Bloody holidays!

(15 Posts)
PoppyPrincess Sun 30-Dec-12 23:43:36

Ok thanks, I'll remember to take any step parenting advice with a pinch of salt in future. I remember getting quite upset a while ago because our set up wasn't quite perfect and plenty of MNers gave me a bashing for not being the perfect stepmum but then a few weeks later I realised that the way we had things worked for us, we had a flexible system that meant that everybody got time with each other but our children were all getting quality time with their own parents. It worked well for us at the time. I doubt that spending nights away from each other is at the front of the step parenting guide but it was what made all the children, parents and grandparents happy at the time, so what's the problem?
So although its good to see other people's outlooks on your problems sometimes I try to remember that each family is different and there's no law to say that every step family must do X,YandZ.

Yes I will ask DP to raise the question about the christening, now that Christmas is out of the way I would like to get it done soon...before she's walking herself down the aisle and diving in the water!
We'll also have similar issues about our wedding but that's over a year away so I really hope it's all sorted before then. We won't mention anything about our wedding until DP has his decree absolute in his hand! ... Yes I know it is the longest divorce in history, I think they've both been waiting for the other one to file for the divorce so they don't have the hefty legal bill!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 30-Dec-12 18:40:54

It's funny though because I've seen other threads where MNers tell stepmums that all the kids need to be treated the same and all need to be included etc etc. Some women have claimed that if they go out for tea during non contact time then they go and pick them up especially so they are not missing out.

Oh, you can't win as a SM on MN - you should love them as your own but not overstep, support your DH to raise them but not discipline them, engage with the DSC mum but have nothing to do with her!

The thing to remember is that the DSC's relationship with you is subsidiary to their relationship with their Dad. When you begin to worry about them more than your DP is, then it's time to take a step back, for the sake of your own DCs who deserve your primary focus.

Saying that, your DD's Christening is slightly different and definitely something that your DP should raise with his solicitor and in mediation as soon as possible. Your DSC and your DD share the same Dad, and I think it is important that they are involved in the christening so that they begin to understand the nature of the relationship between them - particularly if they have had that relationship denied or downplayed.

PoppyPrincess Sun 30-Dec-12 17:11:21

Thanks NADM I suppose you're right. It's funny though because I've seen other threads where MNers tell stepmums that all the kids need to be treated the same and all need to be included etc etc. Some women have claimed that if they go out for tea during non contact time then they go and pick them up especially so they are not missing out.
But you're right, doing that kind of thing they are getting double all the good stuff in life, but life isn't like that. I suppose it's just a case of doing what's best at the time.
Maybe I shouldn't feel so guilty about everything, after all it is their mother stopping them coming on holiday, not me or DP.

We've also got a similar dilemma with dd's christening. I want to get her christened in the next few months but I don't want DSC missing out, especially as all the extended family will be there.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 30-Dec-12 14:56:17

DSD got upset a few months ago because we were invited to a wedding without the kids, it was a child free wedding but she was in tears because she didn't want to miss out. I just don't know if I could cause that kind of upset

You might have to toughen up as a Mum and DSM, poppy wink

It won't do a DC any harm at all to be "left out" of some events; it's a lesson all DC's have to learn in preparation for life as an adult!
I'm sure that she does things at her Mums house that you and your DC's are "left out" of; and that's how we've explained it to our DC's.

If you have DC's of different ages, it is inevitable that as they get older, they will do different things and the younger ones won't be able to go to the same movies, go to the shop alone etc. They'll no doubt sob, sulk or tell you how unfair it is - but you are being a good parent by restricting them to age appropriate activities. That's before you factor in the fact that in your family, some DC's live there all the time, and some have TWO homes.

I understand that the holiday issue this year is a bit different because you don't know one way or another - but once things settle down, there is no harm at all in holidaying in future with some rather than all of the DCs, depending on the contact arrangements. We took DSS on holiday while DD was with her Dad one year, another year we took both on holiday together, and shock horror we've also been on holiday together without any of the DC's!

PoppyPrincess Sat 29-Dec-12 23:49:34

NADM to be honest DP hasn't said much about the kids being left out, I think he thinks/knows that this issue isn't going to get fixed any time soon so has kind of accepted that they won't be able to come on holiday with us this year, it's more me who is worried about the kids feeling left out.

I'm in 2 minds, part of me thinks that we can't put our lives on hold and we should just go but then part of me just feels guilty.
We know which week we want to go as our local schools get 2 weeks off end of may/beginning of June whereas most of the country only get 1 week off so it means if we go at the beginning of June the kids are still off school but we can get a good price. Plus not too hot for baby. And I'll still be on maternity leave so I won't have to use any annual leave.
What's the chance that we can get a court order before may? I'm guessing pretty slim.

If we do go abroad in June then we'd still be able to take the kids camping later in the year, we've got most of the camping gear so we'd just have to pay campsite fees, fuel and cost of days out.

