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help me work out a Christmas question please

(80 Posts)
chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 10:34:24

Ok, this is going to be controversial. For those who haven't seen the back story, the relevant bits are:

XH cheated on me while I was pg with DS2. He spent Christmas that year (while DS1 was only 16mo) shagging his OW in the marital bed, and chose not to spend the holiday with either me or his son. I didn't know about OW at that point, I spent Christmas with my family due to his appalling behaviour in general. He was invited to come, and said that 'it didn't matter' if he saw our DS1 on Christmas day, and Boxing day was just as good as far as he was concerned.

When I discovered OW I LTB. He subsequently declared her the love of his life, and now lives with her. No problem - I am glad he's not around, he's a twunt.

Last year, our DS2's first Christmas, he did not ask to see him at all. He stuck to his usual access pattern of eow, which meant that he saw our boys on the 15th Dec and then the 29th. He went on holiday to Egypt with OW instead. I skyped him with DS1 on Christmas day, and he didn't even ask to see DS2 or whether he was ok. He made no attempt to call the boys, sent no presents etc. Told me it 'wasn't worth' driving to see them over Christmas itself (he lived 3 hours away at that point).

Anyway, he now wants to have the boys for Christmas this year as he thinks it's 'his turn'.

My objections are:
- He doesn't celebrate Christmas. It's irrelevant to him whether he sees them on Christmas day and he has said so explicitly more than once
- My family are Christian and do celebrate Christmas, I take the boys to church and he knows about this and supports it. I have always been very clear that this is a religious festival not a commercial one and they should grow up knowing the difference. He has always agreed with me on this point, until now.
- He has chosen not to see them at Christmas for the last two years due to having more selfish things to do. This year his OW is installed at his house so they think it would be 'fun' to have the boys and play at happy families angry because they don't have illicit shagging or 5*holidays planned instead. IF they had more money or something better to do, it would not have come up.
- I think he's a shit. (Probably not relevant but I do.)

So WWYD? say yes, have them for Christmas knowing that a) they won't do anything special for it, and b) it's 99% about point scoring on his part and nothing to do with what is right for the kids...

Or say no, not this year. Have them on Boxing Day instead because I can't reschedule Church etc (which the boys will be involved in, have little parts in plays etc if they go) but he can feed them a second dinner any time and give them presents on Boxing Day and it won't make any difference And he also says it makes no difference to him, unless someone else is listening who he needs to sound like a 'good dad' to.

I don't think at their age (1 and 3) the boys would care about spending Christmas with him. They only see him 4 days a month, 9-5 as it is. Which is entirely his choice.

Am I being unreasonable?

Purpleknickers Thu 16-May-13 10:40:23

Absolutely not being unreasonable ....I think he's a shit too ( again not relevant)

He can have them another day -if he can be bothered

oldwomaninashoe Thu 16-May-13 10:42:07

No he can see them Boxing day. Point out to him how Xmas doesn't seem to have mattered to him in the past, or seeing them.
No doubt he will still see it as his turn.
Suggest he and OW come to church with you all and that he comes to yours with his presents for the boys and watches them opening them, then allow him to have them boxing day.
My guess is that he will want to pass on the church etc.
You are not being unreasonable but I don't expect him to see it that way!

BeCool Thu 16-May-13 10:43:36

YADNBU - he doesn't even celebrate Christmas!!! Why is he even asking now - in May? He's a twunt of highest order (I've lurked on you other threads - might have posted under different name).

Say no, for all the reasons you've listed but the main one is he doesn't celebrate Xmas and you do and even if he did it's not his 'turn' - after disgraceful behaviour previous Xmas's (does OW??? - does it feel like this is coming from her?).

He can have them Boxing Day.

BeCool Thu 16-May-13 10:45:15

oops I got that in wrong order - I meant does OW celebrate Xmas? perhaps she is hoping your DC will help her create the 'perfect family Xmas'? BOAK, GAG!

Locketjuice Thu 16-May-13 10:49:02

Definitely not! I was under no circumstances be letting him have them on Christmas Day!

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 10:58:23

Why shouldn't as the childrens father have access to to them on Christmas day?

You've had 2 and now he wants 1. Why shouldn't they see Christmas from their father's side? Is it (as it always is with religion) that only your way is the correct way?

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:00:39


BeCool Thu 16-May-13 11:08:16

Why shouldn't they see Christmas from their father's side? - um that would be like every other 'normal' day. There is no "Christmas from his side" as he doesn't celebrate Christmas!

