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thinking about plans for christmas (contact with xp)- first one as lone parent.

(10 Posts)
HauntedLittleLunatic Sun 28-Aug-11 11:00:31

Ok,

I know its early but want to take advantage of saver rates at travelodge when I go to see my parents.

I have asked him what he would like to do but no reply yet.

He normally has them 1 evening for tea and alternate weekends.

Every other Christmas we have had a rigid rule that dcs do not leave their home on Christmas day, and try not to take them out boxing day so they are not taken away from their gifts.

Dcs are 10, 10 and 5.

My suggestion would be that xp visits them for an hour or 2 on Christmas day if he wants but after they have opened all their Santa presents (which will all be from me).

I want to go away the day after boxing day overnight , so woukd suggest that he has them to tea (and maybe lunch) boxing day (if he wants of course).

That way they still get to stay home in the morning with their gifts, have several hours with him, but come home to sleep so we can go away the next day. I will be away for 2 maybe 3 days seeing my family and then the girls can visit him for a few days.

Does that sound too harsh? I am not looking forward to the first Christmas and don't want to be unreasonable towards dcs and how much time they spend with their father or gifts.

HauntedLittleLunatic Sun 28-Aug-11 17:01:26

I should probably also add that the outline above is a suggestion for start of negotiation.

Latemates Sun 28-Aug-11 21:25:41

Just be aware what ever you do this year will be reversed for next year. So if they spend Xmas day with you and get their santa presents only at yours then next year they should stay Xmas day with him and get their Santa presents their. If hpthey go to their dads for boxing day and the. Back to their mums to go visit your family after that then next year they will come to you boxing day and then go back to their dads the following day. So in basic terms the more reasonable you are this year the better it will be for you next year. 2 weeks off school for Xmas break should be split in half so their should be approximate 7 days with dad and 7 days with mum. Sojust need to determine how that will be split and then flip it for the following year. This then allows bit parents and children to know what is happening well in advance. Good luck with negotiations.

HauntedLittleLunatic Sun 28-Aug-11 21:38:01

Thanks,

very useful to have it reinforced that things that will be reinforced next year. Although it was kind of obvious it was easy to forget IYSWIM.

XP has got back to me. He is not worried about when he sees them XMas day/ boxing day so that makes it a little easier.

We haven't been splitting the holidays 50:50 (in the same way that termtime is not split 50:50), so I am not expecting to split Xmas 50:50. He obviously seems them more than term time but not 50:50.

hairylights Sun 28-Aug-11 22:26:31

I think it sounds quite harsh to limit time with their Dad on Xmas day to two hours at your house. Is there a reason they can't wake up at one parents house, sound half a day there then go to the other parent for the other half day and stay overnight? Can you expand on any particular reason for this?

Your rigid rule when you were a family under one roof is irrelevant now as they now have two family homes.

HauntedLittleLunatic Sun 28-Aug-11 22:55:28

There is no real reason - other than the fact that IMO he gave up any automatic rights to "family time" when he left...and I fullly and completely recognise that that is different to the DCs having the right to spend time with him. It is both of our beliefs (and I have "spoken" with XP about this today) now as much as in the past that the DCs should spend the majority of teh day in their own home on Christmas day (and neither of us regard them as having 2 homes)

TBH he will be more or less welcome to spend as much as the day here as he wants to (but is unlikely to want to be here more than a couple of hours because of an uncomfortable atmosphere - which is why I stated an hour or two - more than me trying to limit to an hour or two) He has not made any request to spend time with them Christmas day let alone have them to his place (see above). The only request he has made is to spend some time with them XMas day or boxing day, dependent on what they want. TBH we have been careful about giving them too many decisions to make regarding access to avoiding putting them in the position to choose between us. We have tried to make sensible decisions between us and tell them the plan (and if necessary adjust based on feedback). When we have given them choice to date it has always ended badly with DTDs tending to want to do opposites but (normally the same twin) one of them submits to go along with the others wishes.

Although they haven't been asked (yet - bit early to be imposing Christmas decisions on them - but they will be asked nearer the time) it is unlikely they will all want to stay with him Christmas night. The youngest will take every opportunity offered. But Of the older 2 one doesn't express any opinion on sleepovers either way, the other challenges me whenever I say they are going for a sleepover outside normal weekends. But that is something we can review nearer the time.

I guess I am trying to guage opinion as to what is teh normal spectrum of arrangements at Christmas with this being the first one I have to deal with.

hairylights Sun 28-Aug-11 23:12:14

Sounds like you will be able to reach agreement fairly easily.

I think the spectrum is probably as wide and diverse as families themselves - what suits your family is what is best - really sounds like there won't be battles over this.

My dsd used to spend a day and night at our house having "Xmas" some time before Xmas when she was little, then when we moved nearer to her we'd see her for an hour or two Xmas afternoon - and we had her half brother down too so he didnt feel left out - then when older again she chose to come on Xmas afternoon and stay the night and next day.

There was one year her mum banned her and her half brother from going anywhere from 6pm on Xmas eve until boxing day (purely in order to make a dig at their dads - it was the first year her new partner moved in) but she chilled out again by the following year and put her children's wishes first.

Also I think her and her new partner appreciated a bit of peace on Xmas afternoon!

We did live two streets away so it was easy in terms of travel/lifts etc.

HauntedLittleLunatic Sun 28-Aug-11 23:24:59

TBH when I first wrote this thread I was expecting a long and drawn out battle with XP negotiating this - so was looking for suggestions...like I say as to what is normal.

I am surprised. I have asked him open endedly what his plans are and his response is as outlined above. Although nothing has been fixed I can see he won't be fighting to have them all day XMas day.

I still don't know what the right balance is - so any further comments will be welcome. I don't want my Christmas to be ruined by having to let them go to him. But I don't want their Christmas to be ruined by either not seeing him or being forced to go to see him. Well TBH this Christmas is going to be a bit shit for everyone with it being teh first, and us all finding it different to previous family Christmas'.

Perfectwhirled Mon 29-Aug-11 07:36:24

I go with what the children want to do.
If they wanted to spend the whole day with their other parent, alternate Christmases, whatever I'd let them.

I don't own them, and to lay down my rules would be just to punish my ex.

Vibrant Mon 29-Aug-11 11:16:46

I don't know if I'm going to be much help because I don't think you have to remain in your own home for Christmas to be special, I think it's more about spending time with people you love and just enjoying being together. I also think the whole of December and the "season" is Christmas, not just the two bank holidays.

I believe too that xh has a right to "family time" we might not be together any more, so not family time with me (although we do do that occasionally), but he has a right to having family time with his daughters and I encourage that.

FWIW I had my first Christmas since splitting last year and it was brilliant. Xh and dsd came over about 11 for presents and then we each went to where we were having dinner, me with dd and him with dsd. He then picked her up early evening and had her overnight, returning her at lunchtime on Boxing Day, just before my guests arrived. She had time with me, with all of us, with my family, with his family - and the presents she didn't take places with her were still there when it was all over.

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