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christmas dilemma

(39 Posts)
TimrousBeastie Wed 31-Oct-12 13:17:39

My ex put forward a plan yesterday for contact over christmas and i'm not too sure what to think about it, would really like some opinions.

He's moving down to london soon to be with his girlfriend (we're in glasgow) and he doesn't know if his girlfriends work schedule will allow them to come up at christmas (hes not working atm and probably won't be before then, knowing him). He's suggesting that on boxing day the children travel down to london with his parents and come back on the friday.

They will be driving so i'm thinking easily 7 hours drive and I can see a few problems with this. I don't really think its fair to expect them to sit in a car for that length of time- its christmas and they'll be all excited and wanting to play with their new toys not stuck in a car for hours. Also what if the weather is bad? I don't like the idea of them travelling so much if the winter is as bad as what they are predicting. Another problem is that his gran moves in with his parents over the christmas period and if they all go to london , she can't go so will be left all alone ( I know this isn't my problem but adds to my unwillingness to agree to this).

I think this is so much hassle, when the easiest solution would be for him to come up (without the girlfriend if needs be)- In my head, he made the decision to move so it should be him having to put himself out to see the children, rather than the other way about. Am i being unreasonable? ( not brave enough to put this is that category(

MissPricklePants Wed 31-Oct-12 13:20:33

How old are the dc's? It is a long distance to travel, I reckon it will take longer than 7 hours travelling. What kind of contact will he be having when he has moved?

TimrousBeastie Wed 31-Oct-12 13:28:16

They are 9 (by then) and 6. At the minute he stays a 15 minute walk away and he's seen them 9 times for a couple hours each time since easter, so i'm not expecting much contact when he moves.I think he is relying on his parents driving the children down every couple of months (which I don't think is very fair) but not much has been said on the matter.

Think it will be longer than 7 hours myself but thats what he said, he was surprised when I said it took my parents 5 hours to drive down to birmingham with the children recently.

MissPricklePants Wed 31-Oct-12 13:32:07

So he has not really put an effort in? Difficult one really as I would be unhappy for them to go, can he not come up to visit for a couple of days over Christmas? Is it the first Christmas since you seperated? The children may want things to be as 'normal' as possible. What a difficult position for you TimrousBeastie (love your username!)

TimrousBeastie Wed 31-Oct-12 13:38:46

Its been three years since we split so not a new situation but the contact has been pretty much like this for the past two years (since new gf came on the scene)
He doesn't want to come up as he doesn't want to leave the girlfriend (even though she has a sister and nieces down there) but then he complained when his mum brought up the subject of his gran (90+ ) being left alone which I think is far worse.


purpleroses Wed 31-Oct-12 13:42:50

I think if he or his family are prepared to do the driving, then you can't really prevent him having them for some period over the holiday. He's not going to be able to see them in term time very easily is he?

Let them play on consoles or listen to audio books for the journey and they should cope. My family live a similar distance away and I've regularly spent long hours over the Christmas period driving to visit them, with DCs in the back, along with millions of other families, so I can't see that the length of the drive as a very good reason to prevent him having them.

YourHandInMyHand Wed 31-Oct-12 13:43:47

I wouldn't be sending my 9 and 6 year old on a car journey like that on boxing day! Tell him he is VERY welcome to visit them. He barely sees them and has chosen to move 100s of miles away from them. Yes you should encourage contact, but not at the expense of your dcs comfort and enjoyment of xmas.

Do you get on with his parents, maybe you could get them on side? It sounds like its inconvenient and impracticable for them too!?

MissPricklePants Wed 31-Oct-12 13:43:59

Ah I have been single for the same amount of time although my dd is 3.5 yo. What do the children say about it? Does he have them for prolonged periods of time (I'm assuming no if he doesn't see them much) I would be inclined to say that it is not suitable and try to compromise on something else. I can't see how it would be in the children's best interests tbh.

