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1st Christmas as a single mum....

(46 Posts)
mama2moo Sun 07-Oct-12 19:01:19

Should I still buy for ex inlaws?? I know exdp wont and I thought maybe just a token gift from the girls would be nice.

Also, not sure what to do about exdp. Do you get your ex's a present from the children?

One more thing, what is reasonable extra visits over Christmas? I was thinking an hour in the morning when they open their presents and then we will be off all day at my brothers.

VintageAxeWeldingPboredWarrior Sun 07-Oct-12 20:06:22

I'd help the girls pick and write presents/cards to ex-inlaws/ex.

Can you speak to your ex and girls about the contact? Ideas could be one year you have them christmas, ex has them boxing day and swap the next year, you can do two christmasses that way. For the new year, the christmas day parent has them news year day or news year eve if they are too young and the other parent has them on new years eve or new years day if too young to enjoy new years eve.

FannyBazaar Sun 07-Oct-12 20:34:06

I do a small token gift for ex inlaws, those that keep in touch. We do homemade biscuits or truffles or a school photo.

I help DS with a present for ex, can't be bothered with much effort though so it's either something homemade by DS or something from a Poundshop. He puts very little effort into presents for us if he bothers.

My ex never discusses Christmas or any other arrangements in advance and there is no fixed pattern of contact, so I make plans for whatever I want to do and if he gets back and requests contact and it is possible, then it happens.

skyebluesapphire Sun 07-Oct-12 22:20:30

We agreed in mediation that I would have DD 4yo on Christmas day and boxing day as she would have a crap time with his family. I hope that will continue for many years.... he is going to have her two days following.

I will tell him to keep the presents from his side of the family at his house so that he can see her open them.

I will not be giving him a present from her. The school Christmas Fair always has a secrets room where the children can go in and but something for £1 and get it wrapped so it's a surprise. So she can choose something there to give to him.

As he walked out on us at Easter, he did not get a present for his birthday or Fathers Day, although she did make cards for him.

I do not expect anything from him as my mum will sort a present for me from DD.

Mediation did say that a lot of parents alternate each year.

mama2moo Mon 08-Oct-12 08:04:07

Thanks all. I had never even considered him having them for Christmas Day one year, he hates Christmas so I hope that never happens.

Homemade biscuits is a great idea and cheap! Photos is another good idea.

Thanks again smile

skyebluesapphire Mon 08-Oct-12 09:49:30

My STBXH's family are very disfunctional. His mum stayed at home on her own one year on Christmas Day. his brother goes to his ex-girlfriends, with around 8 of her family and 5 dogs and 3 children, in a one bedroom flat... His sister has 6 kids and their partners, around 7 grandchildren and 3 dogs... They invited BIL round for dinner one day at 1pm. It was ready by 12, so when he turned up, his was dry and shrivelled in the oven....

Can you see why I dont want DD to spend Christmas with her father with any of his family..... In mediation I said - he walked out on me and his 4yo DD, I am NOT going to be without her on Christmas Day.... He forfeited that right by walking out on her. I asked him what his plans were for Christmas and he agreed that she would be better off with me! Sad Twat.

As far as Im concerned, he will NEVER have her on Christmas Day.

I also give photos as presents to grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. I wont be giving them to his family this year though.

smoothieooo Mon 08-Oct-12 12:17:19

It's my first Christmas as a single mum this year and I was thinking a framed photo of the DCs as a gift to ex-in laws. Will be funny to see how ex copes (I was the one who bought gifts for his entire family from us both, and sent all the Christmas cards). Will most definitely not be getting him a gift. The absolute bastard who declared 'I'm bored of family life'.

I have gone to my in-laws on every Christmas day for the last 16 years and I thought that this year, I would have a lovely morning with the DCs opening pressies and chilling (with bucks fizz - me, not them!) then ex could come and collect them to take to in-laws for Christmas dinner. I will have a lovely afternoon planned (more champagne, a good film, a nap) and the DCs will return to me in the evening.

That is the plan. I will not turn into a blubbing mess the second they leave I tell you!!!

skyebluesapphire Mon 08-Oct-12 12:43:50

snap - I bought all presents, wrote out all cards.... I doubt he will buy presents for his little nephews and nieces any more..... sad but true...

smoothie - that sounds like a good plan. Maybe you could go and visit some friends for a drink or something? Keep yourself busy

We have always spent Christmas Day with my parents, stay over Christmas Eve for a couple of nights, so thats what we will continue to do.

