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Christmas Access - apologies its a long one :(

(13 Posts)
nikibockerglory1981 Thu 06-Nov-14 12:47:24

Apologies as this is my first post and am starting with a rant! And a long one at that but any advice would be much appreciated.
I have two children of my own (12 and 14) and my partner also has two children (2 and 8). We have mine with me full time and they go to their dads every other weekend, we then have my partners two on the weekend mine are here so we can have family time together. Everyone gets a long really well, the three girls sleep in the same room and they love it.
It has come to our second xmas together. I am very amicable with my ex, we swap each year, one having them xmas eve till boxing day and the other new year and visa versa. I feel this best as no matter what I think about their dad he needs to have that magic of xmas eve/day with his children as well as me, even if they don’t believe in santa anymore!
My partners ex is very different, although I know I cannot expect my partner and his ex wife to get along as I do with my ex you would at least expect her to try and put her children and their relationship with their biological father in the same league as her own. We didn’t dare ask for xmas eve to xmas day as we knew this would be too much for her, however asked if we could have them xmas day (they live 50 mins away), this was agreed but no times. We have now asked and she has said we can pick them up at 1pm, right smack bang in the middle is xmas dinner, my partner would have to leave at 12:00 and wouldn’t get home till at least 14:00. Part of me is just thinking stuff it we will just have xmas dinner for tea instead but how is that fair on my children. We always used to go to my mums but I have sacrificed that (she lives 45 mins away in the opposite directed to my partners ex) and that is what they are used too, but I suppose as they are older I can talk them round. If my partner even mentions my two then he’s seen to be putting them first, so using the fact we want to spend time as a family at xmas once every other year will not go down well with her.
When we have fought this she then launches into a tirade of abuse that my partner doesn’t see his daughters on their birthdays/easter so why should xmas matter. What she fails to realise is that the children get two birthdays, two easter’s and two xmas’s with two family units as do mine, this includes parties etc. The difference with xmas is that is not just about one person it’s about a whole family.
He’s so great with the kids, his own and mine and it breaks my heart to see him so upset, while the man she left him for gets those special magical Christmas moment with his daughters and my two.
Its silly things I suppose, not allowing us to buy them clothes was another thing. I am so glad that my relationship with my ex is OK, we have our ups and downs but never to this extent. There really is no talking to her, she won’t listen to reason.

nikibockerglory1981 Thu 06-Nov-14 12:53:31

"He’s so great with the kids, his own and mine and it breaks my heart to see him so upset, while the man she left him for gets those special magical Christmas moment with his daughters".

= sorry delete the "and my two" off the end, I'm not sure how to edit my post.

Thanks all. x

CleanLinesSharpEdges Thu 06-Nov-14 12:56:50

I really don't see how putting your christmas dinner back an hour or two is unfair on your own children? They're 12 and 14, surely they'll understand?

ExitPursuedByABear Thu 06-Nov-14 12:59:59

We always eat Christmas Dinner at 5pm or later as we have the horse to do.

nikibockerglory1981 Thu 06-Nov-14 13:05:17

Yes you are right and thats not the issue (its the principle but not an issue) we can easily do that. It's about having them for the day, once every other year. We were also told that we need to have them back on boxing day in time for their xmas lunch with her new partners family. They won't even be seeing mine this year. Everything is always in her terms, again i'm so glad I get on with my ex.

It is nice to have different opinions though, I think I need that to calm myself down, so thank you! x

hoppingmad Thu 06-Nov-14 13:14:08

I think that system is a mess. I had exactly the same problem with my ex. He always insisted on a Christmas Day changeover - so they didn't get to play with anything they opened in the morning as they had to rush to switch houses. No leisurely Christmas meal either. It's ridiculous and stressful.

Growing up we spent a week with one parent, including Christmas Eve, day & Boxing Day and then the next week with the other parent. It was awesome, like a 2 week Christmas!

Now my ex doesn't bother seeing the dc's at all so the situation has resolved completely.

I understand your frustration

nikibockerglory1981 Thu 06-Nov-14 13:28:58

Thanks hoppingmad, I do feel like we as adults and my two older ones will get over it tbh but the little ones, you are right, I can imagine the tears as well when he picks them up because of the toys they'll be leaving sad that will also hit him hard. She doesn't help the situation either, smirking saying things like aww dont you want to go with your daddy etc. Drives me mad but I try my hardest to keep out of it as much as poss. I needed to vent it somewhere! Sorry ladies! x

ChiefBillyNacho Thu 06-Nov-14 13:43:10

Did you say he doesn't see them on their birthdays or at Easter? Why not?

