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Christmas arrangements

(192 Posts)
StepCatsmother Fri 05-Dec-14 09:01:09

And more specifically, how much do you see your ex-P or how much does your P see his ex (depending on who is the step between you) over the festive period?

I know this might depend on how recent/friendly the split with the ex was.

I ask because I'm just curious about how 'normal' my DP's arrangements are. This is only the second Christmas since he split with his ex, and their relationship is fairly amicable as things go.

This year he has the children for Christmas Eve through to Christmas Day morning, when he will then take them back to his ex. She is taking them to her family for the rest of Christmas Day and Boxing Day. However, at handover she is planning a 'family brunch' for the 4 of them (her, DP and the 2 children - age 5 and 10). Apparently this will be an hour or 2 and DP is going because the kids will want him there.

I guess I don't know how to feel about this, at the moment I don't think I have feelings either way. I can see that doing something nice for the children is important at this time of year, but there is a little discomfort at the idea of them playing happy families. The picture doesn't entirely sit right with me but it might only be because I'm new at all this and don't know what's usual smile

FlossyMoo Fri 05-Dec-14 09:08:59

If their split is amicable then I see no issue with the brunch. You leave relationships with your DW/DH/DP not your children. Just because they are no longer in a relationship does not mean they cannot spend time as a family because OP that is what they are. I am not saying your discomfort is wrong but you have to bare in mind this man does have a family and if it is a happy one then surely that is a good thing.

Be thankful they get on as it is much harder on everyone involved (including you) when exes don't get along.

In regards to what is usual then there isn't really an answer. Each family is different and they have different set ups that work for them.

TywysogesGymraeg Fri 05-Dec-14 09:12:35

Everything Flossy said, except I would have said "bear in mind" (not bare). wink

How would it be if you joined the family group too, so you don't feel left out? Would that work? How well do you get along with ex-w?

StepCatsmother Fri 05-Dec-14 09:20:08

Thank you Flossy - I think that's pretty much exactly what I wanted to hear.

I get on with DP's ex just fine but it won't be practical for me to join them. I'm going to my parents' house over that time, and it's 100 miles away. We've only been together for 9 or so months, and taking it slowly so not at the 'Christmas together' stage yet smile

I think maybe that's why I was a bit sad/uncomfortable - his ex being there at a time I can't be. But I won't dwell on it.

MirandaWest Fri 05-Dec-14 09:23:58

My XH and I have been apart for 3.5 years and this will be our 4th Christmas since splitting up. The three previous ones we and our two DC have spent much of Christmas Day together - we're not this year but I don't find it odd at all that your DP will be having brunch with his DC and XW.

Whatever21 Fri 05-Dec-14 09:27:07

My EX and I buy their main present from both of us - no doubling up on big stuff.

We sit down on a day Eve, Boxing etc - have a meal with the DCs and they open their present from us - together.

There is no "playing happy families" - we are parents to them and if we can not sit and have a meal with our DCs, together and let them talk to both their parents at the same time and raise issues to both of us - then I find that quite sad.

We do this regularly - Xmas is no exception. It is amazing what they say to both of us and his and my new partners can have an opinion but it is not changing - it about the DCS.

needaholidaynow Fri 05-Dec-14 09:36:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wheresthelight Fri 05-Dec-14 09:40:34

personally I think that is a lovely gesture and it is best for the kids that mum and dad get along.

it wouldn't happen here and dp sees his ex for all of 5 mins for handovers because she is a nightmare and tries to turn everything into a row

FlossyMoo Fri 05-Dec-14 09:43:12

Oh the shame! blush

Sorry Tywy I trusted my phone and it let me down again. grin

needaholidaynow Fri 05-Dec-14 09:44:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tryharder Fri 05-Dec-14 10:02:49

It sounds absolutely fine.

StepCatsmother Fri 05-Dec-14 10:14:29

Thanks for all the comments - they were what I was hoping to hear smile

whatever21 I'm sorry if anything I wrote gave the impression I would want to change his arrangements, I don't. I hoped that I'd said enough to show I understood it's about the children.

