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About my birthday?

(24 Posts)
ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Tue 18-Oct-16 14:36:00

Since I split from my second husband a couple of years ago I have tried really hard to make new traditions for birthdays, Christmas etc. I do find high days and holidays quite difficult because they are the times that it really hits me that it really is just me and the two boys. I don't have siblings, aunties, uncles, cousins, whatever, and I'm not close (geographically or emotionally) to my parents. I do have friends, but I guess spending most of my adult life in unhealthy and isolating relationships means I haven't really laid down those friendship roots of real closeness that other women seem to have. Anyway my birthday falls on a Saturday this year, so I thought the three of us could celebrate with a day out or even a weekend away. Then exh the first gets in touch wanting ds1 for the whole weekend (Friday-Sunday) for a family event several hundred miles away. Apparently ds wants to go (if you asked ds "do you want to go to event a" he would say yes, but equally "do you want to go to event b" would get a yes as well iyswim). I'm not saying my ex is bu to want ds at his family thing, but aibu to want to spend my birthday with my kids? If it's relevant then that weekend isn't part of our contact arrangement at all, it's time that ds would be due to be with me.

YouTheCat Tue 18-Oct-16 14:57:33

Tell the ex no then.

It's your birthday. It happens to fall on your weekend.

Would he be accommodating if the situation was reversed?

Gottagetmoving Tue 18-Oct-16 15:03:51

If you really want a special day with your children it is ok to say no however,
why has your DS even been asked if he wants to go before you have decided he can? He should only be asked once your ex has cleared it with you.
Now if you say no, your DS may be upset.
If your ds really wants to go then you probably have to say ok now.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Tue 18-Oct-16 15:38:04

Ex would definitely not be accommodating if situation was reversed!!
I can kind of see why ds has been asked, as he is a teen and is old enough to have a say as to where he spends his time. Trouble is the event was probably sold to him before the date was revealed so now ds is right in the middle. Knowing ds he will be upset to be leaving me on my own on my birthday but also if he lets his df down by not going. It just feels really horrible as ds is the one who it also tends to fall on to arrange a card etc from him and his brother as no one else bothers, and I tend to give him money to buy something from the two of them.
I wish I could just shrug it off and say 'who cares', but both the kids are away this week (school holidays here, so scheduled contact) so I get this bomb thrown at me when I'm feeling down and lonely anyway, and now I just want to cry.
I'll probably end up giving in and then feeling even more rubbish about myself than I already do.

YouTheCat Tue 18-Oct-16 15:40:11

Does he know there's an either or choice here?

What kind of family event is it?

Sparklesilverglitter Tue 18-Oct-16 15:42:13

Does your child normally see his dad at weekends?

BitterAndTwistedQuestionMark Tue 18-Oct-16 15:45:30

Where do you live?
I am all alone with my boys as well! Lady 18 months and I find it really difficult to adjust! We should start new birthday/ Christmas traditions!!

Ghostsandpumpkins Tue 18-Oct-16 15:46:50

depending on what the family event (I.e big family wedding/ grandparent milestone birthday or such like) I'd let my ds go and have a good time, as da could still sort a present for the other children to give and I'd do a nice meal and cake another night no problem

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Tue 18-Oct-16 16:02:01

He usually sees his dad in the school holidays due to the distance involved. All the dates are in a court order. Since ds has been older and able to travel independently the ex has started to ask for additional weekends as well. I try to be reasonable about this as I do think ds benefits from a close relationship with his extended family (especially as I can't provide that for him). The event is a christening. I do think it would be nice for ds to be there, but I also think the new traditions I have worked so hard to build have value too.
Bitter I'm up in Scotland.. It is hard isn't it?? I think the worst ones were the first two Christmas's, one in a women's refuge, where nobody was allowed to know where we were, and then last year which was my first one ever with neither child (I ended up accepting a pity invitation to join someone else's family for the day).
I know I could do something another night, but that just becomes another night where I cook a meal and maybe make a cake, so just another night you know?
Like I say I probably will let him go, but it will be another dent to my already fairly battered self esteem. But if his df is going to make him choose then I suppose I have to be the grown up one and pretend it doesn't matter so that ds doesn't end up feeling guilty.

Planty18 Tue 18-Oct-16 16:20:01

Is there any way you could travel to the area the event is in for a birthday weekend away with your dc, they go off for the event and then meet up with you afterwards for the evening etc and the next day. During the time they are at the event you could have some shopping time or something just for you. It's so hard putting yourself first when exh has already mentioned it to your child, I'm sorry you are feeling so down.

YouTheCat Tue 18-Oct-16 16:20:29

I'd ask your ds, does he really want to go to a Christening. They are usually dull as hell.

KC225 Tue 18-Oct-16 16:20:40

If you had planned a day out with your son for your birthday then stick to it. Your birthday is YOUR family event. There will be other family events for you DS to go. I don't think a christening is that big a of deal and he didn't know about it before now. There is no need for you to feel sad or guilty. You have been accommodating in letting him have unscheduled visits. This time, you have plans it is not convenient.

And stop buying your ex birthday presents. If your son is old enough to travel independently he is old enough to make/buy a card. You think you ex doesn't know you buy it and scores a mental point.

