Issues already over christmas day(30 Posts)
Looking for some advice.
DH, me, my 2 teenage dc and 8yo dss in our house.
Dss lives with granny but spends alot of time with us all wknd some evenings. He see's his dm one day every other wknd.
Christmas has normally worked that dss sees his dm on Xmas eve. Sleeps at granny that night then comes to us for most of the day.
I lost my dad to suicide recently and we always had him here on Xmas day.
This year I want to do something different as I think being here will be too painful.
So we were thinking of going away for a couple of days just to be somewhere different, with my sister and her DH.
The suggestion of this has not got gone down well with granny as she wants dss on Xmas day, but of course so do we.
It would be a one off just to remove me from the norm this year which we have explained.
The plan was to have a get together for all DH family on 27th, almost like another xmas day.
I don't know what to do now
Where does your stepson want to spend Christmas? Would his granny be on her own otherwise?
I've just realised he lives with her.
Don't you think with all the work she does for him throughout the year she deserves to spend Christmas with him?
You have your own children and your husband and now your sister and her family. Do you expect him to be with you too?
I'm really sorry for your loss op
We have talked about doing something similar with my in laws, but there are rather a lot of us and we all have various other commitments so the only way to do it would be to stay fairly local. We would rent a holiday cottage somewhere within an hours drive of home as this is the only way it works for us. Can you do something similar? That way his Granny still sees him but you are out of the house.
Have you invited granny too? I agree as his primary carer she should have him. If she wasn't relict at great, but as she is I wouldn't push it.
I think what you've suggested sound more than reasonable: as it's a one-off I don't see why his granny shouldn't be more accommodating. A second Christmas day on 27th sounds lovely. At 8yo he should be old enough to manage a change to the normal Christmas routine. You could ask him what he would prefer? He might also not mind staying with granny and maybe his mum over Christmas then coming to you on 27th, though I would have thought that an 8yo would want to be part of the trip away. But he might have strong feelings either way.
to you, OP - I hope you can have a peaceful Christmas remembering your dad.
I think primary carers should get to enjoy Christmas with the DC wherever possible.
We did say granny grandad and dss uncle were welcome they said no.
Granny will not be alone she will have her DH, her dad and her other son.
I would say we have nearly 50/50 care. Dss stays thurs fri and sat night here. We also have him monday and do football training on a Tuesday with him.
Dss us happy either way as long as he sees us all at some point, which of course we will make sure he does
Surely, his father is allowed to have him with him for one Christmas! An 8yo could be torn by guilt if he is asked and then granny does a guilt trip on him if he chooses not to stay with her.
It's one day and the 27th sounds great.
Should add I Love my in laws and really don't want to fall out with them over this. I just feel I deserve a bit of consideration as I have had an awful year. I have made it clear it's an exception not a regular thing
Wouldn't it be easier for you guys to have dss permanently. Must be hard for him to be split between 3 people.
Yes it would but dh's parents are legal guardians and not keen at the moment. We think once he is at secondary school he will chose to live with us.
It's a complicated situation that came about when dss was a baby and his dm was unfit to parent
Honestly, I'm not sure. I can see it from both 'sides'. You DSS might feel left out if you go without him? But on the other hand it sounds like his grandparents (on paper at least), are the primary caregivers and I understand why they want to see him in the morning. Your 'normal' arrangement sounds very reasonable of the grandparents.
Is there another way you can change arrangements to help you get through the day without going away? Our first Christmas without my lovely grandmother we went out for lunch, which was enough of a change for us to survive the day.
You've had a terrible year OP
I can see their side too I was just hoping as an exception is would be ok.
The normal arrangement varies what time dss comes to us ie last year he spent most of the day at his grandparents and came to us about 3pm. So he has christmas dinner with them.
Maybe I do need to rethink, I just can't bear being here for the day
Could you maybe all go round to the Grandparents for the day, or would that be worse for you?
It sounds like being without DSS on Christmas Day is non-negotiable for both parties here?
I wouldn't mind that but can't really invite myself!!!!