TywysogesGymraeg Fri 05-Dec-14 10:26:29

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt this time then Flossy grin

purpleroses Fri 05-Dec-14 10:28:14

I think if you're not spending Christmas with him yourself, then it's fine that he has Christmas brunch with his ex and children. It sounds like quite a nice mix he's got of him having DCs, her having DCs and just a little bit of time together.

I used to do similarly with my ex at Christmas until he got a new DP who didn't like him coming round, so then he came less and these days we don't really see him on Christmas day itself. But we're a lot of years down the line - I think if it's the first Christmas he's been apart from them he's got quite a sensible plan.

If you were spending Christmas with him yourself I think you could expect to be included in the invite, or else for him not to go, or keep it maybe to a cup of coffee.

Whatever21 Fri 05-Dec-14 11:48:32

Step - did not take it as a criticism!

do disagree with those who say -you should expect to go. For us it is about our children, no one else. Like I said, they say things about both homes which they would not say to us individually because I think they know neither of us are going to blow up infront of the other and them.

- Believe me it causes a few deep breaths on both sides and a few raised eye brows and a few conversations between EX and I afterwards - but there is no - I do not believe it - they did not say it, you twisted it - out of the mouths of babes! Examples, DC1 had told me they did not like eating something at EX house and why were there no photos of DC1 and DC2 in his house but there were of his new DPs kids. DC1 obviously scared to raise subject with Dad on his own, Neither of them subjects I could really raise without an explosion of none of your business, stop interfering etc - they both got brought up at family meal least Xmas Eve and resolved - so much simpler than arguing!

Am v protective of this time, it will change and not be needed later- but right now it works ( not much else works for DCs in his new life)

MaltedMilkBiscuits Fri 05-Dec-14 14:37:18

I think its very much dependant on the relationship between the parents. In your case it seems they are amicable and I think its nice for the DCs to see their parents getting along and being able to spend time with both of them.

In some situations it wouldn't work where there is bad feeling between the parents, I think it would just be awkward for the Dcs if an argument were to break out.

Every family is different, what works for some wont work for others.

riverboat1 Fri 05-Dec-14 15:37:07

Hi OP. I think it's fine, especially if you would be welcome but are just unable to go. My DP has always done stuff like this with his ex. Admittedly she is remarried so that probably contributes to why I have always been so nonplussed about it. Now we do pre- Christmas lunch with me, DP, ex, her DH and all the assorted kids. But if I wasnt able to be there I definitely wouldnt have a problem with it happening without me.

I think a two hour brunch is pretty reasonable, given that you wont be there anyway. Doing the whole of Xmas togetger would make me uneasy, but this seems like a fairly good compromise.

TheMumsRush Fri 05-Dec-14 19:23:30

DH only sees ex at drop off/pick up. He's seen the kid so no need to spend longer with them, plus that would mean me being left on my own which I wouldn't be too happy about on Christmas Day.

TheMumsRush Fri 05-Dec-14 19:25:09

Also there are lots of other events for the kids to see DH and ex getting along, sports days, schools plays, parents evening, so they know all is ok.

vitabrits Sun 07-Dec-14 05:19:59

It wouldn't sit well with me. They are not a family anymore.

vitabrits Sun 07-Dec-14 05:21:23

However, maybe he's only doing it because being with you isn't an option?

FlossyMoo Sun 07-Dec-14 08:52:21

It wouldn't sit well with me. They are not a family anymore.

Really? His children are no longer his family?

That is the single most stupidest thing I have ever read on MN.

vitabrits Sun 07-Dec-14 09:42:56

They as in DP and his ex. Only a stupid person would misunderstand what I meant.

Pinkandpurplehairedlady Sun 07-Dec-14 09:52:38

Vitabrits - my ex and I are very much still a family. We are still mummy and daddy and the fact that we are getting divorced doesn't change that. We are pretty awful as a married couple but as parents we are rock solid.

FlossyMoo Sun 07-Dec-14 09:57:25

They remain to be a family because they have children together. They are no longer in a relationship but that doesn't stop them being a family. Only a stupid person would think that it did.

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