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to think DH should work DC first Christmas

(111 Posts)
Dancedog Mon 15-Aug-16 16:01:22

Sorry for the ridiculously early Christmas thread.

DHs job isn't one which could close for Christmas. So only a certain amount of people can book the day off. The rest of the staff are either scheduled to work Christmas or they aren't depending on their shift pattern. However as everyone in the department is quite close those who aren't parents swap with those who are so that parents get Christmas off.

DH has worked Christmas for years now. We have a routine where we celebrate Christmas with his family on boxing day which works well.

However I am due to have our first DC at the end of September so it will be DCs first Christmas. But DC will only be a few months old and will have no idea.

DH's department got their work shift plan for the next year and DH wouldn't have to work Christmas however we discussed it and checked with his family and decided that he should work it as the baby won't know any better and we aren't planning on buying the baby (or ourselves) any big presents to open as we are already spending loads getting ready for the baby.

So DH went to work today to sort it and swap shifts with a parent.

My friends were here this morning when DH text me to tell me that he has swapped to work Christmas. Friend A who has a couple of DCs was horrified that DH was missing the first Christmas and was convinced that DC would notice and be upset. When I was unconvinced she said that the DC will be upset when they are older as we won't have real first Christmas pictures as most of them will be taken on boxing day.

Friend B has just had her first and kept telling me that I will really regret this when I actually have the baby. She and friend C kept telling me that I will regret this once DC is here and I will never get to experience the first family Christmas again. They all agreed that they could never do it.

I'm worried now. Have I totally messed this up? I figured it just made sense to give a parent with DCs who actually know that it's Christmas a chance to celebrate it. I'm worried that it will be a massive regret once DC is here.

So are we being unreasonable to arrange for DH to work Christmas and will I regret it.

Vickyyyy Mon 15-Aug-16 16:03:17

Christmas with a little baby is very very much like a regular day. They know no better and if they are anything like mine they sleep the whole day anyway. Much better to have a few..'favours' in hand for when the child is older and will understand it more.

CMOTDibbler Mon 15-Aug-16 16:03:56

YANBU - how would they know that a photo of people with presents etc was on boxing day or christmas day!

You sound lovely to be thinking of those with older children

hhh333 Mon 15-Aug-16 16:04:41

I think that's a really lovely, selfless thing to do. If you are happy then it doesn't matter what your friends think.

Fwiw we've never had the first Christmas together with our kids because they were both in hospital for it. It hasn't scarred them or us.

DearMrDilkington Mon 15-Aug-16 16:05:14

I think you did a lovely thing, my dp is a chef and has to work Xmas every year but I'd be so grateful if someone swapped with him as your dh has.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 15-Aug-16 16:05:57

However as everyone in the department is quite close those who aren't parents swap with those who are so that parents get Christmas off.

Sorry you lost me at that point. As if no-one who isn't a parent might reasonably expect Christmas day off.

I am a parent , I don't work in a job which has to work on Christmas day but if I did I'd do my fair share along with everyone else. As a teenager I had a job which involved Christmas day working, just had to get on with it.

ALemonyPea Mon 15-Aug-16 16:06:19

I think it's a very kind thing your DH has done. Ignore other people's comments about your DC remembering, they won't remember Christmas for the first few years.

DearMrDilkington Mon 15-Aug-16 16:06:26

Oh and Christmas is only really fun once they get to 2 or 3, next year your baby will just love all the boxes the toys came in lol.

ImYourMama Mon 15-Aug-16 16:06:34

They are so ridiculous it's unreal, it's fantastic you're banking favours for when it matters - IE when your little one knows a bit more of what's going on. Next year I'm sure people will accommodate him being off as they're grateful for him working this year. Karma is a great thing and your friends are muppets smile

TheNaze73 Mon 15-Aug-16 16:09:06

I think you've done the right thing

MaureenMLove Mon 15-Aug-16 16:10:06

I think DH worked at some point over Xmas Eve night or Xmas day for the first 3 years of DDs life! It mattered not one bit to her! She never knew any different.

She's 21 now and I don't believe she even remembers whether daddy was there or not and she's certainly not scared for life.

I think it was a very kind thing to do. Just hope they'll remember your kindest, when the rota comes out next year.

StarlingMurmuration Mon 15-Aug-16 16:10:11

You won't regret it at all. DS was born in November and to be honest, I think of his second Christmas as his first, because his first was just like any other day but with the added stress of trying to cook a full Christmas dinner while a pink grub screamed in my ear (in sling; colicky baby).

