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Christmas arguments again

(83 Posts)
wheresthel1ght Sun 16-Oct-16 16:12:15

It is getting to that time of year again when the inevitable row over Christmas occurs. I don't think we are being unreasonable in asking that we alternate years so that my dscs get to see their dad on Christmas morning and share it with their sister. Their mum on the other hand seems to think that we are being utterly unreasonable and insists that they always spend the whole of Christmas with her or at best will compromise on them coming after lunch.

None of my family live near us - I would like for us to have a proper big family Christmas that for once includes my dsc. Does this make me a bitch?! Dp agrees, he is sick of being held to ransom by her but also doesn't want a row with her.

Christmas falls on their weekend with us. She normally refuses to be flexible if we need to amend contact for any reason spouting off about the importance of routine but then expects us to rearrange our whole lives when she doesn't want the kids around.

I normally stay out of it unless it is me expected to be available - like last year when I was away and I got told that I had to cancel my plans because she hadn't arranged child care for her time during the school holidays and as I was off work they were my problem.

Before anyone flames me - I have spent years trying to keep the peace and over the last 2 years have given up. She has lied to us and about us, she has lied to the children about where she is, disappeared for hours on end after dropping them with me for a "personal" doctor's appointment, called dp all names under the sun when he has refused to alter contact because we were away at a wedding (no kids not on our weekend etc) because her dp other man was tires and wanted a weekend without the kids there.

But I am sick of seeing the kids so hurt by this same bloody row over Christmas. She promised them last year they could have Christmas Eve with us and go home for lunch and then at the very last moment she pulled the plug. Everything is about her and not the kids and I am at the end of tether for ideas on how to manage the kids expectations but also support dp on fighting for what is fair.

Any ideas? Thoughts? How do other people handle it?

swingofthings Sun 16-Oct-16 16:35:18

As a mum of now teenagers who do what they want and it doesn't really matter anymore, I would have had a real issue if I couldn't have been with my children on Christmas.

The main reason is that before and after we separated we always celebrated Christmas at his parents. I don't have family in the country and was still in good contact with his family so it worked well for everyone...until his new partner decided that she wasn't happy either to join in, nor to let her partner go if only for a few hours. All in a sudden, she was demanding that he should have the kids for the entire day for Christmas and although all the chores of parenting was left to me (for instance, he insisted on not having them overnight until they could get up and switch the TV in the morning because he couldn't be bothered to get up at 6am to entertain them, that was my to deal with as their mum).

The first year of the request ended up in a massive row, with him trying to manipulate the kids by making promises which I knew he would never keep.

In the end, we did manage to come to an agreement that one year they would go there on the 24th and be back on Christmas day shortly after noon, and the following year would be the opposite and as the kids were able to express themselves, they made it clear that's what they wanted because it meant a lot to them to spend time with both parents on the day. We therefore agreed to this arrangement, although it means that we had to accept not going away during that period (which my husband accepted although he would love to just go away for the whole period).

This year, I am going away with the kids for 10 days, coming back on Christmas eve, so they will spend the whole Christmas day with their dad for the first time, but after 10 days together every minute of the day, I'm sure we will all be glad to part from each other's company for a day!

wheresthel1ght Sun 16-Oct-16 16:43:17

Swing - I feel the same over dd so I do understand but it isn't about her and her feelings really is it? It is about her lovely kids who never asked for her to drop her knickers to any man who showed an interest did they?

She never allowed the to see dp's family at Christmas when they were together - every year was about her and her family. She is exceptionally selfish all round.

The kids are asking what is happening and I have simply said I don't know, that technically it is their weekend with us but that it hasn't been decided. Dp asked her to confirm everything in August as the original plan was to spend it with my very ill grandma as it is likely to be her last one and we were hoping to have everyone together - the kids have expressly asked to be involved so this event has been moved to between Xmas and new year as I don't want to disappoint them or a very old lady.

I just don't understand why anyone would deliberately hurt their own kids?

She ended her marriage. Dp did nothing wrong - at her own admission to me - she has multiple affairs and then threw him out when one gave her an ultimatum. So frankly she made her bed.

Unicorncatsack Sun 16-Oct-16 16:47:37

her lovely kids who never asked for her to drop her knickers to any man who showed an interest did they?

Eh? Did I miss something in your op??

wheresthel1ght Sun 16-Oct-16 16:49:48

Union yes - it is crossed out but her Dp was the other man.

