter shit of an ex. What an appalling excuse for a human being he is. This will come back & bite him one day

You could call the favours or flexibility, either are accurate to date, but from now on, with as much cold steel as you can muster call them "no longer possible".

Can I have the kids next Sunday fir xyz

That's no longer possible

I need them for abc

That's no longer possible

Can you take them shopping for...

That's no longer possible

No discussion no elaboration just repeat.

oldbaghere Fri 20-Dec-13 06:54:11

I'm not using the phrase doing him a favour in any way with regards to his access to the kids. I am only using it in so far as I am being put out to do a favour for him - ie it means me changing my plans.

Does that make sense?

RedorBlack Fri 20-Dec-13 06:57:02

Yes makes perfect sense. Normal contact is every day life. Changing your plans/ days /arrangements is a favour.

Favours are like respect in my book, they go both ways or not at all.

Vivacia Fri 20-Dec-13 07:21:54

I'm glad you and your eldest have spoken and cleared up misunderstanding. Sounds as though there's at least one person putting the well being of the children first.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 20-Dec-13 07:49:28

Op, don't get upset about that particular posters stance on the matter.

Just look at a few of her posts around the boards and you will understand very quickly why.

Turkeywurkey Fri 20-Dec-13 07:58:03

We were told that if DSDs mother broke the court order there was not much a court would do about it I'd it unless it were a pattern of behaviour and even then there might it would depend on the circumstances.
I really don't think you should worry about breaking the order on this occasion from that point of view though I appreciate your other reasons.
I also wonder if you do in fact have time to apply for a variation. I know people who have asked for a specific issue order in a very rapid space of time, turned up to the court and had it dealt with that day.
The courts are reasonable people, they will see this is reasonable.

Turkeywurkey Fri 20-Dec-13 08:16:49

I do understand why you might not want to take it to this level by the way but it might be possible.
I've been thinking about this all night and feel so frustrated on your behalf. I do hope you get some resolution on this and that you and your mum are able to have a good christmas no matter what happens with this. X

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 20-Dec-13 08:21:02

The children may still be legally considered children but they also would be listened to in court (if it went that far) re: their opinions about contact. So, you do not have to send the younger ones and I wouldn't if I were you, only if they don't want to go obv.

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