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to say my ex-h can't have the children for Christmas?

(133 Posts)
christmasfairness Thu 05-Jun-14 13:21:11

Have NC for this as giving details he and the OW would recognise.

Have been apart from DC father for 4 years now and in that time they have stayed with me for Christmas eve and Christmas day, usually going to ex-H for Boxing day for a day or 2. They are currently 8 and 6.

Ex-H has them one weekend a month, Fri eve to Sun eve. He also has them for 2 hours each week for tea one night. That's it. He has never had them for any of their school holidays, he has never dropped them to or collected them from school. He plays no part in their day to day lives, does none of the 'work' involved in parenting. This is all his choice, he never asks for additional time with them. The day or 2 he usually has them at Christmas has in the past been instead of his usual monthly weekend.

He has asked me if he can have them for Christmas Eve and Day this year. I haven't yet replied and am in two minds. Although we have zero goodwill or relationship, I do try not to antagonise the situation further. Due to the minimal time he sees the children we have very little contact which suits me perfectly.

What I really think is that he can get lost, I do all the work, all year round so I should get the most exciting day of the year with them. He does nothing so why should he? If we had a proper shared parenting relationship then fair enough, take it in turns but we don't.

I could ask them what they want to do, I am pretty sure they would say they want to stay at home but I don't want to put them in a position where they need to choose.

What says MN? AIBU in saying no?

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 05-Jun-14 13:24:46

As a Lone parent Christmas is the day I say it is in my house. We alternate Christmas each year, when it is not my year DD and I have our own Christmas Day on New Years Day. She loves it.
However, I grew up with family who were very much of the there is no guilt attached to Christmas if you can't be there you can't we make other times special.

KRISTYHELMS Thu 05-Jun-14 13:27:16

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

CeliaLytton Thu 05-Jun-14 13:28:24

I am going to gently say YABU. I know you want to spend the most exciting day of the year with them and you feel you deserve it, but they deserve one Christmas with their father. If they don't enjoy it or don't want to go again, it is one day wasted to give them the experience, then next time you can ask them and they can base their decision on their experiences of Christmas with you and him.

I know it is hard and it sounds like you do all the grunt work, but the children might enjoy it.


BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Thu 05-Jun-14 13:29:52

Um, absolutely YANBU!

And sod antagonising him. There's little goodwill, he does practically nothing - who cares what he thinks?

'Sorry, it's not fair on the children to not get to be in their own home on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. As you know, our curent setup is very much that they are visitors in your home and their day to day lives (and all the work that comes with that) is here. However I'm very willing to discuss this for next year if you would like to take steps to make sure they are with you for more of the day-to-day stuff throughout 2015. Certainly I think if they saw you taking care of school stuff, washing, trips out, playdates etc. then they would feel it more appropriate that something so 'home focused' like Christmas was hosted at yours. However that's a lot of work (which is why having them for Christmas Day definitely feels like a reward for the slog!) Let me know if you think you can adjust your timetables to take on the extra.'

MrsGeorgeMichael Thu 05-Jun-14 13:30:54

FFS Kristy - do one

[hoping to be told off by HQ - poster reported]

MrsGeorgeMichael Thu 05-Jun-14 13:31:41


Just wondering who will be the first to complain about a christmas post!

bragmatic Thu 05-Jun-14 13:33:14

What do you think your kids would want?

What would the children like and would your ex be likely to go to court over it?

CanaryYellow Thu 05-Jun-14 13:34:15


What a dipshit. Tell him to do one, in the politest way you can manage.

Bruno's response is perfect.

LadySybilLikesCake Thu 05-Jun-14 13:35:04

Has he only asked because he wants to impress the OW? If he hasn't bothered before now, it's likely he's only doing it to please/impress her, it's not for your children's benefit.

I'd tell him that he's welcome to come and see them at your house on Christmas Day.

Vintagecakeisstillnice Thu 05-Jun-14 13:41:04

What Bruno said x100

BolshierAyraStark Thu 05-Jun-14 13:41:55

You should absolutely send the reply Bruno suggests.

fedupbutfine Thu 05-Jun-14 13:44:32

YABU. It's really hard parenting in these circumstances but I do think that in the future, what the children will be grateful for is generosity of spirit, kindness, tounge-biting and general bend over backwards to accommodate everyone attitude. Your children don't love their father any less because he's not around every day. What they will remember, above everything else, is that they didn't get to spend special times with their father and that there was animosity and general unpleasantness (and they know, no matter how well you think you think you hide it). You have to be pragmatic about the 'special days' and remember that the children have a right to spend time with both their parents at these times, not just wiyh the one who is holding the fort. It's unfair, I agree, but let it go sometimes for the sake of the children.