JustCallMeKate Sun 16-Oct-16 16:50:57

It is about her lovely kids who never asked for her to drop her knickers to any man who showed an interest did they?

It takes 2 you know. What a bloody awful thing to say.

wheresthel1ght Sun 16-Oct-16 16:57:13

Fully aware it takes 2 but that still doesn't change the fact her kids never asked for this does it?

Maybe83 Sun 16-Oct-16 17:06:43

We alternative so one year I have dd on Christmas eve and Christmas morning. Then she goes to her dad's for dinner and Christmas night. I have a younger dd and she spent last year with us and her. Ss spends most Christmas days with dh or at dh mam 's house. He has spent most of his Christmas eves with dh.

This year it will just be me dh and smallest dd and then older children for dinner.

To be honest I would prefer alternative Christmas days as I feel I spend my whole day driving here there and every were to fit it all in.

Dd wouldn't have that though she wants to see both of us and her extended family on Christmas day so we make it work.

I think a child should have the chance to spend a Christmas morning with both parents.

The lanauge you used to describe their mother is disgusting by the way. I thought affairs were supposed to be separate to parenting? Or does that only apply when the sm is the ow?

wheresthel1ght Sun 16-Oct-16 17:12:22

Maybe I don't really care that you think it is disgusting to be honest. She is a selfish person who never considers her kids feelings.

They don't want to be shuffled from one house to the other and have repeatedly told her and their dad this. They want to alternate - they are now 12 and 11 so technically old enough to decide. She doesn't care what they want or even what is fair. She just wants what suits her.

JustCallMeKate Sun 16-Oct-16 17:17:45

Any ideas? Thoughts

By fuck you're rude. You ask for thoughts and opinions then come on replying you don't care what people think. What you said WAS disgusting. I really hope you don't get many more replies to your thread. You don't deserve people to take time to reply given you think you're clearly always right.

wheresthel1ght Sun 16-Oct-16 17:19:46

And yet as a step mum I am always considered the ow and therefore my opinion is invalid?! Double standards much

Maybe83 Sun 16-Oct-16 17:27:44

Save your pity party. That's a disgusting way to speak about anyone i dont care if your a step mum or a saint. I don't give a toss if a sm is the other woman to be honest and I am a sm so not bitter lonely ex calling you out.

It is selfish not to swap, that's got fuck all to do with who or how many people she may or not have slept with.

donkir Sun 16-Oct-16 17:30:16

I think what the op means is that the mum had an affair which caused the family to be separated. Mum is still with the other man. This is what op thinks is disgusting as she's caused her children more upset than needed.

My ex and I have been separated for 13yrs now and we always alternate Christmas.
This year the ex has ds xmas eve night to xmas day night (6pm) and next year we'll have ds instead.
Normal contact is eow

Jinglebellsandv0dka Sun 16-Oct-16 17:33:36

Why was this not sorted out in court?have you not got a contact order?

crazybat Sun 16-Oct-16 17:35:26

As someone that has seen both sides of the coin I think it's important that the kids see both parents on Christmas Day.

In my house the most important part of the day is first thing in the morning, and the after noon. As that's when gift giving is done.

Is there any way of having lunch at here and dinner at yours etc?

Christmas is the worst time for separations.

I am a sucker when it comes to my kids at Christmas, traditions etc and they don't get the 'Christmas spirit' at dads so it works for me.

Boxing Day is my day and kids go to their dads for a couple of days. (With the option of seeing them xmas Day if they would like for either morning or afternoon to be fair)

Maybe83 Sun 16-Oct-16 17:36:38

If a sm who was the ow posted that she had something like that said to her by the ex there would be uproar on this board. Now that is double standards.

Or imagine it was a man who posted language like to describe a woman sexual behaviour on any other board on mumsnet?

wheresthel1ght Sun 16-Oct-16 17:45:33

Jingle - contact was done via mediation and she flatly refused to have it set in stone saying they would de with special events between themselves. In reality she flatly refuses to allow dp to have any contact for birthdays and has pushed him out of Christmas.

Her dp refuses to have the kids in the house when his aren't there (he is RP) refuses to do any looking after of them and yet I am expected to do as I am told which also pisses me off. So she makes demands that are utterly unreasonable.

Dp has told her the last 2 years that if she doesn't start being reasonable then he will take her to court and get. Written order but as his solicitor pointed out it doesn't mean she will stick to It and if she refuses to hand the kids over on Xmas eve/day what is anyone actually going to do about it? Courts will be shut til the new year and the police won't enforce it as it is a family court matter so not their business.