It seems to be a reasonable suggestion to me, each having half of Christmas Day and Boxing Day. It's what I have always done. There's always lots of compromise needed at Christmas when families expand and blend, I think it's about making the most of it when you do have to compromise and looking for the blessings.

wheresthelight Thu 06-Nov-14 13:43:18

My partners ex is a cow over Christmas access too so I feel your pain. we have an agreement in place that gives dp xmas eve- boxing day this year followed by his contact weekend but when he tried to arrange pick up times she has decided she isn't sure she is letting them come to us this year.

I have no advice other than make sure your partner doesn't back down. the kids have the right to spend the magic of Christmas with their dad. would his ex attend mediation?

nikibockerglory1981 Thu 06-Nov-14 14:36:58

ChiefBillyNacho - The children don't suffer any detriment what so ever that they don't see him on the actual day(s). As we have them every other weekend Friday till late sunday afternoon, for two weeks in the summer hol's and some ad hoc days throughout the year.

If the birthday/easter falls on a weekday or on her weekend then we tend to stay away as it's just not amicable enough for us/him to be there and a logistical nightmare as we live miles away. They do however have two birthdays/easters (xmas's), one with his ex and one with us (plus Skype on all three occasions). If the children aren't suffering why make a situation worse, it's been like this for the last 8 years with my two and they (the kids!) love it as do his two now. It is his ex that finds it hard to understand. The time will come when a birthday falls on our weekend/week and I know for certain she won't let them come to us , but that will be another drama we'll get over when the time comes.

As for Christmas that's about family, its not just about xmas day or one person, what about putting two excited children to bed on xmas eve and waking up at stupid o'clock to two littlies asking if santa has been yet!! Until you have heard and felt the silence of not having that than you really cannot comment. Gosh I miss that now my too are older lol!! He misses out on that, yet the man she left him for will now get that every year.

We weren't stupid enough to ask for xmas eve as we knew full well this would be a no and didn't want to annoy her so asked for xmas day, pick up at about 11:30am. We'd be happier with earlier but again didn't want to annoy her so went for just before dinner, seeing the kids are up at <6am on a normal day let alone crimbo, so is that really an unreasonable time?

But yet again we will just get over it and get on with it and have dinner at tea time instead. Doesn't mean I agree, I just know that for the kids sake there is no point in rowing. She is also pregnant so I'd rather we were not accused of upsetting her as well tbh. However I am sure, like last year, she won't mind in 2015/16 when we have them new years eve/new years day though. Hmmmm, I wonder who will be asking who's "turn" is it then.

wheresthelight - Mediation might be the way forward if it starts to get worse. At the moment I'll just shake my head in despair and carry on enjoying the time all 6 of us get to spend together because quite frankly it is awesome and to be honest I refuse to let is ruin our Christmas.

Thanks for all your views, it is nice to see pretty much and even split with regards to agreeing and disagreeing.

x

HonestLie Fri 07-Nov-14 09:44:53

To be honest that time seems perfectly reasonable to me. You're getting back around 14.00 why not just have your dinner then? I'm trying to think of every Christmas I've ever shared with other families throughout my life and I can't think of one time ever sitting down to Christmas dinner until about 15.00-16.00.

What she is suggesting if they get up at 6am is for them to have half the day at home and half the day with your partner.

hokeycokeyyy Fri 07-Nov-14 11:52:23

When I was a kid I used to wake up with one parent, open presents and then go to the other parent for lunch. I can't remember what time it was, probably around mid day, but I was never upset about leaving presents, I was just excited to see what I had under the tree at my other parent's house.

I don't see a problem with the time, we usually have xmas dinner at around 2-3pm because we're full up from eating selection boxes for breakfast grin

I do understand your frustration about the unfairness of it all though and the annoyance that their relationship isn't as amicable or fair as your relationship with your ex.
I have a fairly good relationship with my ex, we talk to each other like adults, we are flexible and try to be fair and put our son first.
However, DH's ex is a total cow and tries to be so controlling of every situation. She has DSC every Christmas, they come to us for xmas dinner alternate years but they never wake up with us.
DH hasn't woken up with his DS on xmas day since he was a baby sad
It is sad but we just try to make the best of what we get. This year we will get them on boxing day and we're planning on having all the family over for a bit of a party. It's not the same as having christmas morning or christmas day together, but we will make it special and have a good time.
It's just a matter of making the best of a bad (or not ideal) situation.

I've found step parenting becomes a lot easier once you let some things, the things you can't control, go over your head, and put that energy in to something positive like making christmas as perfect as it can be.

Hope you have a lovely time smile

ChiefBillyNacho Sat 08-Nov-14 10:28:16

So you don't ask to see them on their birthdays or at Easter, or for Christmas Eve but you have asked for Christmas Day and she has said yes.

Sounds like she is open to him asking. Perhaps he could ask to see them on their birthdays next time.

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