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Sharing Christmas - as a single parent

(13 Posts)
meowimacat Fri 03-Nov-17 09:45:51

So this year I ended an 8 year relationship with someone who was EA to me. I tried to stay for years, and was so worn down by him. The final moment was when he put me down in front of DC and I decided to leave. I'm so much happier now I'm on my own (it's been about 8 months), and I feel so much stronger.

He has a very lovely close knit family and lives with them at the moment. I live on my own in the family home (rented) with DC, and I do 95% childcare. He see's them when he can (maybe one evening a week comes here/ once every 2 weeks has them for a night.) When one is sick he will NEVER take a day off, it's all on me - when they've been in hospital this is also the case. Every school pick up/drop off...everything I do myself as I can't rely on him.

However, the guilt of hurting him and breaking up the family means I decided to offer him Christmas eve and Christmas day to spend with DC. As he doesn't see them as much as me, I felt it was the right thing to do as I know he's hurting that I left.

BUT, instead of accepting my offer he has now asked for them from the 22nd until Christmas day evening, and expects me to accept that, because he has the days off work and says next year his rota will probably be bad and he won't be able to see them as much. Just to note: I work for myself and am working all the time but took Christmas day and Boxing day off, that's it.

Surely I should be allowed to at least see my children on Christmas Eve morning. I'm already devastated that I won't be having them Christmas day, and I know that with his large family spoiling them, when they come back to me and we try and do our own little Christmas day on Boxing day, I just feel like they'll not be bothered/too tired and spoilt from the day before that they won't care. sad

My sister has told me I was silly to give them up on Christmas - I don't have a close family really, so I could either go and visit my parents for the day (if they're even home, could be on holiday), or I plan to volunteer at a local homeless shelter, but it does mean coming back to an empty house alone.

Just wanted to see AIBU to want them Christmas eve morning at least? My sister says I should just cancel the offer and have them the whole of Christmas, but I feel now I've offered it I can't take it back. Is he being unreasonable to expect to take them for so long? I know he'll turn it on me when I respond saying no, so wanted to check what you guys think.

mickeysminnie Fri 03-Nov-17 09:50:22

So you do all the hard graft and he takes the nice times?
Tell him he can have them the 22nd until Christmas eve and then you will have them.

Fianceechickie Fri 03-Nov-17 09:53:13

You’ve been more than reasonable. I wouldn’t have allowed Christmas Eve/Day. Make sure it’s your turn next year. There’s no way he can expect that you do all the hard graft bit of parenting and then he gets the best bit and no judge/solicitor would agree with him. Stand firm, tell him no and there will be nothing he can do to force you.

Cantspell2 Fri 03-Nov-17 09:53:45

Not a single parent but I was a child of divorced parents.
Don't cancel as that would be mean and spiteful. For happy children you need to compromise. Could you not agree to him having them from the 22nd but you get them back for the morning of Christmas Eve to spend a few hours with them and then they go back to their dads in the afternoon or evening?

TheWorstBitch Fri 03-Nov-17 09:53:46

Don't be bullied into agreeing to this. You have been more than fair. He was EA in your relationship and is continuing to be now.

Don't feel sorry for him because you left. His behaviour made you leave.

You need to approach this from the children's perspective. This is what the courts do. It's not about what the parents want. The children have a right to celebrate Christmas with you as well and that means having some time with you in the days before Christmas. You also need to point out to him now that next year you will have the children on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day if he is having them this year.

He can't just see the children when it suits him. This is not good for them. They need scheduled contact. Is he paying you maintenance?

WineAndTiramisu Fri 03-Nov-17 10:05:28

Could he have them from 22nd to Christmas lunchtime/afternoon, then you pick them up and they're at yours for the afternoon/evening and boxing Day?

Handsfull13 Fri 03-Nov-17 10:26:06

It was nice of you to offer. We have my step son this year for our first family xmas since having our kids and I know it's a pain to sort out dates. We have the added pain of step sons bday being in December aswell.

If you feel up to it I would say yes to the dates but ask if you can pick the kids up xmas eve morning to just take them for brunch and drop them back so you can have alittle time with them before your first xmas alone. Then state you'll do that next year for him if his work will make it difficult to see them.

As I don't know his temperament it's hard to say what he will agree to but if he gets pissy about it tell him you need to sort out what dates you alternate each year so is planned for the years to come. And don't forget New Year's Eve is another date to remember. It might not be a big deal now but as you move on you will want that in place so you get a social life aswell.

Creampastry Fri 03-Nov-17 10:58:42

Don't feel guilty! Say no to his demands. You should be with your kids at Christmas. Sod him, he is the selfish twunt. Good on you for being wrong and making this move. BUT, do NOT feel guilty.

Nikephorus Fri 03-Nov-17 11:38:19

Why not him having them 22nd to Christmas mid-morning (i.e. enough time to open a few presents & have breakfast), then you pick them up to bring them back for more presents & Christmas lunch (and Boxing Day)? He can't have everything just because it suits him. This way he gets the run up & the chance to see them Christmas morning & you get the main part of Christmas Day. Evens.

Nikephorus Fri 03-Nov-17 11:38:43

And if he doesn't agree then he can see them on the 27th.

Peeetle Fri 03-Nov-17 11:41:56

Of course you should see your kids at Xmas. Think the 22-24th for him and you collect for Xmas Eve evening and Xmas Day. They will want to be with you too

RatherBeRiding Fri 03-Nov-17 11:45:23

Hmm. So he's still being EA then isn't he? Deciding what he wants, when he wants it. And sod your (very generous) offer!

Don't be bullied into this. Or guilted into it. You left the relationship for a very good reason - remember this and don't "feel sorry" for him. He is reaping what he sowed.

Does he pay any maintenance towards the DC?

If you feel happy with your original offer, stick with it. It's more than generous. He can't just decide when he's going to see them, and expect you all to fall into line. Tell him to take it or leave it.

meowimacat Sat 04-Nov-17 10:31:18

Thanks guys. I'm going to suggest either 22nd- christmas day lunch time or he has them as I said already. Or nothing at all! Like you say I've been overly generous, especially as I'm basically spending Christmas alone and he'll be surrounded by his family either way.

He does pay maintenance but as we owed some joint money on a credit card he's stopped paying me and say the payments are going to paying that off and in the New Year he'll start paying me again once I've paid my half off. I can't afford to do it any other way so I've had to agree.

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