Walkacrossthesand Thu 16-May-13 11:09:49

Christmas is tricky for divorced families, and I think each family needs to agree what will work for them. Whatever arrangement is agreed on, will play out year after year. My ex and I agreed to take turns with Christmas Day, and the DCs go to the other parent on Xmas day afternoon and have 'Xmas day the reprise' on Boxing Day - strictly alternating. It would be equally possible to agree that they always have Xmas day with nod parent and Boxing Day with the other - which sounds like what you would like. It's still early days/years for you, and while I hear what you say about how uninterested your ex was until it suited him, it may now be time to look at an 'alternating years' approach - as long as he'll commit to that ie not dipping out when it suits him because (eg) he and OW fancy going away for the Xmas period. If he agrees, and then dips out one year anyway, then you can say that they will always be with you on Xmas day thereafter because he hasn't prioritised their Christmas above his own holiday plans. Or you may find that he's not so keen when you offer an 'alternating or nothing' approach... What isn't reasonable is for him to chop and change as it suits him, which I suspect is what he wants. Not sure if that helps!

Walkacrossthesand Thu 16-May-13 11:10:52

Nod parent = one parent! Doh...

whippetwoman Thu 16-May-13 11:12:14

If he only sees them four days a month then he's not really that bothered is he. So why should you, who does the huge bulk of the day to day care, then have to miss out on a really special time of the year because he decides it's his turn? It doesn't work like that. Just say no, you really are NBU. Tell him it's not a matter of turns, don't let him set a precedent with the whole turn taking thing, which could leave you dreading Christmas without your children every other year. You, as the main carer, are well within the realm of reasonableness, given your current day to day set up and pattern of Christmas gone by, to say actually, they will be spending Christmas with me, you may see them on Boxing Day.

I am angry on your behalf!

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:12:44

The do nothing Christmas sounds better than the forcing religion on a 1 and 3 year old Christmas.

Are you saying he wouldn't give them any presents, have turkey etc?

chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 11:13:18

No it's not my way is the only right way. Although if it were Eid or Channukah and he didn't celebrate them, I suspect that it wouldn't be anything like as contentious. In fact, if a non-religious dad demanded access every other Eid so he could give his kids a tenner and eat samosas (I am being deliberately crass, because this is exactly the way he views Christmas) he would no doubt be slammed and accused of denying them a cultural identity by not allowing them to be part of their religious community.

I feel that it's because 'Christmas' is seen in the UK as a general holiday for eating too much and giving a heap of presents, rather than as a religious festival, somehow it's about the fathers 'right' to have access on that day? I don't really understand that. You can 'celebrate' by eating a big meal and giving presents on any day. You can't reorganise the actual religious event.

OldRichandGrateful Thu 16-May-13 11:14:31

I have read your other threads.

He is a Twunt of the highest order and doesn't deserve to see the children at all, let alone at Christmas.

Twunt and OW only want them at Christmas to pretend to be a happy family so as to give a good appearance to the outside world. "Look we are good parents - we had the children at Christmas, they had a lovely time". Bollocks to that.

I don't get the "taking in turns" at Christmas anyway. Children are not parcels to be passed around. YANBU - Twunt and OW can fuck off.

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:15:17

Why are you angry on her behalf, you only have one side of the argument and a story full of irrelevancies to create bias.

chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 11:15:58

it's not forcing religion on them hmm why do you celebrate Christmas RootinTootin if you don't go to Church or identify as a Christian? And no, he wouldn't do a Christmas dinner. For the last two years he hasn't done presents either.

OldRichandGrateful Thu 16-May-13 11:17:14

Rootin - do you know Twunt grin

He's just being a self-entitled arse as usual. sad Sorry you have to deal with his Choco.

Could he take them Christmas night, maybe?

AngsanaTree Thu 16-May-13 11:17:48

NO, Christmas is a time for families and he walked out on his.

Ex-h and I are both atheists, but I'm a christmas celebrating atheist (hmm?) and he isn't.

Anyway, ex-h has always been happy for kids to spend most of Xmas day with me, because he's not a self-entitled arse and because he knows there is plenty of time in the holidays to be with the kids - it doesn't have to be xmas day.

OldRichandGrateful Thu 16-May-13 11:20:56

I suspect Twunt likes the idea of Christmas with DCs but as it gets closer he will find some excuse not to have them because "something has come up."

