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Fair division of holidays

(34 Posts)
misscph1973 Thu 22-Feb-18 14:41:08

I have recently asked for views and advice about when me and STBXH get to see DC and got great advice and lots of food for thought.

I am recently separated (just over a month) and I have DS 10 and DD 13. STBXH is almost blind and lives too far from the school for DC to stay over on school nights so he sees them mostly weekends. I am resident parent.

Next week I am going away for 4 nights, This has been agreed and arranged for 4 months, in writing and face to face. I reminded STBXH last week, and as I suspected, he had forgotten. The agreement was that he would stay in my house to look after the DC. His DM can no longer come down to help, so DD is taking the bus at 7.30AM when i am away and STBXH is quite resentful of how disruptive this is to his working week, but he does acknowledge that he had agreed to this and with a lot of preparation from my side it's all going ahead.

Now he wants to go away April 4-18. That's in the Easter break, and it means that I will have DC more than him as I already have them the first week of the holidays as my sister is visiting. Although I am pleased that I get to see DC a lot of the holidays, it does make it difficult for me as I will not be able to work as much as I need (I work from home). I had really hoped that he would have them all of the second week of this holiday, but he is only having them 4 days (Saturday to Monday) and this means that I will not be doing much work Tuesday to Friday (yes, they are older kids, and can look after themselves, but I do like to spend time with them when I see them).

So my grievance is that to me it's not right that I get so much hassle from him when I go away for 4 days but he is going away for 2 weeks and he expects me to comply. He also thinks that I can't go away during term time again as he doesn't want to stay in my house looking after DC.

I really don't want to argue over this, I don't want the extra conflict. How do I, going forward, come to some arrangements that suits not just him but also me?

I am NOT going to let him dictate when I go away, He chose to live far away from the school. But I want to get this message through clearly and in a non-conflict way. I am really struggling to keep my temper about this.

OP’s posts: |
misscph1973 Thu 22-Feb-18 18:43:38


OP’s posts: |
SusanDelfino Fri 23-Feb-18 07:49:11

I think school holidays should be split 50/50 to allow you both to work . But I can't see how you can force him to have the kids during your time . It's different this time because he has agreed .

misscph1973 Fri 23-Feb-18 08:50:52

That's the thing, you can't force someone! I really don't know what to do. I am seeing an excellent counsellor once a week and I discussed it with her. She agreed that I can't force him. We talked about more efficient negotiating and standing firm, but at the same time it's really hard to break a pattern that has been in place during our 18 years of marriage. I have allowed him to get his way for so long that it's his normal. Also because there's kids involved it's hard. I am trying to protect them by not engaging in conflict with STBXH, but sometimes I think the price is too high.

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Towelonthedoor Fri 23-Feb-18 21:10:23

Sorry to jump on this thread. I work term time o oh so how would I share the children's holiday time. Is it expected I will just have them all holiday time with the agreed every other weekend?

RockPaperCut Fri 23-Feb-18 21:52:39

Perhaps in future arrange your own childcare for dc if you’re planning to be away. I know it’s not always possible but that’s one sure way to avoid conflict. Although It doesn’t solve the issue of him being away during his contact time.

The way i see it, is if STBXH chooses not to spend time with our dc, then it’s a win win for me, granted mine are much younger than yours.

Towel You would need to come to an arrangement with your ex. But it is expected that the NRP shares the holidays 50/50 in most cases. On the other hand if he doesn’t want it for whatever reason then he cannot be forced.

misscph1973 Sat 24-Feb-18 10:16:55

Towelonthedoor, no need to apologise ;)

There is now law that dictates how you divide holidays. I would say that you should split the holidays 50/50 if possible.

RockPaperCut, thank you for the suggestion, but I think in our situation arranging child care if I am away just to avoid conflict would create other problems - I don't think 24/7 childcare is right, I think we as parents should come to an agreement.