I remember what it was like having a dad who went on holiday with 2 of his kids but not me n my bro (from first marriage). I don't remember being particularly upset about it but it still makes me sad to think about it now so it must have upset me.
DSD got upset a few months ago because we were invited to a wedding without the kids, it was a child free wedding but she was in tears because she didn't want to miss out. I just don't know if I could cause that kind of upset sad

Lookingatclaus Sat 29-Dec-12 20:14:07

We too found that something that was a flat no from dsd's mum was rubber stamped by the court no problem as she didn't have any valid reasons to say no. Plus her solicitor told her to agree to stuff as it didn't look good if she did.

Lookingatclaus Sat 29-Dec-12 20:11:25

If the holiday is going to be a one-off I would put the money in a savings account and negotiate holidays as part of the court proceedings. If your ideal is that all of you have a holiday together then it can wait until you have agreement or a court order.

You can't put your life on hold while this is all sorted, as it can take a while - so if you are likely to be able to have a holiday without the Dsc, and then another with them at a later date then go ahead and arrange another when court is sorted.

KateByChristmas Sat 29-Dec-12 14:56:42

I've been exactly where you are and totally understand where you are coming from especially the guilt of taking some DC and not others on holiday. In the end though if the SDC are not allowed to come there is very little you can do. We now have a Contact Order and all enjoyed a holiday abroad this year with no drama smile

I would say book something that can accommodate the DSC at a later date if needed so a 6 berth caravan or cottage that sleeps between 4 and 6. Camping could be another good one for catering for if DSC come or not. If wanting to go abroad then pick a country and save the money in an account. That way you can plan and research for that country or region of the country and go firm with a booking closer to the date when you have confirmation.

NotaDisneyMum Sat 29-Dec-12 14:48:34

What is the likelihood that it will be resolved in mediation? Do you think it will eventually end up in court?
If so, it will be several months before anything is resolved, so you could fit a holiday in before a contact schedule is ordered.

We had a similar issue - should we/shouldn't we book a holiday - in the end, DP raised it as an issue he wanted to discuss in mediation (and eventually, court), he booked it, then asked for a "one off" change to the arrangements - his ex could have said no, but DP figured that she was far less likely to if it was in front of the mediator/CAFCASS etc smile

If you end up with court ordered contact, your DSC will have to get used to the idea of their Dads life (with you) continuing without them there.
I'd be very wary if your DP starts to suggest that you don't do things as a family in case his DCs feel left out - that's not good for anyone wink

N0tinmylife Sat 29-Dec-12 14:27:04

I would book any time off work you need, then look for a last minute deal, unless you are particularly fussy about where you go? Then you can book for whoever can come nearer the time.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Sat 29-Dec-12 14:16:47

They would hate your mum for it and hold it against her .

PoppyPrincess Sat 29-Dec-12 01:33:20

Yes we do need a holiday, the past 12 months have been very stressful for many reasons.
BUT we will be taking my DS and our joint baby DD so the whole 'oh you wouldn't like it/it was an adult holiday' line unfortunately wouldn't work.
They already don't like it if they miss out on a trip to the swimming baths or a McDonalds lunch so I can't see them being too pleased about missing a week in the sun...especially when my DS is bound to tell them in the school playground.
It's just utter crap, on the brief contact/telephone conversations DP has had with them he's not even indicated to them that it is their mum stopping them visiting so there's no way he would tell them that she's stopping them from coming on holiday.
My mum suggested telling them that she has paid for it as a Xmas present but I'm not sure whether they'd accept that as a good enough reason.

NatashaBee Sat 29-Dec-12 01:20:39

Go on a holiday, sounds like you need it. If it comes up later, tell them it was something they wouldn't have been interested in - lots of walking, fossils, bird watching, healthy foods...grin And put aside some money to take them somewhere as a treat that they'll really enjoy and is more kid-orientated.

PoppyPrincess Sat 29-Dec-12 01:15:09

Sorry posted before I had finished.

DP's house is finally sold so we want to use the little money he got from it to go on holiday.
As it stands at the mo they obviously can't come, but what if we book something and then everything gets sorted and then she decides they can come?
Even if she allows contact again then I can't imagine she'd let us take them abroad but I'd feel really crap telling them we've been on a family holiday without them.

What on earth are we supposed to do?

PoppyPrincess Sat 29-Dec-12 01:09:47

We've got a bit of a dilemma here and just wondered what others would do?

Currently DP hasn't got access to his kids whilst some disputes are going on but we're hoping that this will get resolved soon as he has now got solicitors involved and we're hoping that she'll agree to go for mediation.

The problem is it now feels like our lives are on hold as its difficult to make plans for in the future as we don't know whether things will go back to normal or if they will ever be the same again.

In all the years we have been together we have never had a holiday together apart from the odd 1 or 2 nights in the UK. This year we finally have the chance to go as the sale of DP's house has gone thr

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