TimrousBeastie Wed 31-Oct-12 14:10:21

I don't think think his parents are too keen on it, but I haven't spoke to them yet- we are still very close and we get on better than what they do with their own son, so I can guess that they are feeling that way-won't make up my mind until I speak to them.

I don't want to prevent him having contact but to me it just seems that 4 people have to make a 8 hour plus journey, one oap has to be left on her own all so his girlfriend isn't left alone on boxing day (which she might be working and even if she wasn't her sister is there so she wouldn't be alone). In my head it would make more sense for him to travel up here.

It would also cut short the plans I have for christmas day, through at my parents which is an hour away, we would have to come back on christmas day evening rather than boxing day morning.

cestlavielife Wed 31-Oct-12 14:16:04

where will his parents stay when tehy go tehre? with him? os ot their choice? how old are they? do they normally travel to visit son?

i would suggest he travels to his parents instead which i presume is near you?
surely girl friend can cope and if she working what is the issue?

given the small amount of contact since easter i would not go out of my way to send dc off.
in different circumstances eg has seen them every week since easter have spent lots of time with him etc then yes not an issue.

GetAllTheThings Wed 31-Oct-12 14:21:15

I'm taking my dd up to Scotland from London over Christmas. I wouldn't dream, of driving with her. I did once when she was tiny but did it over two and a half days.

Tried flying but will be getting the train this year.

TimrousBeastie Wed 31-Oct-12 14:21:18

His parents are in their early 60s and I've not actually thought about where they will stay, I know the house ex is moving into has a spare room so i'm presuming the kids and grandparents will all be put in there. He's not moved down yet, think he leaves in a couple of weeks so they haven't had to travel down to see him yet.

Think you are right though, if he had had regular contact then perhaps I would try and figure out a middle ground somewhere, but with the little amount of effort he has put into seeing them, I don't see why so much effort would have to go into this.

Happylander Wed 31-Oct-12 16:07:22

I am driving up to Glasgow from Brighton at the beginning of December and my DS is three. My friends children have travelled down here form glasgow and just have books, dvd,s games consoles to keep them amused and regular stops. I have also driven down to France for skiing and will also do that again in Feb.

I don't think it is the distance but the day. I wouldn't what my child to have to travel such a long way on boxing day. Suggest the day after boxing day?

bananaistheanswer Wed 31-Oct-12 18:24:38

I'd have to say no to that proposal in your shoes. And make it clear he is welcome to visit the children back home in Glasgow at any point. I do think it's incredibly selfish and presumptious that your ex thinks he can ask expect his parents to go out of their way to accomodate his request for the children on boxing day, leaving his elderly gran alone for however many days while they are gone, while expecting parents in their 60s to drive such long distances over 2 days of the holiday period, all so he gets to see his kids after moving away? Nope, not a chance would I agree to that suggestion. It's not eveyone else who has to make arrangements to ensure his kids maintain their relationship with their dad - he has to make that effort too. He's already moved a distance that impacts the chance of more frequent contact, the least he can do is make the effort to see his kids over the holiday period without that impacting the 2 kids, his 2 parents and his grandmother and you too. Way way too selfish a proposal IMO.

cestlavielife Wed 31-Oct-12 18:25:09

would it be normal for his parents to travel around visiting him?

(eg my parents dont! we travel to them but they v rarely travel to me, otoh my sisters in laws are always travelling around to visit their offspring!

Happylander Wed 31-Oct-12 19:51:44

Actually I am with bananaistheanswer after thinking about it and re reading the OP post again. Must have missed a bit the first time.

So he is putting spending some time at Christmas with his girlfriend over his children, parents and grandparent?? Hmmm I would say a big fat no to that especially as he isn't even working so nothing stopping him from making the journey up.

On a brighter note you must be glad to be shot of this selfish man.