While I am happy to spend more time with my DC if STBXH doesn't want all of his contact time, it does mean less work time for me which means I earn less.

I am still mulling over this. The Easter holidays are not finalised yet, and STBXH has not replied to my last e-mail to confirm.

I think going forward I will suggest a compromise for my own travels - my travelling next week is Monday to Friday, and I could go for along weekend instead, so that it would be mostly during his contact time.

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serena5610 Sat 03-Mar-18 03:30:19

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MyBoysAndI Sun 04-Mar-18 13:49:13

I have just emailed XH to arrange the cover for 2019 school holidays. They are worked out and agreed in advance so we both know what our commitments are.

Your agreement seems a bit too wishy washy and not robust enough

misscph1973 Tue 06-Mar-18 09:21:13

That's great, MyBoysAndI! I would like an arrangement like yours, and you are right that my lack of arrangement is wishy washy. It's also causing a lot of unnecessary conflict between me and STBXH. I would like to think that eventually we will have a similar arrangement, but it's only 6 weeks ago we separated.

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MyBoysAndI Tue 06-Mar-18 20:01:56

Childcare was the first thing l sorted out. He thought he was going to skip off to single life with OW..... tough titty!!

MyBoysAndI Tue 06-Mar-18 20:05:47

It needs to be sorted out asap as the longer it goes on without a proper arrangement... the harder it will be to implement one.

Start with contact time.... would alternate weekends suit you both?

misscph1973 Wed 07-Mar-18 09:30:32

I think now that we have some experience of not living together as a family and a better idea of what we both want, we can start negotiations. But you are right, the longer I put it off, the harder it will be to implement an arrangement.

No, alternate weekends does NOT suit STBXH. He seems to think he can have all weekends because I have the weekdays. Also he is not keen on any firm arrangements, he's the type of person who often changes his mind, so he likes to have an open schedule.

I am not really sure how many weekends I want. I feel that every other weekend would not be fair, as DC need to see their father as much as they need to see me. We both always worked from home, so we are both used to seeing them a lot.

Since I started the thread, I have put my foot down in regards to the upcoming Easter holidays and STBXH's 2 weeks travelling. He wasn't happy about it, but he did say that he would postpone his travelling so that he got more time with DC in the Easter holidays. So it's going in the right direction. But I do want to get to a place where we are not arguing about every weekend and holiday. So we need an arrangement, and I think after Easter would be a good time to tackle that, also because the summer holidays have already been booked (50/50 split), which means that can be the starting point.

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MyBoysAndI Wed 07-Mar-18 19:27:07

What about the first weekend with you in every month and the the remaining one's with him?

Holidays to be split 50/50 but are work out now as to what is being covered.

My children live with me and go to their dad's alternate weekends.... so he's only a "Dad" 4 days a month. He tends to see them once during the week for a couple of hours

misscph1973 Thu 08-Mar-18 09:39:58

Yes, I think it will end with something like that.

4 days a month, that's not much. I guess that's the norm for many non-resident parents because of work commitments. I would hate it if my DC didn't see their dad more, it would not be right.

I would like STBXH to see DC once a week after school, but he doesn't drive and he now lives 12 miles from the school so it would mean that I would be driving them (there is a bus but it would take too long compared to the time they would get to see him). So I'm not keen, but I might have to. At the moment it would be possible for me, but obviously it's not very convenient for me.

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MyBoysAndI Thu 08-Mar-18 20:57:26

Then don't do it. It's not up to you to facilitate a relationship between him and his children. He can get taxi or bus.

misscph1973 Thu 08-Mar-18 21:08:20

It's because he's blind. And because I am a people pleaser. And I don't want the DC to miss out on contact with either of us. I want to be able to say to myself that I did everything I could within reason to ensure that the DCs needs were met - without sacrificing my own needs.

I do appreciate your advice, MyBoys, it's common sense / no nonsense, just what I need!