Walkacrossthesand Thu 16-May-13 11:21:18

Old, my post was on the basis that both parents love their children and want to be with them on Christmas Day - but parents have split up so another solution has to be found, which is usually taking turns. Doesn't make the children into parcels. The OPs situation isn't so evenly split, and there is the religious vs. secular celebration aspect (my ex and I are both atheist, but Christmas Day is still special where there are children). Hope you find a solution, OP.

whippetwoman Thu 16-May-13 11:23:05

Because the OP does nearly all the day to day care. She is the one who gets up with them in the night, plays with them, cooks for them, cleans for them, sacrifices her social life etc. the list is endless. He has four days a month, which is his choice. So why then, should the OP, as the primary carer, have to give over a Christmas, to a largely absent father. I know, from experience, that divorce lawyers are very keen to ensure that women, as the primary carers, are not just there to cover the day to day slog, but get weekends, holidays and special events too.
I have been in the same situation as the OP.

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:28:16

Because it's not about the OP's wants it's what's best for the kids and imho children should see important dates and experiences from both sides of the family.

How can you moan about him not having them enough and then stop him for having extra access because it doesn't suit your religion?

chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 11:32:03

I think I'm going to suggest that he has them on Boxing day every year. As they get older, if he wants to have them for part or half of the school holidays he can then have them between Boxing Day and New Year which would be something he could celebrate with them too. I agree that children should get special time with both parents by the way, and if they were going to get that, I would feel far less strongly about it. But they won't, and I don't think it's fair that they should miss out on all the amazing and magical things that Christmas should bring into their lives every other year just because he thinks it's his 'turn'

FWIW, our baby has been very poorly this week, he has been told twice, and he's not been in touch at all. He isn't interested in parenting the children at all. He only wants to know if it will affect the fun stuff he wants to do at the weekend - which will be fun based on what HE likes to do, not on what they do.

BonzoDooDah Thu 16-May-13 11:32:58

I'd tell him to fuck-the-fuck off!

Say as per the norm set up by him the children will be spending Christmas with you. He can skype them or whatever and see them Boxing Day. IF he really wants to see them on Christmas Day suggest a couple of hours after all your church stuff is done and your big meal is done too. (Not that he is likely to get off his arse if he lives that far away).

If I was your child and saw him that little I'd be devastated to be leaving my mum on Christmas Day. I wouldn't want to go.

Him and OW can feck off and have their own kids if they want to start playing "happy families" now. I'd think your DC would want to stay with you anyway on Christmas Day as they do see you as the main carer and do have things to do on the day with you.

If you ex decides to try and get access via the courts you can explain his previous attitude (no presents, not even talking on Skype to little one etc etc) and the residency arrangements and say you have offered a couple of hours. They'd go with you.

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:35:43

Is he not religious or just a different religion? I haven't met a single atheist who doesn't celebrate Christmas.

chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 11:42:29

For our whole relationship he described himself a 'militant atheist' - he didn't want presents for himself either, when I say he doesn't celebrate Christmas I mean it, he literally doesn't celebrate it. If this has changed because OW wants to celebrate it I see absolutely no reason for the kids to have to rock up and play nice for her benefit either!

We have discussed religion at length. The children will not be baptised or confirmed or given any religious education. They do need to know and understand about Christianity for them to be able to make an informed decision as adults about whether they want to participate in this faith or not. Part of having choice, is learning about what the choice is.

Now on the one hand you could use that as an argument for alternating Christmas with no Christmas. But if their dad can essentially give them an 'atheist' Christmas every year, why shouldn't they get to experience a religious one every year as well?

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:49:42

Slightly off topic but the only thing they are getting from their parents is Christianity or nothing. I fear your children are going to get very confused.

That said a Christmas of nothing is just as valid as a Christianity based Christmas. To truly be able to make a choice surely they need to experience both?

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 11:50:39

I will say anyone who describes themselves as militant anything is usually a cock.

JaceyBee Thu 16-May-13 11:54:06

I can sympathise with your position but I think maybe he should be allowed to have them on Xmas day. He is their father and you have had them the last two. I'm sure the kids won't be bothered about missing church/the religious element and will have a fun day with him, even if they do things differently to your family.

Is the the lack of religious significance that bothers you or the fact that they will be playing 'happy families' with his new gf? Because actually surely it's preferable that she wants them around and to be involved than if she was creating barriers to them seeing their dad?

I'm sure he is indeed a twunt but I still think its better that he's taking an interest and wants to see them for their benefit.

Don't let them have them on Christmas Day. Why should you and your loving supportive family have to miss out on something very special to you, just so this twunt who has never been arsed before - (and once the OW is pregnant probably won't ever again) - gets to play.