Planty18 Mon 15-Aug-16 16:10:27

Your friends are wrong to make you feel bad about this imo, yanbu, your dh has done a lovely thing to swap with someone whose children will remember their parent's presence and I am sure will be grateful next year to be able to spend Christmas with your child knowing he allowed others to. You can do your Boxing Day Christmas and have photos then. The story of how kind your dh was doing this for someone is certainly a very heart warming lesson for a child about Christmas spirit and I am sure no child of 3 months would miss a parent for the day on any given single day.

Dancedog Mon 15-Aug-16 16:10:52

LassWiTheDelicateAir they don't have to swap Christmas if they don't want to and not everyone does but lots of people do so that parents can be with their Christmas day to do Santa etc.

TheInternetIsForPorn Mon 15-Aug-16 16:12:40

You and your DH sound like sane, normal people who've done a nice and generous thing. Your friends are being very OTT.

MajesticSeaFlapFlap Mon 15-Aug-16 16:13:35

Christmas isn't fun till they are 3-4.
My dad worked pretty much every Christmas and it was still magical and lovely

Lilaclily Mon 15-Aug-16 16:13:50

So will this be your dh's last Xmas working for a good few years ?

I agree with you & dh

your friends are being ridiculous and very judgemental assuming they know best just because you haven't had the baby yet !

MrsJayy Mon 15-Aug-16 16:14:15

People who get all offended when they hear people work christmas and have children it just silly for your Dh to have this year off while the baby will be to busy being a baby no know it is Christmas leave it till next year when baby might actualy notice it is Christmas,

Tagetes Mon 15-Aug-16 16:14:29

I wouldn't bank on anyone remembering the 'favour' in future years. There'll be an AIBU on here in 2018 about selfish coworkers not playing fair...

TheGoblinQueen2711 Mon 15-Aug-16 16:14:44

I don't think you are being unreasonable, in fact I think you are being lovely in thinking of those with older children.
Your baby will be 3 months. Mine oldest were 4 months at their first Christmas, and my youngest was 9 months at hers, so I can say with some confidence they will not notice! Even at 9 months my DD had no idea what was what, she opened no presents for herself.

To me the main part of Christmas are the days you spend with family, it doesn't matter if it's the 25th or not!

davos Mon 15-Aug-16 16:14:50

I think what you are doing is great. Your baby won't notice or remember.

However, I agree there is a chance you will regret it nearer the time. But there is a chance you won't either.

You can't possibly know, you made a decision based on how you feel now. Which is all you can do.

weegiemum Mon 15-Aug-16 16:15:11

Kids don't really know when Christmas is and especially when they're only months old.

DH did a Christmas on call (he's a rural GP) when our kids were 11 months and almost 3. It was a ghastly shift with a patient near death and him having to tell everyone the news - he always tries to do this himself - then the same patient passing away later in the day. But the dc were oblivious, played with their toys, ate food when i gave it to them, played some more, i put them to bed.

Dh and I had a more relaxed Christmas dinner together later, early evening. We toasted the bereaved family (with Schloer) and had some time in front of the fire.

We've had several Christmases with him on call since then, but much more difficult as the dcs get older. They were more miffed 2 years ago when he was called out just when MarioKart was getting going on the WiiU - they were 12,13,15 at that point (and of course, knowing the job, they were ok with it).

I think go for it this year - next year and especially the year after will be much more magical!

Nanasueathome Mon 15-Aug-16 16:15:30

My 2 older grandsons live down south and I am in the Midlands
They are 4 and 6 now, will be 5 and 6 come Christmas
We have celebrated Christmas with them on any date between 26 and 31 December in previous years and they have not even realised
Just greet them with 'Merry Christmas' when they arrive here and open presents the following morning
Always have a 'Christmas' dinner as well
We take photos and have decorations, Christmas crackers and all the usual trimmings
We sing carols and play Christmas games as usual
I am sure that a small baby will have no idea and will just be pleased with anything

RuskBaby Mon 15-Aug-16 16:16:18

That's a lovely thing to do. Better to save them up for when they will be of more use to you too. At the end of the day it is just another day, you could always move Christmas Day - we've done it before!

Penfold007 Mon 15-Aug-16 16:16:31

My H works shifts and has all our time we've been together. We've just accepted it for what it is and once the DC were on the scene made our own traditions around his shifts. Probably helped that I worked similar shifts before DC.

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