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Cannot agree 1st Xmas arrangements with ExH

(19 Posts)
LillaW Fri 24-Oct-14 10:30:59

Looking for advice on what is the norm here - This Xmas will be the 1st since separation (and now divorce) and my ExH and I cannot agree the arrangements - we both feel that our own suggestions have the children's best interests at heart.

I have suggested that the children spend the evening of 24th until 1pm 25th with me (ExH will have them prior to that as it is his birthday on 23rd). ExH thinks the children should spend 24th & whole of 25th in one place (ie. either with him or me) on alternate years. We only live 2 miles from one another so the disruption to the children is minimal in that they will not be going on a long car journey. We already have a 50:50 childcare arrangement so they are used to spending time in both houses. Children are 10, 8 and 7.

Advice gratefully received as I really want to get this resolved.

Placeinthesun Fri 24-Oct-14 13:24:04

Gonna be my first xmas post split too. We have, in principle, agreed to alternat xmas between us each year but we're not quite there.

Having done the last 2 xmas's at my DM's I suggested STBXH take them to visit his family on other side of the country as his DSM has a life limiting illness and is in residential care but he thought it 'too soon'.

We have now agreed that he will have them pm of 24th and return them to me, after giving them lunch, at 2pm on 25th. I'd previously offered a 'modern family' lunch at mine, I'm not being invited to lunch at his he wants to do it just him and dc's (but has said I'm welcome for coffee in the am to see them open gifts and stockings). This is not ideal but does mean I get to see them xmas day and will have the morning free from stocking chaos and don't have the faff of preparing an xmas meal, not all bad. Just hoping they don't come to me grumpy and vile! I plan on doing a treat but easy tea of pizza, a movie, presents and will do them small stockings for boxing day morning.

Of course it turns out, after I agreed this, that this fits with the plans he has with his new DP who's own ex is having her kids from 1pm on xmas day. Grrrrrr. I figure I'll call the shots on xmas next year when things are more settled.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 24-Oct-14 13:36:46

At their ages I would be discussing it with the children. Starting with we know you would like to send time with Mummy and Daddy.

WhoeverYouWantMeToBe Fri 24-Oct-14 13:50:22

My situation is almost identical to yours. Me and my exH have man ages to work it out. Last year DS (9) spent Xmas Eve til 8pm with me. Then went to his dads. Was with his dad and his grandparents til Boxing Day morning, when exH dropped him off. I then spent Boxing Day with him and my family again.
This year we will do the same but in reverse, so he'll have all of Xmas day with me.
Makes it much fairer IMO, especially if the dc have two sets of grandparents that want to see the dc on at least either of the xmassy days.

WhoeverYouWantMeToBe Fri 24-Oct-14 13:51:06

Managed not man ages! Damn autocorrect! grin

LillaW Fri 24-Oct-14 15:58:48

Thanks for advice everyone - I am just wondering if I am being selfish if I keep insisting that we can quite easily split Xmas day itself. I would even be happy to split it so that the majority of the day was spent with one parent and just the evening with the other on alternate years. I had hoped to discuss it with the children but the ExH doesnt agree with that and thinks that we need to decide and not involve them in the decision process - I think they are quite capable of telling us what they want, but there you go.

heidiwine Fri 24-Oct-14 18:29:16

I really disagree about asking the children (who might just tell you what they think you want to hear).
As a child of divorced parents and a step parent I would say that having the whole of Christmas Day in one place is best. By lunchtime everyone's tired - and there's huge pressure.
It sucks being the parent who doesn't see their children on Christmas Day but it sucks more to be the child that's ferried in between so that they get to see both parents when the reality is that they probably (rightly or wrongly) have their lives neatly compartmentalised.
No idea what ur relationship with you ex is like but how about doing present opening together on Christmas morning... You're only a couple of miles away after all

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 24-Oct-14 18:36:56

We had my OH's daughter on the afternoon of Xmas day, from 2ish, each year for the last 10. Seemed to work well as she got to wake up in her own bed. Although his way would work IF they maybe went to the other parent's in the early evening and you alternated. At least then you would both see them on Xmas day each year.

Minime85 Fri 24-Oct-14 21:54:46

Hi. I think your suggestion is much more what if want to do. We are in our 2nd Xmas apart this year. Last year it was only 6 weeks before Xmas and ex came to see them open presents at home and came out for lunch with my family. We all then went to his parents for an hour then ex went to work. He then had them on Boxing Day for the day.

i think its harsh on dcs and both of you to say they need both days with one or the other parents. If they have 50/50 too they must be reasonably used to having to move around. I certainly think your idea is better for all concerned.

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Fri 24-Oct-14 22:15:05

As Heidi suggested, my ex and I share Xmas day in the same place.