Forget the religious element. It's nothing to do with that. The point is, he doesn't parent when they are sick etc. He only wants to parent when he feels like it.

I think he is also trying to wind you up. Things have been a bit quiet for a couple of weeks, haven't they? Him and the OW need a bit of drama.

Wishing you luck Choco.

buildingmycorestrength Thu 16-May-13 12:04:11

choco I don't know your back story, but I wonder if it would be perfectly reasonable to say that you will discuss this in September and don't let it occupy any of your mental space until then.

Then you have time to see whether it is a deep seated issue for him or a passing whim.

Obviously I am already worrying about Christmas arrangements myself so am in no position to give advice. grin

forgetmenots Thu 16-May-13 12:06:56

This isn't really about religion though.

It's about an absent, couldn't give a shit 'father' who now wants to play the big guy and have Christmas because all of a sudden for whatever reason he had realised it's significant in one way or another.


LifeSavedbyLego Thu 16-May-13 12:08:34

FWIW my view is that if the access arrangement is 50/50 or there abouts then the major holiday and events should be shared.

However through his own personal choice he barely sees them. He can therefore fuck off he wants them for Christmas.

I also think (based on previsious threads) he is not worth the shit on your shoe.

Sugarice Thu 16-May-13 12:10:24

I've followed your other threads and absolutely you should keep them with you and your family on Christmas Day.

He's an massive twat and so is Turtlehead if she's pulling a sad face and wants your ds's to play happy families on Christmas Day, no doubt they would be texting you photographs of said 'happy families' hmm

Tell him he can pick the boys up on Boxing Day.

pigsDOfly Thu 16-May-13 12:42:28

Clearly some people are not reading what the OP has written.

How anyone could think it reasonable for this man who shows little interest in his children and rarely sees them, because that's how he wants it, to suddenly declare he wants to have his children on a day in the year that he couldn't give a damn about but is very special to the OP.

There's no question imo. Give it no further consideration Choco. Keep your children with you on Christmas day.

Halfling Thu 16-May-13 12:59:55

Tell your XH to fuck off. He is a bastard of the highest order and just wants to play happy families.

Since he is an atheist, ask him if he will be happy to spend some other non-religious celebration (say New Year's Eve) with the DC. I am pretty sure he wriggle his way out of it.

melbie Thu 16-May-13 13:09:06

Normally I would say division of Christmas etc needs to be equal between separated parents. But in this case he has shown no interest up until now so can hardly suddenly claim to be Dad of the year. Can you say he can have Boxing Day this year and Christmas Day next year (IF he steps up to the parenting thing a bit more over the next 12 months and stops being a twat)

YellowTulips Thu 16-May-13 13:27:34

I am not sure you can deny him Christmas access forever, but I fully sympathise with the fact that this is about him not the kids.

It's not about "turns" in his case is it, it's about his priorities and he has demonstrated in the past that Christmas with the kids isn't one for him when he has a better offer on the table. For you however is a very important event.

I would probably look to offer a compromise to test his resolve somewhat (though not sure how practical this is in terms of travel for you).

What about you have the children Christmas Eve and for church/lunch on Christmas Day and he collects them at 5pm and has the rest of the day and Boxing Day with him.

If he really wants it that much he can wait for a Christmas drink until he has picked up the children and start his festivities in the evening. I doubt he will do this - but then you have your answer about his real priorities and you have offered a very reasonable compromise - especially in the context of the last 2 years.

Allalonenow Thu 16-May-13 13:30:41

Hello Choco, it sounds to me as though he is doing this just to get a reaction from you.

Tell him that you will discuss it nearer the time.

I don't think he should have the children on Christmas day, you do all the work of caring for them, and should have this special day with them. Nor would I be inviting him into your home to watch presents being opened, he has chosen to leave that part of his life behind, that is his loss.

Don't be too hasty in setting plans in stone for future years, who knows what you might like to do when the children are a little older, but you will be hampered if you have agreed to "every year" plans with him. Keep things flexible for the benefit of yourself and your children.

I hope all is going well for you in other aspects of your life, I've often wondered how you were getting on.

Stepmooster Thu 16-May-13 13:31:03

My DH has not had his DSS for xmas or his birthday for 5 years. His ex refuses, as she gets too upset without him. BTW it was her who did the cheating and not my DH. DH just let it slide for a peaceful life, so that his son doesn't see his paretns arguing. Last year, DSS wrote a heart breaking letter to his mum and dad asking if he could spend xmas with his dad. And no he didn't get to spend Xmas with his dad, and DH has gone to a solicitor and is trying to formalise an agreement with his ex whereby they alternate xmas and birthdays between them. DH did not coach his son to write that letter, if you are happy to receive such letters from your kids in the future by all means stop them from seeing them.

