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Custody of 3 year old son at Xmas?

(331 Posts)
Smeags84 Thu 21-Dec-17 11:45:30

Hi. I'm a dad to a 3 year old son. I split up with his mum in February this year so this will be our first Xmas separated.

Since we split, we arranged joint custody of our son by ourselves. Its worked out fine. After the initial couple of months which were tough, we're now friends with each other too.

Sorting out Christmasses took longer. We talked about it in October/November, and finally came to an agreement in mid-November. It hasn't been spoken about since we agreed.

My family live in the Wirral, and hers in Manchester. Before we split, we alternated Christmasses. (one year with my family, one year with her family, etc.). Last year was with her family.

Heres where we disagree: Back when we spoke about it, I wanted to alternate Xmas's with our son. And whoever doesnt have him Xmas day gets to spend boxing day and Christmas eve morning with him. And he effectively gets two Christmasses (xmas day and boxing day).
She wants him to spend half the day with each of us. The problem I saw with her way was the distance between us. Its a 60-90min drive. I think thats disruptive to him... I dont think he'd want to spend that time on Xmas day in a car. I also think it would be too busy for him. Last year, he was knackered, with having so many people there, and it being a really busy day. Her way, we'd be doubling the number of people, with him seeing two families, all fussing over him.

We eventually agreed to do my idea, in part because we were able to split his birthday which is only a month before Xmas. It was also agreed I could have him this year because of the fact that last year, we spent it with her family. This was all sorted out mid-November.

Last night, December 20th, she called me, upset, that she wont see him at all on Xmas day and brought up the arguments again.... and we just repeated the stuff we said over and over again, months ago, with her saying she wants to split the day. I'll be speaking to her again tonight.
I'm frustrated because I thought we had agreed, and we've made arrangements now too. Plus, I think this is best for DS. I think her way is just more messing about for him, on an already busy day.

AIBU to just say to her "Look, we've already agreed whats happening on Xmas, and its too late to be trying to change plans" (worded in a nicer way of course).

Appreciate your advice as I'm wondering if I'm being a d**k? I appreciate that its not nice, not seeing your child on Xmas day, but its going to be the same for me next year.

(We did consider other options, such as spending the day together, but this wouldn't work, as we both want to see our families. For me, its pretty much the only time of year I get to see my entire family all together).

Thanks for reading.

LemonPrism Sat 28-Sep-19 06:59:56

I'd say do what my parents did. Xmas

BlackPrism Thu 21-Mar-19 19:59:03

Yes @Sparklesocks sorry. I don't know why this came up as I wasn't even on Mumsnet back then!

BlackPrism Thu 21-Mar-19 19:24:11


Sparklesocks Thu 21-Mar-19 19:18:31

BlackPrism it was Christmas nearly two years ago so I’m sure it’s sorted...

BlackPrism Thu 21-Mar-19 19:15:25

My sister and I have Xmas with mum every day and Boxing Day is always with dad. It's just a date, if not religious you can move it.

Heartofglass12345 Thu 28-Dec-17 13:50:23

I hope you managed to sort something out and had a lovely christmas smile

Robyrollover Fri 22-Dec-17 22:26:32

I am a mother, and every other year I do not see my children on Christmas Eve, or on Christmas Day. I love Christmas, really love it, and the first year I sobbed and sobbed all day and it was shit..... for me, but not for the DC, they had a lovely day.

We did it the other way (splitting the day) and it was dreadful for the children, and not that great for us parents either.

OP - stick to your guns. I'm sure your ex will thank you next year when she has the whole day with him rather than clock watching and trying to cram everything into half a day.

melj1213 Fri 22-Dec-17 22:19:41

Sullaby is clearly just being a GF - I even quoted the domestic violence report the OP made in their 3rd update last time they asked about DV and it was completely ignored by her, because it is not what she wants to hear.

I have a DD, I am not going to see her on Christmas day because she will be spending it with her dad and his family. Neither of us are traumatised by this.

TabbyTigger Fri 22-Dec-17 21:45:11

Just thought I’d expand on my earlier statement - ex-H left when I was pregnant with DD and together have a DD12 and DS18. When they were very little we alternated - one year they’d have “Mum’s Christmas” on December 25th and “Dad’s Christmas” on December 27th, and the next it’d reverse. Both were, I can guarantee, equally exciting, because when a kid is little what is most exciting about Christmas is presents and Santa, and it just means all of that happens twice. My kids never complained or asked for ex-H and I to be together, and when the arrangement started DS was 6.

Until DS was about 13 and DD was 7 we had 50/50 custody - one week at mine, one week at his.

And Sullaby - my kids still got to show both parents their presents. They’d just have to go through the *absolute trauma* of waiting a WHOLE 24 hours. I’m sure it really damaged them, but luckily they got over it and are both happy and well adjusted, and still love Christmas.

