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What arrangements do you have with your ex for Christmas, holidays, birthdays etc?

(13 Posts)
malinkey Thu 13-Oct-11 13:21:32

Separated three months ago and my ex sees DS every other weekend from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. I suggested he see him on alternate Sundays as well but so far he hasn't been interested.

We haven't done anything legally yet and haven't made any arrangement about holidays etc so just wanted to know what other people do. How do you divide up holidays? What do you do at Christmas - do people take it in turns or do you split Christmas Eve/Christmas Day or similar? Need to make some more formal arrangement but wanted an idea of what is reasonable first.


STIDW Thu 13-Oct-11 13:40:44

Perhaps it is as well to keep contact to alternate weekends because when children are school aged or if you work it means you have an equal share of the quality time at weekends.

There is no one arrangement that suits all families. Some separated parents alternate Christmases, birthdays and share school holidays 50:50. Others split Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and there are only a couple of weeks holidays in a year.

We have been relatively civil and the arrangement that has been in place for 10 years is the children (now young adults!) always wake up in their own beds on Christmas Day and we meet my ex and his sister somewhere neutral for Christmas lunch. My ex then goes off and has an evening meal with his new partner which I imagine is a bit like the Vicar of Dibley Christmas episode.

malinkey Thu 13-Oct-11 22:45:53

Erk, I can't imagine the shared Christmas lunch happening any time soon. confused

balia Thu 13-Oct-11 22:48:57

You haven't mentioned how old the children are - but generally alternate Christmases works well. I personally think it is nicer for kids not to get ferried around on Xmas day.

bucketbetty Thu 13-Oct-11 22:55:39

Hi OP. My ex used to share our DS in every way. He had him half the week, half the holidays and always wanted him half xmas hols, however he is now remarried and no longer has a relationship with his son apart from 1 day a week for a few hours. He no longer is interested in holidays at all, even xmas. It's my experience if your other half is willing to have his children half the time, including hols then for the children's sake do it. Your children are the most important thing. However, it's also my experience that if the ex doesn't want to dedicate himself to his children then he won't and there's nothing to be gained by pushing it. I just make the most of what's on offer and my DS is happy enough with what he gets. I'm sure you've enough love, time and energy to give your children what they need. Sadly, anything the NRP has to give is a bonus. This is simply my opinion and experience. I hope you don't experience too much stress. Good luck.

malinkey Thu 13-Oct-11 22:55:48

DS is 4. Yes, I think alternating Christmases might be the answer for us. I think it would be horrible having to go to the other parent after waking up and opening your presents on Christmas day, but can't imagine not being with DS on Christmas morning.

malinkey Thu 13-Oct-11 23:01:46

Thanks Betty - I can't see my ex wanting half the holidays to be honest but I'm hoping he might prove me wrong. But I think I'll suggest that we alternate Christmases then he can decide if he wants to make the effort.

bucketbetty Thu 13-Oct-11 23:22:16

I'm off to bed malinkey. I know it's stressful and all you want is what's best for your DS. He'll be just fine with all you have to offer and kids are so adaptable, they'll accept whatever they're given as long as they have one constant and one person they can attach themselves too with confidence and you're it! I'm sure you wouldn't have it any other way. Fingers crossed your ex will consider your little man, but if he doesn't to your standards then it might be useful (and help your own sanity) to accept what he has to offer (despite your resentment and annoyance). You'll eventually realise your DS has everything he needs in you. Good luck sweetie. night night. There's lots of us out there and most of us professiona (or unprofessional but equally as wonderful)l, well adjusted women. Our little one's are lucky to have us. smile

Hi Malinkey, I must have separated at a very similar time to you. The advice I had from my 1/2 hr free legal consult was to agree everything between selves before going for divorce. My ex is trying to insist on every other weekend but in fact my job (party plan) is very irregular particularly from Sept -early Dec so I have asked for flexibility which is being given grudgingly as it would muck up his arrangements with new woman. In the New year I think we will go to every other weekend which is a bit rigid for me. I get no help at all during the week.

I would say tho' - it is really important that as primary carer you get both quality time with DS but also quality time for you. I know I need it as I get very little other respite elsewhere.

I have offered ex time with DS over Christmas - his family like Christmas more than mine. Selfishly I am going on holiday for 10 days and am really looking forward to it. It will be interesting to see what is offered back for next year.

malinkey Fri 14-Oct-11 10:06:37

Thanks for your messages. Wow confused - 10 days holiday - that sounds amazing, I bet you can't wait! I hope I get to do that one day but I did manage a long weekend away over the bank holiday and that was brilliant. In fact with the every other weekend arrangement I get more time to myself than I used to when I was with my ex so I do really appreciate my weekends on my own.

It must be very difficult when your work is irregular to make plans. I know I just have to learn to accept that ex will only do as much as he wants but I wish I knew that he will keep it up!

I think I will suggest that ex has DS this Christmas and see what his reaction is.

Lucy88 Fri 21-Oct-11 11:11:02

I don't particularly like Christmas and Birthday arrangements between myself and my ex-H, but it is what DS has chosen.

Our DS is 6 and when it comes to Birthdays, we both see him, take him out or attend his birthday party together. Christmas - I have suggested that we take it in turns, so our DS wakes up here one Christmas and then at his Dads the next Christmas. DS didn't want that, so he has chosen to stay with me and wake up in his own bed, then his Dad comes at about 10am (I have an hours sleep) and then we all have Christmas dinner together, his Dad then does bath and bedtime and he goes after that.

Its not an arrangement I like, as I can't be arsed to spend a full day in the company of my ex-H, but its not really about what I want, its about what our DS wants.

ChocHobNob Fri 21-Oct-11 12:30:49

Could giving all the control to the children, sometimes not be a good thing though? As much as their needs need to be taken into account, those of the parents need to be taken into consideration too. What happens if in the future you and/or your ex meet someone new, perhaps go onto have more children ... your partner probably wouldn't be too enthralled at the thought of having your ex spend Christmas day with you all... and your ex would then leave his new partner and new child for Christmas day. Or arrangements would need to change. As long as DS would be ok with that, it would be ok, but what if he doesn't want things to change. Will it give him the wrong impression that his say is more important than the other adults, or other children in his parents lives.

It works now, so great! I was more wondering about the situation, not criticising.

Lucy88 Fri 21-Oct-11 21:23:39

ChocHobNob - you are completely right. At the moment its about what is right for our DS, as he is only 6. I couldn't imagine a situation where I would have a new partner at the minute - can't be bothered and I love being on my own. However, if the situation ever changed with either myself or ex-H having new partners, then I would deal with it at the time.

There have been situations when our DS has said that he wants Daddy to stay for tea or Daddy to stay at our house over-night and I have said No very firmly. He understands that Daddy comes at Christmas as it is a special day, but as he gets older, he may want that to change anyway.

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