Your ex may have been a d*ckhead and may still be one, but he is your kids father. You cannot change that. Don't punish your kids. Most people I know christian or not, think Christmas should be all about the kids. Don't use your kids to punish your ex. It never works out well.

YellowTulips Thu 16-May-13 13:31:21

Sorry, meant to add, if he doesn't go for that then he can F off and have them only on Boxing Day AND New Years Eve wink

Concreteblonde Thu 16-May-13 13:36:41

I would invite him to stick a holly bush where the sun don't shine.
I am in exactly the same position. The man.formerly known as the grinch has spent the last 2 years fucking the OW. He didn't even acknowledge my suggestion last year that he took the kids out on Christmas afternoon.
Now the OW has spawned he has decreed that it's 'his'turn to have the children this year. DD Has already made her feelings very clear.
Dtick to your guns. Your Ex is a dick.

YellowTulips Thu 16-May-13 13:42:28

Step - I didn't perceive Chocco trying to punish anyone.

Actually I felt the issue is more about the Ex NOT willing to commit to a sustainable approach to Christmas because it really depends on the best offer he has on the table...

It feels like a very different situation to that which you and your DH are in.

The kids aren't asking to be with their father and up until now he has shown zero interest in Christmas.

As I said in my first post, I think there will have to be compromise at some point, but my guess in this case is that if it puts Choccos Ex out even a bit, he won't go for it - because it's not about having the kids and being a good Dad, it's about whats the best way to enjoy Christmas for him, when he hasn't actually got other more exciting options to explore.

themidwife Thu 16-May-13 13:52:33

One suggestion? (Feel free to disagree & what's more I don't think he deserves anything) but from your point of view of some relaxation after a busy day - how about he collects them at 5pm & has them overnight until boxing day at 5pm. They will have presents if he bothers & Christmas tea with their Dad and that stupid trollop & you can put your feet up, drink port & eat cheese & have a lovely lie in. Note the lack of what's in it for him in this scenario? It's about the benefit for you & the boys. Oh & he has to collect & return the boys not you!!! He will remain sober!! What do you think?

DistanceCall Thu 16-May-13 13:57:50

It doesn't matter what his intentions are or whether he celebrates Christmas or no. It's a holiday (culturally, not only for Christians), and he is entitled to have the children for that holiday. They are also his children, and half of their cultural identity (for the time being) comes from him.

And to be honest, if he notices that this riles you up so much, he will persist.

So for the past two years he hasn't been arsed to have any involvement with the kids over that holiday, but this year he has decided he wants them. It is all about his entitlement isn't it?

RootinTootin Thu 16-May-13 14:01:57

That's pretty much how I see it, as usual all the emotive language is getting in the way. Trollops, happy families etc etc.

Xales Thu 16-May-13 14:07:32

My ex has just had DS two Christmases in a row. Two years ago it was 'his turn' and then in the January they lost his step mother (ex's) and it looked like his dad was at risk as he had been in and out of hospital over the year. So I offered just in case it was the last Christmas with dad/granddad.

I did that because ex is a loving hands on dad.

Yor ex is nothing like a loving caring dad. I think you should simply say no (dressed up nicely) and then refuse to engage any further on the subject.

He is such an almighty cock that I wouldn't even be giving this head space.

Say no. Mean no. And don't engage in any conversation about because, frankly, that will just take up seconds of your life he doesn't deserve to have!

payitforward Thu 16-May-13 14:10:33

Choco, have not posted before but have been following your threads for a longtime. I'm so mad on your behalf. Think your doing a brilliant job by the way. I would second what themidwife has said. However, I would suggest that, if you can, put it off discussing it further with him until closer the time. In future years he may be more involved in the day to day care of the dc and you can review it then

chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 17:02:37

I have suggested for this year that he has them on Boxing Day. I haven't said anything about what we will do going forwards, and I'm not setting an every year precedent (unlike him, who wants to establish his 'turn' at the fun stuff). This isn't about denying a loving father time with children who love and miss him. This is about giving the children I love and care for (bust a fucking gut for actually) a memorable and special Christmas.

