How honest should you be ...?

(13 Posts)
Kaluki Wed 19-Sep-12 13:05:44

DPs ex has excelled herself this time.
DP has to go on a course for work in November. As his course is in a nice hotel he has paid a bit extra for me to go too. He will work, I will hang around the hotel and do some Christmas shopping and see him in the evening. My Mum is having my boys. Perfect!
BUT DSDs birthday is on the Wednesday of this week. We have NEVER been able to see either DSC on their actual birthday unless it happens to fall on a contact day as decreed by the almighty contact order! We have arranged to give DSD a birthday party on the Saturday before as we always do but this year DPs ex has got wind of us going away and DSD has been on the phone to DP in tears because she can't see her daddy on her birthday because he is taking me away instead!! She said her Mummy told her that she can see him but he doesn't want to!!
Ex has texted him telling him to get his priorities right and stop putting me before his dc.
He is gutted. I am gutted. DSD is gutted.
I think we should tell DSD the truth. That the reason we don't see them on their birthdays isn't because we don't want to - its because we aren't allowed! I'm so sick of the ex twisting things to make DP and I look bad when it is her manipulation.
What sort of mother will manipulate her 8 year old dd to the point of tears just to get at her ex?
Would it make us as bad as the ex if we just tell DSD the truth? By not telling her the real facts we are reinforcing the ex's lies and making DSD think DP doesn't want to see her!! But by telling her we are calling her Mum a liar (she is a liar but does DSD need to hear that?)
What do you all think??

zanywany Wed 19-Sep-12 13:11:44

If it was me I would tell her but in a way so that it didn't sound as though you are having a go at her Mum (even though you have a right to). Maybe along the lines of 'I think there has been a mix up/your Mum misunderstood'. Also I would let he know that the reason he is away is because of work. Sooo annoying when parents do this. My DP's ex told their boys that they weren't allowed to go to the school disco because Daddy wanted them instead! More like she insisted DP have his DC's as she wanted to go out!

bluebell8782 Wed 19-Sep-12 14:22:15

Hello Kaluki,
How awful - what a position to put you in! I do think some situations call for just being honest. I would tell your poor DSD the truth but as Zany said, in a 'nice way'

However much you want to shield the children from the argueing adults, I do think there are times that requires the injured party to be honest.

Last Christmas we were told we couldn't see my DSD at all. We were 'allowed' New Year's but nothing over Christmas as she was busy. We felt it right to explain to my 8yr DSD that we were trying to change mums mind about Christmas as we would love to see her. We got bollocked over it by the ex but we felt it right to do as we didn't want DSD thinking we had chosen not to have her round. In the end we were given the day after Boxing Day as apparently her plans had changed hmm I would do it again though - there are some things that shouldn't be left unchallenged.

purpleroses Wed 19-Sep-12 16:01:18

I think her mum's making an unfair big deal out of it. It's her birthday. She'll be at school all day and her dad's away for work. That happens in plenty of normal families.

My ex doesn't generally see our kids on their birthdays, and my DP doesn't usually see his either unless their birthdays fall at weekends. You're celebrating it with her at the weekend instead which seems fine and normal. Even if your DP was allowed to call in on her birthday, he would presumably not have done so this year because he's on the course for work. So DSD needs to realise that this is just what happens when grown ups have jobs. The fact that you're going with him is irrelevant - he couldn't take her instead because she'll be at school could he?

brdgrl Wed 19-Sep-12 16:52:48

Agree with what everyone else has already said.
I think it is important to keep it in perspective, too. Being too apologetic or defensive - acting as though there actually IS something to defend - will feed the situation.

As purple says, the fact that you are going is irrelevant. Not only would he not take her out of school to go on a business trip with him, presumably - she is a child, not his partner, and even at the height of summer wouldn't naturally be accompanying him on an out-of-town trip to a hotel! The bottom line is that he has to be away for a course on the day of her birthday and will celebrate with her on the weekend. Put that way, it is so clearly a non-issue.

I'd be straight with DSD (and yes, maybe using words like 'mum must have misunderstood'...) but also I'd refuse to blow the issue up into something more than it is.

Kaluki Wed 19-Sep-12 17:35:37

Thanks everyone! Sometimes I need to hear others opinions to put it all into perspective for me!
If this was one of my dc I would be saying "get over it!" but we have to tiptoe round the dsc for fear of upsetting them! She has played on DPs worst fear - that they will be upset with him. shock
It will come down to her word against ours at the end of the day and I hate the thought of DSD wondering which of her parents has lied sad
I can predict a lot of Disney style compensating going on this weekend!!!!

Lilypad34 Thu 20-Sep-12 09:45:00

Sounds like the ex is just annoyed that you are going too, I'd tell DSD that daddy would love to see her on her birthday but he has to go to work and it won't be much fun for him either as he'll miss her. But you'll have a fab weekend together and it'll be like having 2 birthdays. I wouldn't mention her mum, but be honest about the work issue and that dad hasn't got a choice. She's old enough to understand that and she probably wouldn't have given it a second thought if Ex hadn't decided to stir the pot!

Have a wonderful weekend with your family smile

exoticfruits Thu 20-Sep-12 10:06:43

I would explain in the nice way-starting with 'sorry there seems to have been a mix up.........and carry on with Lilypad's explanation.
You wonder why parent's use their DC as a weapon like this. sad

financialwizard Fri 21-Sep-12 09:38:19

I like Lilypad's explanation. It doesn't meantion anything of the mother which I would be keen to avoid.

pictish Fri 21-Sep-12 09:42:38

Another vote here for lily and her explanation!

That works perfectly....and does not give the child's mother the control or attention she so obviously wants.

What a cowbag btw - manipulative as fuck!

pictish Fri 21-Sep-12 09:44:30

I also agree with what brdgrl said.

Kaluki Mon 24-Sep-12 12:43:24

Thanks for all the great advice.
In the end we decided not to bring it up unless she did .. and she didn't!!
All she said was that she will miss us when we are away, and I just said "we will miss you too!"
I am starting to think that her Mum tells her what to say to DP on their nightly phone calls as she really didn't seem that bothered face to face, despite the hysterics on the phone last week confused

NotaDisneyMum Mon 24-Sep-12 12:53:52

Highly likely that she is being coached on the phone - both DSD and DSS were by their mum and grandmother angry

I can only reassure you that it has backfired big-time in her case and she's rapidly losing the respect of both of her DCs.

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