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Seeing the kids on their birthdays

(16 Posts)
arghargh Wed 15-May-13 16:30:54

This year dds birthday falls on her dads weekend. Normally we split it so we both see them at some point during the day. I said I wanted the children at home Friday night and he could pick them up around 10am Saturday (her birthday is the Saturday) and he kicked off until he realised it was a similar situation but my weekend for ds's birthday next year, so agreed.

Now they want to collect the kids at 730am on dds birthday as there's a scouting camp that weekend for the whole family and they've advised to be there at 9am.

However mil also asked to take them away next year to Florida (with exh) as it will need to be longer than a week. I said I'd be ok with ten days but not really longer, then she said they wanted to go Easter holidays. Which is ds birthday!

So now I asked mil about next year, dd birthday will be on my weekend and I'd like to take them to the same camp but come back the Monday (her birthday will be Sunday) and mil said shed have to talk to exh about it as not sure what he'd say!

To be honest I don't want to miss any of my children's birthdays and I think now that they're taking the p* a little, dd doesn't even get out of bed till 8 as she's a mini teenager, and I'll essentially miss both her and ds's birthdays and then have to fight to bring her back the day after hers next year. Thinking about saying ten day holiday is ok, but not on ds birthday. Not sure what to do about dds, maybe say they can pick her up at that early time, but by the same measure next year she'll be dropped at her dads late on the Sunday, so no one misses any birthdays.

Is that fair?

arghargh Wed 15-May-13 16:33:41

I'm obviously not entirely happy at the prospect of not seeing them for ten days but it'll be an amazing holiday, they'll be looked after (and I can't afford anything approaching it). I can't be selfish and argue that, but birthdays I think is different?

NynaevesSister Wed 15-May-13 16:41:50

First off, I wouldn't organise this with MiL, but with your ex-husband. Things can sound a whole lot different when relayed through a third party.

Can they head to the camp on the Saturday, and you meet them there a bit later with your daughter? Alternatively, can you take your daughter and meet them there. You say they are advised to be there for 9am, but is that set in stone? Will it hurt to meet them there at 10am?

As someone who had a blended family as well, I would suggest sitting down and sorting this all out now - and with your ex-husband. Agree with missing the birthday for one child each or decide to make it a rule that it is never arranged so that one of the parents misses a birthday.

Although it might be tough, you and your ex-husband should really look at ways you can do this together, both of you being together with the child on birthday and Christmas, or at least part of it. This just wasn't at all possible for us, and when they grew up my step children said that it made them feel like they had two separate lives.

squeakytoy Wed 15-May-13 16:44:41

what do the children want to do? it is their birthdays, let them decide..

NynaevesSister Wed 15-May-13 16:45:18

BTW I don't think you are being unreasonable at all not to want to miss their birthdays, part or all of them. It goes totally against the grain in so many ways. It is just heartbreaking and not the life you wanted or expected when you first had them. It is really really tough to go through this and you have my hugs and sympathies.

If you and your ex can work your way through this in a way that will put the children at the centre of these events, then no matter how rough it is on the two of you to go through this, it will make such a world of difference for them and they will truly appreciate it when they grow up. A friend of ours would stay over on the sofa every Christmas, so both parents were there to watch the kids open the presents on Christmas morning.

It wasn't ideal for either, and it was really really tough to go through as the split was not an easy one. But they did it for the kids, who are now in their 20s and have both hugely appreciated the fact they did it.

arghargh Wed 15-May-13 16:48:32

We've been separated six years but doing things through mil is actually how it's done ATM - it's working better as my exh is aggressive and dominating and I can't communicate with him at all. Of course mil thinks everything is just me being awkward, and he's a saint.

I don't think they know about the holiday, so can't ask the kids directly. We can't share days (due to aforementioned behaviour of ex, there's ten years of posts about him on mums net under various nicks sad )

Informal agreement is always to split days. Such as Christmas, we alternate collecting them at 1pm each year.

BackforGood Wed 15-May-13 16:49:15

I would certainly just celebrate with them on another day. No way would I curtail a fantastic holiday, nor a family Scout Camp so I could "be with them" on a particular day, when it's just as easy to celebrate on any near by date.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 15-May-13 16:53:10

I think they are taking the piss too. I think with some people, you give an inch and they take a mile. I would insist on sticking with the 10 am pick up time for dd on her birthday and would offer the same for ds when it is your weekend.

As for the holiday, I would discuss that with exh directly. Ideally you both should try to accommodate special requests, so long as it truly is reciprocal and it's not all you doing the giving and him doing all the taking. If he's not prepared to meet you halfway on that, then I would be inclined to stick to the letter of your agreement.

FrebbieMisaGREATshag Wed 15-May-13 16:53:58

We do year about. Or have a party on another day. Really, it's just a day and it's not worth getting upset about.

arghargh Wed 15-May-13 16:57:12

He has always taken the piss, for example we always split easter two days each, last year I worked as he had them the whole of Easter (by mutual agreement) so this year I asked to have them the whole of Easter and they refused! Massive argument ensued and they only agreed on the condition they had the kids for the whole of Easter next year and I wasn't allowed them August bank holiday this year (I've had them every August bank holiday since we separated to go away, and also it's the weekend of dd birthday this and next year).

hotcrosbum Wed 15-May-13 17:30:22

You have my sympathies on this. It took me a while to get my head around not being with ds on his birthday, my birthday, some xmas', mothers day etc (although on ex husbands birthday he MUST have ds, as with fathers day), especially as I was the main carer until he was 8 while his father carried on as normal and did what he liked regardless. All of a sudden, when we split, those days became a must for him.

I have learned to let go. It's not easy, but it's better than all the stress.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 15-May-13 18:04:18

I think I would take mil out of the mix - I know you said it is working, but it seems to be working more for them than for you. Surely one of the upsides to getting divorced is being able to ditch the ILs?

I think you are giving in a bit too much, tbh - the compromise is all from you.

shewhowines Wed 15-May-13 18:10:12

It's not worth the expense of only going to Florida for 10 days. YABU there. The camp starts at 9, so ExDH is not being a pain for the sake of it.
I know it will be hard, but both sound more fun for the kids than staying at home.

Do what's best for the kids and try to leave your own feelings out of it. You can celebrate a birthday even if it's not actually on the day.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 15-May-13 18:16:46

I think you are making this too much about your own feelings, when however valid they may be, they aren't what matters.

I know how it feels, I am separated from my children's Dad and he is very involved with them. He has had them on holiday for their birthday once, I've just given him a card and present to take for them on the day, and made sure I've got a phonecall/Skype that day. We celebrate again when they get back, and the dc are perfectly happy. There is no reason they shouldn't be, their Dad is as much of a parent to them as I am.

It made me feel sad to not be with them but that's my problem, not my dcs.

Easter really is the best time to do Florida, it would be mean of you to say no to it, or even to let your children know you are anything less than very excited for them.

Your posts sound a little bit like you need to make sure you get equal time above anything else, but you don't. You just need to make sure your children are happy and well cared for. You will always be their only Mum, as long as the time you do spend with them is good, it doesn't matter if their Dad has them for a bank holiday more than you or whatever.

BackforGood Wed 15-May-13 18:51:47

Excellent post by Clouds

PotteringAlong Wed 15-May-13 19:00:30

I agree with clouds - all this "he had them" "I want them" sounds a bit childish, and a little bit like you've forgotten they're real people and not possessions.

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