The man who feels entitled to have 'half' of the holidays etc also refuses to have them on New Year (he can't drink) arranges to have his friends stay for the weekend when he has the children (so that our 2yo comes home angry and bored and upset because he's had to loaf around in the garden with a bunch of adults he doesn't know while they get stoned/drunk) and doesn't call or acknowledge messages telling him that our 2yo has suffered from a fit or that our baby has been running a fever for 3 days. He doesn't want 'half' the holidays at all by the way, he wants the morning of Christmas day so he can see them charge around playing with whatever age inappropriate crap presents he may or may not remember to get them. It's not about the OW either, other than the fact of her being there is probably the only reason he's even asked. If there was no-one to impress, he wouldn't have.


chocoreturns Thu 16-May-13 17:05:51

thank you for all the replies though, I will think about everything that has been said and try not to let it upset me to the point I can't think clearly. He's not worth it.

BTW I do struggle a great deal with anyone who thinks that the set up we have represents parents who are 'equal', in my eyes or in our children's eyes. Our baby barely recognises him - he describes him as 'weirdly quiet' unless his brother is playing with him. That's because he doesn't know his dad really, and he certainly doesn't know any of the random people his dad passes him off to when he has them. He happens to have created two children. He doesn't parent them though.

BonzoDooDah Thu 16-May-13 17:16:58

Well done you. Sounds like a good compromise. And sadly agree with all you said.
Lucky kids having you to fight for them as he obviously won't the shit

Hopasholic Thu 16-May-13 17:27:26

I remember you're earlier thread Choco.

It's almost like he's taken a master class in 'How to make my ex's life a misery'
'What can I do in May that'll upset Choco for a good 7 months........ Oh yes let's get her all wound up about Christmas! She looks like she's moving on...... Might meet someone else...... I'll just fuck her over by planting this in her head......

Don't react. He's playing you. NO is your answer and leave it at that.

Wish you well flowers

Ginderella Thu 16-May-13 19:24:05

Choco, Twunt knows your triggers and is playing you. He knows it is far too early to discuss Christmas. He knows that this will upset you.

He is a parent in name only. You are the parent that matters. He is merely a far off satellite orbiting your DCs world. Don't engage with him on this matter. It's May FGS!! You know that he will change his mind before then. He will try and take turns with birthdays next. If he wanted to play happy families, he shouldn't have started shagging OW.

His reward for being a Twunt is that he will never experience what it is like to be a real father because he will never spend time with them. Cherry picking the nice bits of being a father does not a parent make.

Lavenderhoney Thu 16-May-13 19:35:14

Its a bit early to talk about Christmas isn't it? Is he trying I make sure he gets the day off or something from work? Or is the new gf wanting to spend it with her folks and he doesn't want to?

I doubt from his current interest in the dc its about them tbh.

Tell him it's too soon to discuss, maybe in November.

BarredfromhavingStella Thu 16-May-13 19:56:54

Simply say, 'let me think about it...ok no' & smile very sweetly.

skyeskyeskye Thu 16-May-13 22:54:09

Choco, my XH , like yours, sees DD just four days a month, including two nights. He refuses to have her on a Zfriday night or in the summer holidays because he has to work. There is nothing 50/50 about his access, therefore he can go whistle when it comes to Christmas.

Last year I said there was no way I was going to be without her at Christmas and asked what he could offer her. He agreed that she would be better off with me and large extended family. I offered him Boxing Day , industed that he had her as we had always spent Boxing Day with his family, and he refused (wanted to go and watch football). He spent Christmas with OW, her H and her parents, who are strangers to DD. he chose them over his mum, brother and DD.

He had DD for two nights after Christmas, refused to have her NYE as he had plans.

As far as I'm concerned, he will never have her for Christmas while he can only be bothered to see her four days a month. I have to deal with everything all year round and I'm not missing out on Christmas.

When it was OW's birthday and he had DD, he wanted me to have her back so he could go out. While he continues to be selfish and put himself first, he will not have her at Christmas. If DD asks when she is older we can deal with it then.

So, no, YANBU. Everybody's situation is different and different things work for different people.

You, as always, will work out the best thing to do for your own children.

Stepmooster Fri 17-May-13 13:29:23

The man who feels entitled to have 'half' of the holidays etc also refuses to have them on New Year (he can't drink) arranges to have his friends stay for the weekend when he has the children (so that our 2yo comes home angry and bored and upset because he's had to loaf around in the garden with a bunch of adults he doesn't know while they get stoned/drunk) and doesn't call or acknowledge messages telling him that our 2yo has suffered from a fit or that our baby has been running a fever for 3 days.