BitchQueen90 Fri 22-Dec-17 21:04:52

Sullaby, get a grip. Yes, it's Christmas, but it's just a day. One day out of 365 a year. I did not find it "painful" or "lonely" without my DS. I went to a relative's house for Christmas, had a lovely chat with DS on the phone and then decided that since I didn't have my child I didn't have to watch my alcohol intake and got suitably merry.

All this wailing and moaning does my head in. Like I previously stated, this is the kind of thing you have to do when you're separated. I get along fine with my exh but I certainly don't want to be spending Christmas day with him, or any other day to be honest. Splitting the day would be a pain in the arse as neither of us drive. It works fine. And even though I am the RP and have DS 80% of the time, I'm not going to moan and sulk about one day of the year.

JustBeingJobless Fri 22-Dec-17 20:32:27

Ds’s Dad and I have been separated for 9 years and we’ve always done it that he wakes up here with me, opens pressies, either I cook dinner and family come round, or we go to family, then, after dinner (late afternoon), his dad collects him and he goes there to sleep and has another Christmas Day on Boxing Day. It works well as ds gets his Christmas dinner (ex doesn’t cook) and gets two lots of presents spread over two days.

honeyroar Fri 22-Dec-17 20:27:25

Exactly Miss Terri. Seeing parents at Xmas is only stressful for the children if the parents make it feel like it's bad not to see both parents and only the 25th count. Having two meals/present openings and celebrations on the 25th and 26th is a perfectly fun and acceptable Xmas. (Makes them more adaptable in the future when they meet future partners and have to "merge" into other families and traditions)..

natwebb79 Fri 22-Dec-17 20:26:02

Sulla - there was domestic violence. OP's ex was violent and he left her after she punched him in the head while he was holding their child. Please, for the love of goodness, rtft!

Sullabylullaby Fri 22-Dec-17 20:25:32

Ok. Maybe children don't miss their parents. Fair enough. Point taken. No reason to bite my head off.

myrtleWilson Fri 22-Dec-17 20:24:39

no - no trains running between Manchester and warrington... no buses....

Sullabylullaby Fri 22-Dec-17 20:23:47

Is there no public transport on Christmas day?

honeyroar Fri 22-Dec-17 20:23:25

I typed a long reply to Sully and then deleted it, because she's not taking anything in that isn't "the mother counts more". Not worth interacting with!

MissTeri Fri 22-Dec-17 20:22:53

All of us who have our little ones on Christmas morning and Christmas eve can not or do not need to even imagine how painful and lonely that might be. ... it wasn't painful or lonely not having my son for a week over Christmas last year. I knew he was having a wonderful time and that's all that mattered to me. He didn't care that he wasn't with me, he was too excited with the Christmas festivities and having fun with his nanna. You make it sound like it's traumatic, it's not, in fact it's quite normal for a LOT of families over Christmas time and granted it's harder (emotionally) for some than others but I hope no one would be as dramatic as you are about it in front of their children.

myrtleWilson Fri 22-Dec-17 20:13:20

For the love of god sullaby - how are they going to manage a 90 minute commute when neither of them drive?

JacquesHammer Fri 22-Dec-17 20:13:14

But there was no domestic violence


* Is 90 minutes of a commute that traumatic?*

Neither drive. There's no public transport on Christmas Day.

All these points have been covered repeatedly....

Sullabylullaby Fri 22-Dec-17 20:09:11

But there was no domestic violence? It's apparently an amicable separation with 50/50 custody. All of us who have our little ones on Christmas morning and Christmas eve can not or do not need to even imagine how painful and lonely that might be. I know it would be pretty unbearable for me. If I knew ds was 100% happy and not missing me at all, I'd be quite happy, but at three? Don't all your little ones want to show Mammy AND Daddy what Santa brought? As parents we have to suck it up sometimes, but three year olds shouldn't have to miss their Mammy on what is for them, the most important day of the year. I just think having Mum over for present opening this year would be the kindest all round. Same for next year. Dad can come for present opening. Is 90 minutes of a commute that traumatic? A lot of people commute that daily to work.

MissTeri Fri 22-Dec-17 19:53:19

It is utterly pointless pointing out the loss to the child and the mother as the OP doesn't give a shit. - the loss?? fuck you sound like a right drama llama!

Chocolaterainbows Fri 22-Dec-17 19:11:15

I think sully is projecting her own problems onto the a pp said, her willingness to be so dismissive about the dv because this is a man and not a woman is truly shocking. I think she needs to worry less about this situation and focus on her own.

FluffyWhiteTowels Fri 22-Dec-17 19:01:05

Sully your comments shock me. So aggressive and so dismissive of DV towards men.

No wonder men are so fearful about stating it with people like you

OP. The question is she BU to change at the last minute. YES. And as neither of you drive how could you accommodate a split day unless your dad has to do a 3 hour journey?

honeyroar Fri 22-Dec-17 18:57:04

Sullaby you only seem to be able to see things from the mother's point of view.

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