The DCs stayed here the first year, XH came round about 7am and stayed for lunch/afternoon. Dp came round with his DCs in the evening.

Last year DCs went to XH's house to sleep on 24th. I was at home in peace for Xmas eve, time to sort prezzies without having to wait until they were all asleep and I had some nice food and a good movie to keep me entertained.

They all opened stockings at his house then piled round here about 8am to open the big presents.

They got to spend the day with both of us and we were both on hand to help with building/batteries etc!

Not sure what the plan will be this year, but some variation on this theme.

We celebrate Xmas with DP and his DCs the weekend before 25th and he does the same, sharing the actual day with his ex and her family.

It's a bit shit knowing that he's playing happy families with the ex while I'm doing the same with mine, but I figure Christmas isn't about us, it's about making the DCs happy.

As there's no animosity between us it's possible that we'll talk the exes into sharing Xmas with all of us together one year, but it works pretty well as it is. I know this might not be possible where there are big issues with the ex, but where possible I think it's fairer than making the DCs leave all their new things behind to go to another house for half the day.

StopStalkingMe Sat 25-Oct-14 17:15:36

Watching with interest. It's our first split too. I've asked ex to email his proposal and we shall see what he comes up with. confused

Hoping I can have them all of xmas day. They are very young yet and the split is so recent, I think it would be best for them this year.

But apparently, he has plans with his GF, so of course the kids have to fit in around that. hmm

crazykat Sat 25-Oct-14 18:32:54

We do what you're suggesting with DSD. One year she stays here Christmas Eve and has Christmas dinner then DH takes her home. The following year she's at home Christmas Eve and for Christmas dinner and then DH picks her up. In theory anyway as DH ex usually messes us about when DSD has Christmas dinner there and keeps changing the time they're having dinner.

That said its worked pretty well for the last five years. DSD gets to see DH parents on Boxing Day when we all go through for the day as DSD lives very close to mil so brings herself round at some point.

We felt it was better splitting Christmas this way as DSD has new siblings at home and with us and they all want to see her on Christmas Day.

ConfusedNC Wed 05-Nov-14 18:14:09

Was just about to start my own thread on same subject (still might). Suspect I may be shot down in flames tho.

Glad to see how some of you manage it.

Mediation for us v soon and I need to have couple of acceptable suggestions ready. Though I suspect he'll disagree with everything for sake of it. sad

HeadDoctor Wed 05-Nov-14 20:31:42

We spent 6 Christmases doing a morning afternoon split so presents in the morning with one parent and then Christmas dinner (and more presents) with the other parent. It's worked well so far. I prefer having the afternoon so I know they're coming rather than leaving. This year is looking likely to be a bit messy as we need to coordinate my DC, our Dd together and DH's DC as well.

Tamzin125 Wed 05-Nov-14 20:38:32

With DSS he either spends Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with mum and DP picks him up early Boxing Day morning or he spends Christmas Eve & Christmas Day with us and DP drops him at his Mum's Christmas Day evening.

I've never understood why we can't pick him up until Boxing Day but we must drop him off Christmas Day - but there we go, that's just the way it is. I personally think it'd be great to pick up Christmas Day in the evening - so they can wake up at one parents Christmas Day then wake up Boxing Day at the others and celebrate Christmas a day late with the other parents. If that makes sense?

ProbablyMe Wed 05-Nov-14 20:40:58

Both my DP (2 DDs 10 and 8) and myself (4 DS 17, 15, 13, 11) alternate Christmas with our exes. I personally wouldn't want to split Christmas Day up so we have Christmas and Second Christmas (Xmas 2 : The Return). So far ( a few years now) thus is working really well.

Tamzin125 Wed 05-Nov-14 22:52:05

probablyme when you say you alternate Christmas, how do you celebrate when it's not your year? I can understand not wanting two Christmases but don't know what else works. It's not an issue for us atm as we don't have children together and DSS is only little. Can see it being problematic as he grows older and/or we have children together so intrigued by this thread and to how others do it.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 06-Nov-14 07:43:17

I don't celebrate on Christmas Day when it's not my year. My Christmas Day is on the day when DD is with me. I work, walk the dog and go to bed early.

Notexactlymarthastewart Fri 07-Nov-14 00:26:45

Hi LillaW
I/we have done exactly what you suggest, this will be the fourth year. DD11 and DS8. (I cannot begin to imagine how horrible it would be not seeing my kids on Xmas Day.)

It works well as one of us has the lovely Xmas Eve / Xmas Morning then we swap circa 1pm and the other has Xmas Day / Xmas Dinner into Boxing Day (sometimes longer depending on holidays from work).

My kids are absolutely fine with it. They have never made any complaint about it at all and they see all of their close family every Xmas. Give it a try. good luck x

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