Why are you even letting him in his care then? Surely the issue is that he is not responsible or capable of taking care of his kids. Can't you withold contact completely or allow only limited access with no overnights?

my XH , like yours, sees DD just four days a month, including two nights. He refuses to have her on a Zfriday night or in the summer holidays because he has to work. There is nothing 50/50 about his access, therefore he can go whistle when it comes to Christmas.

Does your XH pay maintenance, does he work to provide you with that money? Most XH only see their children EOW, because it gives both parents weekend contact with the children so they don't only have to spend time with them on schoold days. I suppose your XH could quit his job, go part-time and pay you less maintenance in order to see more of his child. When are people going to realise contact is not something you pay for!! I say this as a stepmother and a child of divorce.

I get that there are d*ckheads out there, but seriously let your children share christmas day with their dads once in a while. It's for the children you do it not the d*ckhead exes. They need to have memories of christmas with both parents and not resnt you as they get older for not being allowed to see them.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Fri 17-May-13 13:48:06

Choco FWIW I think you're doing exactly the right thing here. Parenting is a full time commitment and its not fair for him to pick and choose when he wants to play at being a good Dad.

It always worries me with threads like this that certain posters seem to focus on specific details and use them to castigate the OP with. For me this is not an issue of religion, or the fact that its his 'turn', or that as their dad he is 'entitled' to see them, it's a case of the OP rightfully feeling aggrieved that a man who makes little to no effort (and does so on his own terms to suit his own needs) wanting to call the shots when he feels like it.

chocoreturns Fri 17-May-13 14:30:47

he does have limited contact, without overnights at present stepmooster. I don't feel that witholding contact altogether is the next natural step and if I did no doubt someone like yourself would be poised to tell me what a bitch I am then, too.

Parents don't have rights actually, children do. They have the right to feel safe, loved, be cared for, grow up healthy and secure. Parents BOTH have a responsibility to make sure that this happens.

And this isn't forcing him out of their lives every Christmas ad infinitum, seriously did you even read my posts? I have asked and discussed what to do this year. When the previous two years, he has chosen not to have anything to do with them, while shouting the odds about his rights which neither of us, as I have stated, actually have.

Still - you carry on thinking all mothers are monsters and stepmothers with their poor DP's are the only right thinking people in the universe. I'm sure it's more comfortable for you to do that isn't it hmm

chocoreturns Fri 17-May-13 14:32:27

to everyone else, thank you for your replies, and apologies for getting a bit cross, its hard not to sometimes!!

Anomaly Fri 17-May-13 16:42:37

So he wants the absolute best bit about Christmas? What a total twat! Boxing days is generous given the circumstances.

kittybiscuits Fri 17-May-13 16:45:06

Dear choco , he's an arse and you're a legend. Don't reply. At all. And if he asks again, say 'I thought you were joking'. No contact at all last year - he is a prick for asking this.

Stepmooster Fri 17-May-13 17:01:24

he does have limited contact, without overnights at present stepmooster. I don't feel that witholding contact altogether is the next natural step and if I did no doubt someone like yourself would be poised to tell me what a bitch I am then, too.

To be clear I never called you a bitch. So please let's back off with the nastiness. And I did say that if he was doing drugs in front of your children you should withold contact, so that would make me a hypocrite if I was then to say allow contact always.

Being a twunt of an ex doesn't necessarily a bad parent make, often they are linked but not always.

As a child of divorce, and the stepmother of a boy who has specifically requested to see his father at Christmas and isn't allowed to I try to always see things from the child's point of view.

I don't know your ex, and he does sound like a prat, but maybe he is starting to turn his life around and do right for his children, or maybe not, who knows.

So if Christmas is not with dad this year what about 2014? When does it become acceptable to you? I would really like to know as someone who was a child of divorce?

Stepmooster, it sounds like you and your DH have experienced an ex-wife with-holding access. I sympathise - I know its such a painful situation to be in. However, Chocos story is very different and I don't see why her ex should cherry pick the times he would like to have the kids.

If we took your idea to its logical conclusion then her ex should have the kids at Christmas, birthdays, valentines, all national holidays, halloween, guy fawkes, etc, etc, and then graduations, weddings etc, etc, just because he fancies it.