You can have Christmas any day you want it. It can be equally as special - if not more so because you'll have to hype it up - whatever the day. You've had the last few years without your ex butting in or causing problems. It really is, in my opinion, time to step aside and let this happen for the children.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 05-Jun-14 13:47:01

Yanbu! What Bruno said.

wannaBe Thu 05-Jun-14 13:51:17

yabu although I can see why you feel that way. but it's not about you spending x day with them - it's about what is good for the dc and they have a right to the same relationship with both of you regardless of how it really is. They will grow up to make their own choices and decisions in time, but in the meantime a bit of goodwill and thought goes a long way. Just have Christmas another day. :-)

And gently -- she's not the ow - even if the split was because of her. If they've been in a relationship for four years she is now legitimately his partner...

LadySybilLikesCake Thu 05-Jun-14 13:53:17

I also agree with Bruno.

It looks like he wants to play happy families with his OW for the day, it isn't about the children at all. Being a parent is about being there and supporting children. Even an absent parent can do this. If they can't be bothered then why should the OP hand her DC over for Christmas?

TurtleyAmazing Thu 05-Jun-14 13:53:21

I wouldn't send brunos response i agree with the overall idea of what she is saying however,
Certainly I think if they saw you taking care of school stuff, washing, trips out, playdates etc. then they would feel it more appropriate that something so 'home focused' like Christmas was hosted at yours

thats how you feel not how they feel (or perhaps it is you havent asked them) it is how you feel. other than that i agree with what bruno says.

how old are the children? could you not ask them wether they want christmas at dads this year?

TurtleyAmazing Thu 05-Jun-14 13:55:26

oops you did state their ages. i would definitley ask them. who knows they might actually want to spend xmas with dad or they might not, you wont know until you ask.

Hissy Thu 05-Jun-14 13:55:27

YABU. It's really hard parenting in these circumstances but I do think that in the future, what the children will be grateful for is generosity of spirit, kindness, tongue-biting and general bend over backwards to accommodate everyone attitude.

I think that what he children will be grateful for is a dad who IS a dad. One that DOES the work needed to be a parent. does the play dates, the birthday party drop off, the after school/weekend classes.the whole shebang when it's his weekend.

for the sake of the children, the BEST way forward is to say NO this time, but to tell him that if he steps up and takes a full role in being their dad, not just one of the disney variety, THEN work towards sharing out the best bits. in other words, what Bruno said.

This man has fucked the whole family over royally, he doesn't get rewarded for that, and as a parental role model, it's best if THEY see that this kind of behaviour is shit otherwise they will grow up to emulate it.

make him work for it! perhaps he'll appreciate it a bit more.

fluffyraggies Thu 05-Jun-14 13:55:27

What they will remember, above everything else, is that they didn't get to spend special times with their father

I beg to differ with the above actually.

2 of my DDs are now late teens and one is 21. For the last 7 years we have been in an almost identical set up as OP. Minus the weekly visit. Just a 24 hour stay at their fathers every 5 weeks or so.

I've held my tongue about my feelings towards their father and been as accommodating with his parenting whims as it's possible to be. For the whole 7 years. Now the girls are old enough to articulate their feelings (unprompted by me) what they remember, above everything else, is that their father couldn't be arsed 99% of the time, and that they hated being away from home at xmas but didn't want to hurt his feelings by asking not to go.

LadySybilLikesCake Thu 05-Jun-14 13:55:42

The OP has said that they spend a day or so with him on Boxing Day, so it's not as if he doesn't see them at all.

caruthers Thu 05-Jun-14 13:55:56

Ask them...

If they want to then I would say it's what they wanted that counts.

momb Thu 05-Jun-14 13:56:34

YANBU to feel like this and contemplate this.
YWBU to go through with it. He has the right to ask: what do the kids think? Two Christmases sounds pretty good to me!
We have alternate Christmas/NY with DP's DCs and wherever they are for Christmas they always get another one at the other house.

fedupbutfine Thu 05-Jun-14 14:02:59

ffs. Children are not possessions, we don't own them because they happen to live with us most of the time. They need their other parent and if the other parent is only able to stand up and be a parent once a year, then let it happen. The children make their own minds up in the end but if they are denied the decent relationship with their other parent as a result of 'it's not fair', then it will come back to haunt you.

And no hissy, a man hasn't 'fucked over his family royally' by walking out on the mother. He has ended his marriage/relationship, not his relationship with his children. Inevitably, relationships change as a result of the way a marriage is ended, but an affair doesn't mean that he no longer loves his children or wants to be with them or spend time with them. From the other side of this, why on earth should he have to ask to see more of his children?!

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