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MyBoysAndI Fri 09-Mar-18 07:07:54

flowers sorry. I can be a bit blunt at times blush

MyBoysAndI Fri 09-Mar-18 07:13:48

Re-read your own posts....

He works

He travels

Therefore he is perfectly capable of being able to come and see the children under his own steam.

It sounds harsh but if you're going to do all the running around, not having a childcare rota in place and allowing him to stay at your home ( which would involve you washing the bedding he uses, providing food for them all, electricity etc)...... then you might as well stay together as you're still continuing as a married couple

misscph1973 Fri 09-Mar-18 09:59:11

MyBoys, that's exactly what my counsellor said - that I need to be careful that I am not staying married, just not living with STBXH.

No need to apologise, you are giving me so much food for thought. I really do need to change my perspective.

When STBXH stayed at mine, I didn't pay for the food and he did wash his bedding. But I did do all the shopping, I made sure everything was as easy as possible etc. In the end I wondered why I went away, as the work I put into preparing for my own absence was disproportionate to what I got out of it. I am really trying to learn from this, but it's hard to break the habit after so many years.

I am having to admit to myself that I excuse myself with STBXH's eyesight and my own need to compensate for the DC.

But as you point out, STBXH is quite capable. And DC are older children and also quite capable. There is really no need for me to help anyone out.

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MyBoysAndI Fri 09-Mar-18 14:06:55

No there isn't. It is difficult and l do struggle too, especially if l know l can "fix" something eg... ds14 (has SEN) has kicked off at school today as he doesn't want to go to his Dads this weekend. I can easily fix this and say stay here but.... l NEED my 4 days break a month and the opportunity to have a life of my own. However after so many years of being the fixer and doing stuff for stbxh just to gain his love and appreciation (and not getting it).... l am now struggling stopping

misscph1973 Fri 09-Mar-18 14:19:36

I am a fixer too! I am always quick to offer my help, but then I find that with certain people I never get anything in return. Somehow I would keep applying this approach with STBXH. I guess I had made myself think that if it didn't work, I should give even more, and it was just never ending.

I was talking to my DF, and I was asking him if it's really that bad to be helpful and attentive? That's how he is too, and my DM and my DS, it's how I grew up, and I thought the world worked like that ;) But I guess it works like that for some people only.

Yes, it's easy to always be The Mother. But your DS is 14 and his dad is an adult, and of course you need a break. Do you know why he doesn't want to go to this dads? I hope I never get that! But I probably will ;)

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MyBoysAndI Fri 09-Mar-18 17:53:21

He's autistic and it's 'change'. He will be going.

misscph1973 Mon 12-Mar-18 11:41:01

How did your weekend go, MyBoys?

STBXH texted me late Saturday night asking if I could pick up at noon on Sunday, although we had agreed the morning. I agreed, as it meant DC could see their grandmother, auntie and cousin (they see their auntie and cousin maybe once a year if they are lucky). Lesson learned: Agree specific pick up times! Noon is not the morning ffs. And last minute changes are just out of order. But I did want DC to see his side of the family, even if it winds me up that they show so little interest in them. And it was also nice for me to say hello and give my MIL a Mother's Day card plus show them (and myself) that I am very reasonable indeed!

STBXH has now cancelled his travels in April. I think he might want to renegotiate contact time in the Easter holidays now. I am going to be open to suggestions but stand my ground if I need to.

He had ensured that DC got me a present for Mother's Day (although it could very well have been my MIL, hard to say), so I was pleased about that.

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MyBoysAndI Mon 12-Mar-18 20:07:57

My weekend was lovely smile . Saw friends and lunch out Sunday with Mum and sister.

Boy's returned slightly late at 7.20pm. Ds2 has baked cakes with OW for me and apparently ds2 was with her when he chose his gift for me.

Ds1 messaged me Happy Mother's Day Sunday morning without promoting so that meant the world to me

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