I imagine her ex would love that. All the glory, none of the work. But why should she agree to that? Why would it benefit the kids that the man who can't be arsed with day to day life leaps in on special occasions? It wouldn't be for the benefit of choco either. Just because the ex says 'jump' doesn't mean she has to say 'how high?' just because he is their lousy dad.

themidwife Fri 17-May-13 17:44:20

Actually, in the past whenever Choco has offered the ex to have the kids other than his 4 part daytimes a month he has refused. He only wants a brief Christmas morning visit prior to the drinking. He won't get up with them at 5am, he'll have a lie in, the DCs to be presented to him washed dressed & ready to be "Christmassed" before they are spirited off when the party starts or they get too excited & annoying.
Choco is not withholding access. He will it have only when it's totally on his terms.

chocoreturns Fri 17-May-13 17:47:52

it becomes acceptable to share all the lovely things in our DC's life a) when he shares their lives full stop, and b) when they ask for him to.

I am having a particularly bad time of it at the moment, made worse by his complete and total lack of concern or regard for his children. Hence being more prickly than usual. Apologies if the language offended anyone.

As it happens, he has chosen to completely ignore the suggestion of Boxing Day. It's as if I never spoke. Which makes me think it's even more likely that the request was absolutely nothing to do with the children at all, and everything to do with who was listening when he made it. Without anyone to hear him have an opinion, he doesn't have one - I'm not surprised really, I knew he didn't care about this issue himself, after all he literally doesn't celebrate it. So it was probably partly about winding me up and making himself look like a doting dad for the right audience.

I am only cross with myself for taking the bait this time and agonizing over something that means precisely nothing to him sad

skyeskyeskye Fri 17-May-13 17:53:31

stepmooster - it is not a question of my DD not being allowed to see XH at Christmas. my XH said that DD would be better off with me and my family at Christmas. He also said that she would have more fun with me and my family on Boxing Day. I tried to insist on him having her on Boxing Day, to be fair to him and he refused. He did this all to look good in mediation, when in reality, he wanted to spend Christmas with OW and her family and Boxing Day watching his favourite football team, again with OW and her H. He didn't want DD on NYE, so that he could out with OW and her H.

He chooses to put himself and his wants and needs before his DD. Therefore, there is no equal access over Christmas. He can't just decide when he does and doesnt want her.

I also clearly said that if DD wants to spend Christmas with him when she is older, that is something that we can talk about.

Yes he works, to pay a small amount of maintenance. i also have to work full time, in order to pay the mortgage and all bills. I ask him to have DD for just 3 Mondays in the summer holidays, to help me with childcare and so that she can spend some more time with him. He refused. He refuses to see her at all in the holidays.

He also refused last year on the grounds that he had to work, then went abroad for a week with OW and her H. So it is clear where his priorities lie.

Choco has had the same thing many times with her STBXH and has clearly stated that on this thread. Choco wants to do the best for her DS', but also does not want to be taken advantage of, just when it suits her STBXh to have his DC.

Don't attack mothers who have actually offered access to their children and had it thrown back in their faces by XH's as it is not convenient to their sordid little social life.

I do not think it is fair for a father to swan in and expect to have one of the best days of the year with his DC, when he doesn't want to see them any more than he has to the rest of the year.


I've read many of your threads re you Ex. And it's my guessing that come nearer christmas that him and ow will either be going to her family for Christmas or they will being going away anyway. He will use this as the excuse as to why he not seeing the dc again.

chocoreturns Fri 17-May-13 18:25:24

I feel like a bit of an idiot for letting him get to me so much over this. It's May FGS as so many of you more sensible lot have pointed out! Doh. Sometimes when I step away from the emotional stuff I can see how much I am still on the end of a chain he likes to yank now and then sad you think you're making progress...

It's lovely to hear from so many of you who remember my old threads - it is genuinely helpful to be reminded now and again how his behaviour has looked to those on the outside, I forget sometimes and get caught up in it all again.

Time for a chin up moment eh? December can take care of itself... besides, I suspect wheredidiputit has it nailed really, as to how it will really play out.

skyeskyeskye Fri 17-May-13 18:29:50

agreed, by the time Christmas gets here, your Twunt will have other plans no doubt!

just ignore it for now.

Choco perhaps your mum can arrange them to be working opposite shifts both Christmas and New Year wink.

skyeskyeskye Fri 17-May-13 18:48:54

grin great idea wheredid grin

chocoreturns Fri 17-May-13 19:15:36

hehehe oh for that to happen! smile

themidwife Sat 18-May-13 16:12:35

That would be amazing karma! grin

Almostfifty Sat 18-May-13 18:31:23

Choco, just do what you want to do. He doesn't deserve any kind thoughts whatsoever.

Don't think about it again, just say no.

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