Its nothing fancy, just a glorified Sunday lunch, everybody watches the queen then goes to sleep while I play with DD grin but its what we do and he is not taking it away from us...

EdwardorEricCantDecide Mon 08-Oct-12 13:05:28

watching with interest, i have very recently split from H, I we had already done most of the shopping and arranged to spend xmas with my fasmily this year and H has asked if he can still come so although split H and I will still spend the whole day together good thing we're still amicable

purpleroses Mon 08-Oct-12 13:10:23

I send a card to my ex-inlaws, and school photos usually. And help the kids to buy a present for their dad too.

In terms of visiting - depends partly what your usual arrangement is, and what your ex wants. What you've suggested sounds fine for this year, if he's OK with that. I would leave it a while before trying to get anything in place for future years to see how things go. I've always had mine for Christmas and ex comes round either for a bit during the morning, or if we're going away then a few days before to do exchange of presents. Sometimes he's had them for the evening of Christmas day. He seems to be fine with that, but some people want to alternate years so the kids spend half their Christmas's in each house.

Visiting family is a good thing to do first year post split - I think my DS hardly noticed his dad wasn't there when there were so many other people around.

skyebluesapphire Mon 08-Oct-12 13:23:53

In mediation, I offered STBXH to have DD Christmas night and Boxing Day as we always spent Boxing Day visiting his family. He said no, as I have family down that day, so she would be better off with me. So I said, no, the family have always come down that day and we have never seen them, but he insisted

nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the football team he supports are playing locally that day I am sure

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 08-Oct-12 13:34:14

My first Christmas as a line parent this year. I am not wild about Christmas and really feel it is just another day, plus I work every other Christmas Day. So this year is my year to work so DD will be with ExH.
However, we have a whole second Christmas thing planned for the weekend after with my family.
I will help DD get a card and present for ExH, but not the in laws. My exMIL always focused on the tiny thing I missed so this year she will get to see that in fact her DS was doing nothing towards Christmas rather than what she believed.

smoothieooo Mon 08-Oct-12 13:37:15

Selfish bugger Sapphire! Could you insist a little more strenuously?

Ex asked whether he could come on Christmas morning for the bucks fizz and present opening hmm. Er.. no love. You can't pick and choose which bits of family life don't bore you!!

PostBellumBugsy Mon 08-Oct-12 13:49:38

I do every 2nd year with ex-H, which means I have every second bleak horrible Christmas without my DCs, but I don't have to do the sharing the DCs on Christmas day thing.
I don't do presents from the DCs to ex-outlaws, but I send them a card and school photos from me. The DCs get taken to the pound shop to buy gifts for anyone they want to buy for, including their Dad.

mama2moo Mon 08-Oct-12 14:11:38

I used to buy everything for exdps family, wrap it and organise it. I doubt he will buy anyone anything this year!! (Quite smug about that!!)

I am thinking that while they are young (only 4yo and 2yo at the mo) I will insist on them spending the day with me. He can visit for an hour. Seeing as I will be the one buying everything, wrapping it all, helping to write the letters to Santa and getting it all ready its only fair. He gave up the rights when he walked out.

My issue will be when the in laws are here from Canada for Christmas. (see my other thread about exmil encouraging my children to fight)

Although I am looking forward to the morning this year. I get to see their little faces light up when they see what Santa has bought and that he has eaten the cookies!! By far my favourite part of the day smile

Qwertyytrewq Mon 08-Oct-12 14:17:02

We alternate Christmas, doesn't bother me in the slightest.

skyebluesapphire Mon 08-Oct-12 14:22:50

I will be cutting out around 11 presents this year due to not having to buy for his family any more :-)

They should still buy for DD though as she is still their relation. It is up to my STBXH to buy presents for them now, not me.

PostBellumBugsy Mon 08-Oct-12 14:24:40

mama2moo, just a word of warning, if he ever pushes for a contact order - you'll find that regardless of the fact he walked out, he still has rights to see them at Christmas.
Believe me, I understand where you are coming from, as my ex-H also left - but sadly they don't lose rights that way.

mama2moo Mon 08-Oct-12 14:44:41

I know. Its just a horrible thought of not spending Christmas with my girls sad He hates Christmas and used to moan the whole time, would never be interested in what I got the girls or anyone else and never said thanks for doing it all.