Is the granny that minds him your husband's parents or DSS' maternal grandparents? I'm getting the impression that it's the former. In that case can't your husband sit down with his own parents and say that you need a change for Christmas this year and ask if you could all spend the day with them.
I can see why you need to do something different but I can also see why the grandparents, who have raised this boy since he was a baby, want to spend Christmas eve night and morning with him. He's 8, his belief in Santa is close to it's end. There aren't a lot, if any, more Christmas eve/mornings left that will be as special to them as this one could still be. It's a huge, huge ask for them to miss out on it, especially considering that they took on this parenting role when that part of their life should have been over. I'm sorry but in many ways they deserve that Christmas experience. I think that it's your husband's place as husband, son and father to negotiate a compromise that will help you all have a nice Christmas.
Yes my husbands parents.
I can see your point, although dss didn't believe last year, so that magical side is gone a bit. Though I refuse to confirm his suspicion of fc not being real, as I think it's a shame he doesn't believe.
Maybe what I am asking isn't fair I supose I just thought as a one off due to circumstances they would understand.
My husband is trying to sort something that suits but we just get met with tears and refused.
We may just have to go ahead without dss which just feels really wrong as he is a huge part of our family.
Sent too soon
I would hate for dss to feel left out. I have a brilliant relationship with him and don't want this to change.
Dss grandparents don't really have the room for us all to spend the day there. We do but that means staying here again and I just can't.
I have so many times bent over backwards to help them out ie swapping work hours when they needs us to have dss. I am happy to do this but I just hoped for a little compassion and understanding this once.
I think I will have to have a rethink as I don't think leaving dss out of a trip is fair on him.
I think you can still get away for Christmas. Maybe look at cottages up to an hour and a bit away then Dss can be involved that day in both venues.
Really hope you get it all sorted out and you are OK too. Sounds like a very difficult time for you. Make sure you look after yourself.
Could you get a nice cottage that's near your DSS's home and big enough for you all to spend Christmas day there? Either eat out or cook dinner there. And stay there a few days? We did this once, it was lovely.
Regardless of the legalities of the situation I think it's horrible that your DH's mother won't allow him have his own son with him on Christmas Day - that is just cruel tbh.
Can you stay in a hotel/house near the grandparents' house? That way you don't have to be at home but can still have a similar routine with DSS over the 24th and 25th. I understand why you need something different this year. But that doesn't mean that you don't have to think about why the GPs feel how they do. 8 years ago they took in their grandson, when for whatever reason your DH couldn't. If they hadn't done that would your DSS have gone into the foster care system? Would your DH have even a fraction of the relationship with his son that he does now? I doubt they see your contribution toward caring for DSS as 'help' to them when they have given the ultimate help to your DSS and DH by raising the little boy when no-one else in the family could. They took on that massive responsibility at a point when their lives should have been easy.
Unless they manipulated the situation to deny your DH custody when he wanted it and should have had it, your DH owes them an enormous debt. And I think he needs to respect the fact that they are not happy with your plan. And you and your DH need to work with them and make a new plan that suits you all.
They were better on paper than my DH who was young so legal advice was for grandparents to apply rather than DH. So that's what happened.
I can see this plan is probably not going to work. They live 10 minutes away so staying near them is pointless still in same area.
I was just hoping that for once I could do something for me which I really need. However looks like we will be staying at home. It's the last thing I want this year tbh I would rather just not bother with christmas at all if I stay home
I am aware it sounds selfish and prob is but in reverse I would have some compassion for someone in my situation and allow it as a one off. As it is I am being forced to choose between what I need and having dss which just feels very unfair, mainly on him as he wants to see us.
Hi, sorry for your loss. I think you need to do what is right for you. Like you say its a one off and you need it, we all deal with grief differently and i dont think its fair that the grandparents are reacting this way. Your own mental health is most important and you dont need the extra stress of trying to please everyone.
We always had to be the ones visiting both sets of parents on christmas day and it really annoyed me, especially as my oh has ill health and one year he had just had a major operation. Now we just do our own thing and if anyone wants to see us they can make some of the effort.
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