It pisses me off that she destroys their family without a second thought for the kids and how they will feel and is continuing to dismiss what they want. Then she acts all hard done by.

Her own mother stopped me in the street last year and told me that she was disgusted by her own daughter and her behaviour and to let my dp know they were fighting his corner with her. So even they can see she is being an absolute cow.

She sees it as punishing dp although I have no idea for what but actually she is punishing the kids who adore their dad

wheresthel1ght Sun 16-Oct-16 17:50:19

Crazy dp would be happy with it if alternates who they were with for Xmas morning but she absolutely refuses. Morning and lunch are with her and then we have to collect them for a couple of hours. She refuses to bring them down even though it is part of the agreement that she did half the travelling if we moved to same town (were 8 miles away) because she wanted to drink with her dinner

Starryeyed16 Sun 16-Oct-16 21:07:19

I have a DS with ex he has always spent Christmas morning with me and goes to DF teatime Christmas Day for 3 days.

Personally I think I should be able to have Christmas morning with my son, I do the majority of the care all year round from the day he has been born made sacrifices with my career, paid childcare organised cover for school holidays whilst ex has been free to work as long shifts as he wishes and not use all his holidays to cover the school holidays. He would have DS for one week a year for holiday access whilst I had my DH used holidays and family to cover the remaining year. To be honest it sounds like your still getting chrismas day just later in the day so your not going no contact for the day

NickiFury Sun 16-Oct-16 21:13:33

Well she can't be "dropping her knickers for every man that shows an interest" really can she? Seeing as she's still with the man she left the marriage for.

swingofthings Mon 17-Oct-16 09:22:02

It's interesting that you left out that the kids supposedly have indicated that they would prefer alternate Christmas in your OP or is it what they told you because they felt pressured to tell you what you want to hear?

What you did make very clear is that you want to be able to be able to travel and spend the day with your family which that would be a selfish motive.

Of course it has nothing to do with the reasons of the break up and your bringing it up kind of undermines your position.

mouldycheesefan Mon 17-Oct-16 09:25:55

Keep out of it. Let your partner resolve it with her. You have a ten day holiday and then Xmas with your own children enjoy that. If he is unhappy with the arrangements he needs to get a contact order.

CozyAutumn Mon 17-Oct-16 09:34:51

I agree with mouldy. Let your partner sort it and enjoy Christmas regardless of what happens! Your dd will be there guaranteed and if the Dscs are there then it will be a bonus. Stop letting her have such a hold over you and letting this wind you up so much.

NickiFury Mon 17-Oct-16 10:37:10

Oh and you really shouldn't be discussing this directly with the kids, they don't need that kind of pressure. I know someone who was threatened with contempt of court if he continued to discuss matters pertaining to residency and contact with his young child as he was stressing her out so much with it.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 17-Oct-16 10:52:09

We're lucky that DSC's Mum's family celebrates on Christmas eve and the pattern has become that she has them for that then we collect them Christmas morning and they go back a couple of days later. She has them for New Year and goes away for a week.

Usual contact is every weekend and once in the week and it's not always 100% straight forward, but for some reason she wants us to have them for Christmas Day, even though DH has suggested we alternate if she ever wants to. He doesn't know how she spends Christmas day but we're lucky it works as it does and are open to changes down the line if she changes her mind.

My own parents divorced 20 plus years ago and this far on everyone gets on well enough that we're all spending it together. DF, DSM, DM, us, DSC and my siblings and partners. I know how unusual this is.

I hope it gets sorted for you OP and you all get clarity either way. It certainly sounds horribly stressful and Christmas seems to have become a focal point for the general ill will and difficulty in the whole situation. As you say, it should be about what the children want. But as long as they know you want them and they've always been a welcome part of what both of you and your extended family want, there's not much you can do and at least when they're old enough to really have a say about where they spend it they'll know.

As long as she knows how stressful you find the uncertainty I can't see her changing her mind. Your poorly grandmother and wanting to all be together for her is another element of complication, but would it be easier to assume you just won't have the DSC for Christmas and, without telling their Mum, have another family Christmas day on another date nearby?

Different families have all sorts of ways of celebrating when they can't all be together on the day and to a degree it's Christmas when you make it - bonus for your DD, she'll get two special days.

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