On the plus side, I will be saving myself about £700 this year from not buying for him and his family!

mumtomoley Mon 08-Oct-12 14:54:43

DP's ex wife used to buy a small something for their boys to wrap up and give to DP (sponge and car wash for eg). I think just so the boys could give their Dad a present when they were too young to do it themselves. DP did the same in reverse too.

With regards to access at Christmas, the DSS's are always with their mum on Christmas Day and DP picks them up on Boxing Day. Although this was obviously very hard for DP at the beginning, the thinking was that as the DSS's were mainly resident at their mum's, it was fairer for her to have them on Christmas Day. I know not all fathers would agree to that though.

TheJiminyConjecture Mon 08-Oct-12 23:08:29

Ooh am very glad I found this thread. My first Christmas as a single parent too.

Have decided that this is the year to make 'our' traditions (DD will be 3) so we'll be having an Elf to visit and doing little crafty bits.

STBXH walked out with a similar attitude to smoothies 'I'm too selfish for all of this' this being family life. Charmed I'm sure.

We've always spent Christmas with my side as his family aren't very into Christmas. So keeping to that tradition, as far as I'm concerned he can have her whenever else but not Christmas day. Although he's welcome to come and see her but she'll be at my DB's home. He's happy with that.

I suggested that we both set a small budget - say £3, think of something we want for that budget (maybe socks) and then the other parent takes DD out to buy the gift, helps her wrap it and do the card. I think it's important that DD know's that Christmas is about giving as well as receiving, we'd have done this is we were together so hopefully it'll work. [optimistic emoticon]

I'm not sure about the inlaws, I usually do all the gift buying and organising but his family haven't acknowledged me since he introduced the new gf (a week later!) so can't bring myself to do anything for them at the moment. His family, his responsibility!

rosabud Mon 08-Oct-12 23:19:29

I don't buy ex a present any more as the children are getting older and able to do it for themselves.

However, in previous years I thoroughly enjoyed putting a lot of care and effort into his present as, like many gift-givers, I wanted it to convey exactly the right message. In ths order, the gift had to say:

1. You are clearly only getting this so I can retain the moral high ground in front of the children.
2. I despise you.
3. Oops you are so unimportant now that I nearly forgot but grabbed this at the last minute.

To that end those lovely naff soap on a rope sets (yes, you can still get them in Poundland - it just requires a bit of effort but, then, don't all the best gifts always require that?) which still have the "3 for 2" sticker left on them are ideal. Having said that, I don't think I ever surpassed the year of the 99p for 6 neon pink plastic egg cups.

FannyBazaar Tue 09-Oct-12 00:02:47

This has got me thinking, maybe I will give ex the gift he gave me last Christmas for his Christmas present from me this year! I wonder if he will remember? Maybe we could regift the same thing for many years to come. I think it's in my present cupboard but I know the eagle eyed DS will remember!

Ex buys something naff and gives it to me with a gift tag saying it's from DS when it is quite clear DS has never seen the item before. I feel DS would chose something much better if let loose in the Poundshop on his own. At least I let him chose the tat for his father pushing him towards the most ridiculous things I can find saying 'do you think Daddy will like this?'.

HappySunflower Tue 09-Oct-12 00:05:15

This will be my first Christmas as a single Mum, too- and we will be on our own this year.
I think it will be rather a quiet/low key one but I have my little girl, and at the end of the day, we will be together so that's all that counts!

I'm hoping there's plenty on the telly!

purpleroses Tue 09-Oct-12 08:31:54

mama - the good thing about your ex rubbishing Christmas when you were together though is that you might be able to swing it so you always have the DCs at Christmas. My ex was just like that ("it's too materialistic"= "I can't be arsed to buy anyone any presents"...) But I just kind of said in as non-acusatory way as I could manage, that as he didn't really like all that present buying stuff, it would be best if I had them, wouldn't it? And he agreed. I've had them every single Christmas morning (and usually the entire day) and he's never suggested we do otherwise. It's a bit sad that he's like that, but on balance I prefer to have my kids with me at Christmas. And Christmas is much more fun without someone sitting around moaning about it smile

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