TimrousBeastie Wed 31-Oct-12 20:03:55

They have to come back up on the Friday as his dad is working the Saturday, so it has to be travelling down boxing day, staying Thursday and back up on Friday - it's only his dad that drives, so that's a massive amount of driving for someone to do in three days I think. I don't drive but I'm guessing there would be a lot of petrol involved for a trip like this aswell and I bet he would expect his parents to pay for that.

I think my suspicions about the parents not being entirely too happy with the arrangements are correct as I received a text from him asking if I think he puts the gf before kids as apparently his mum does. Not answered the text yet as no matter what I put there will be some argument about it.

thanks for all your help, its helped me think clearly about it and realise that there's just no way this is going to happen.

Happylander Wed 31-Oct-12 20:15:31

Well I think it is going to cost me about £150-200 quid in petrol from Brighton to Glasgow. I have done it all in one go before but it is uncomfortable and I was sharing the driving. It is too much for someone older to do in one go. I am hoping to break my journey up so that it is done over a day and a half.

His mum is right and good on her for saying so too. I would just tell him 'yes I do think you are putting her ahead of your children and being very selfish in regards to Christmas' then switch your phone off grin

cestlavielife Wed 31-Oct-12 20:30:21

why are his aprents so desperate to see their grown son they would drive that far? that is what makes no sense.

if he wants to see his DC/his parents then travel he must.
optherwise, well he sees them later in the new year. no problem.

his choice to travel or not.
his parents should not be guilt tripped into travelling.

tell his parents it's too much for the dc and you worried about bad weather than time of year - that you will happily let them travel with grand parents later in year eg easter if they wish.

if ex chooses to stay with gf so be it. his choice.

queenofthepirates Wed 31-Oct-12 21:21:54

Just a thought but wouldn't a long car journey be a terrific way for GP and DGC to bond? I think I would let them go and enjoy a bit of you time, sounds like you deserve it!

queenofthepirates Wed 31-Oct-12 21:22:26

PS, when are you going to get time to play with your toys if you don't send the kids off? grin

sausagesandwich34 Wed 31-Oct-12 21:29:01

I wouldn't do that drive in 1 day and I'm 34

I certainly wouldn't do it twice in 3 days and then go to work the day after

he's being a twunt

SparkleSoiree Wed 31-Oct-12 21:33:19

Im all for dads sharing time over the festival holidays with the other parent but it sounds like a lot of people going to a lot of time, inconvenience and expense to see someone for 24hrs at most.

I would be suggesting - this year - that he gets a cheap flight up (cheaper than the cost of fuel for your inlaws there and back) for the length of time he can arrange. I have flown to Aberdeen from Heathrow just to see my grandparents for the day on occasion because the flight is only an hour.

I would ask him to consider other options, seems such a shame for the kids to spend a whole day in the back of a car during the christmas period if they don't really have to.

TimrousBeastie Wed 31-Oct-12 22:07:59

He's a selfish bastard and the reason they agreed to it was to save an argument, that didn't work as it turns out they had a huge one today.

His dad offered that instead of boxing day they come down the week after new year and he'll take the weekend of work and they would get more time together but ex didn't like that idea. He called his mum names and hung up the phone on her (quite a catch isn't he??)

The children see his parents every Friday so I'm not worried about there relationship, and his parents know no matter what happens with him, they will always be in their grandchildren lives.

I thought it would be expensive for the petrol but no where near that much-his parents can't afford that and due to his being utterly selfish there's no hope he'll offer to pay- I'm going to look up those cheap flight places and trains to see what's available to when he comes at me with some rubbish about there being no way to get up here at that time, I'll have all the facts.

DoubleYew Wed 31-Oct-12 22:56:31

I have done that drive in summer and there is no way I as an adult would do it on boxing day, nevermind twice in three days, nevermind make the children do it, unless it was an emergency.

If he moves it is up to him to make the effort eg do the travel for the first few visits then offer a reasonable visit for them that would actually be fun.

Not wanting to leave the gf is reeediculous.

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