Have a happy birthday OP

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Tue 18-Oct-16 16:56:19

Thanks KC. x

Whocansay Tue 18-Oct-16 17:21:08

If he's trying to be shitty, you should pretend to be really happy about it and say how fabulous it is you can go out with your mates.

If you did that, what are the chances this party would get cancelled / rearranged?

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Tue 18-Oct-16 17:28:28

That might work with ex the second whocansay, but in this case I think it is just an unfortunate clash (although the parents of the baby have got past form for arranging events that they want ds at before checking whether it's convenient and then expecting me to sort it). The ex will be rubbing his hands together about the opportunity to mess me about and make ds choose him over me though, it also just happens to be his birthday around the same time so I'm betting they will also celebrate that over the weekend too.

BitterAndTwistedQuestionMark Wed 19-Oct-16 06:51:18

I am in Leeds, you are a bit far from me smile.
I have never been separated from my children, it must be so hard to let them go.

For me it's just second year and luckily I haven't spent any celebrations alone yet.
But I was thinking if I do have to spent Christmas alone or even just me and kids I will take them somewhere like Women Refuge to actually help out.

It's funny how all the "extended family" and friends disappear once relationship breaks down. Even if the other person has been violent towards their partner. We get the punishment instead.

Fishface77 Wed 19-Oct-16 07:10:16

If they have form and if ex is a cunt you will be playing right into their hands.
Yes kids come first but YOU are important too! So is your birthday! Would you dump your kids on their birthdays if you got another offer?
And yes it's nice to have extended family but it is your ex's job to facilitate contact with his side not yours.
Make the decision yours so DC is not pulled in different directions. Say to ex no it's my weekend and we have plans.

Imbroglio Wed 19-Oct-16 07:29:28

I'll go against the grain here and say that part of making new traditions is finding stuff for you to do without the children so that they are not the centre of your life, otherwise it's going to be really tough for all of you when it's time for them to leave home or start choosing to spend time without you.

I have spent many Christmas's and birthdays without the kids - I made a virtue of it and did things I wanted to do. Then I had a few stories to tell when they came back. It's got easier over time. The first time I did a weekend away organised volunteering thing on my own I was shaking with anxiety but in the end it was fun.

You've said you feel quite isolated, so perhaps it is good for your son to get to know his wider family? I also have little family to speak of and it's hard for my kids to have noone.

I'm not underestimating how hard this is.

KellyBoo800 Wed 19-Oct-16 08:50:24

You mention your DC is a teenager and can travel on his own - how old is he? Only usually once they get to the teen years and can travel independently, formal contact arrangements tend to fade away a bit and it's more about the teen managing their time.

I know you don't want to put this decision onto your DS, but I would take a step back from the situation and let him know that he is old enough and trusted enough to make his own decisions about contact from now on and that in your home he will not be made to feel guilty about how much or how little he wants to see his dad. And that could start with your DS deciding what to do on your birthday weekend.

For what it's worth it think it's shitty what your ex is doing. I have a DSD who splits her time equally between our house and her mums - we always just assume that if she is with us for her mum or stepdads birthday that contact will change slightly, and vice versa, with no grudges. Her parents have a barely amicable relationship but this is the bare minimum!

But at the same time, if you are child-free on your birthday, embrace it!! Sleep in, get your nails done, go for coffee, to the cinema, treat yourself to a takeaway - make the most of it!

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Wed 19-Oct-16 09:00:44

DS is 14. DS2 (different dad, different set of contact arrangements) is 10. I'm quite happy for contact to be less formalised, but unfortunately the reality of that is exh gets all of his time (including scheduled telephone contact) plus uses this type of emotional blackmail to eat into my time as well. I agree that making new me time type traditions could be fun, except I'll still have the 10 year old, who is likely to be peed off with his brother for going away and ruining the plans we'd made for the three of us.. And sure they'll move on and do their own thing as they get older (I hope they do!) but that means this is probably the last weekend birthday I'll have before that happens, and after years of rubbish birthdays I wanted a nice one.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Wed 19-Oct-16 09:04:17

And yes I'm quite prepared to be told that makes me unreasonable, but I've had about two hours sleep off the back of the nasty messages exh sent me about it last night (apparently my ds would 'jump at the chance' to get away from me) so I'm feeling pretty unreasonable!

KellyBoo800 Wed 19-Oct-16 09:12:35

For what it's worth I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. If you want to spend your birthday with your children, you have every right to.

Planty18 Wed 19-Oct-16 09:28:59

I can't really imagine a 14 year old wanting to go to a christening that much. It's your weekend for contact, your birthday and therefore it's your decision. The nasty messages would not be helping him state his case if it were me and since you already had plans, just stick to them. Yanbu I don't think.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Wed 19-Oct-16 09:40:01

That's true planty, I think if he'd got in touch politely before selling the event to ds, acknowledged what a big ask it was, and perhaps suggested me getting the days back at some point to make up for it then I might be seeing the situation differently. Instead it feels like ha ha you're a sh1t mum, of course ds doesn't want to spend time with you, and I'm going to really enjoy rubbing it in!

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