Christmas All together !(27 Posts)
So here we go, we are giving Christmas a go together as a family, me, DH, DH's ex and SS. We asked SS this weekend what his dream Christmas would be .... this was what he wanted. Cue me going off for a little cry ! So wish me luck ... any advice or success stories or nightmare experiences of this?
Yeah. Don't do it! I suppose it depends on your circumstances and how your headspace, and everyone else's is.
Personally I'd treat it as an appointment and have another occasion organised to actually look forward to and relax at.
We've been doing this for the past eight out of the ten years we've been together. For the first few years at Mother in laws, so neutral ground, which probably helped! Last few years at ours. It works because ex piles in and helps, kids are all late teens and 20s now and my biggest bugbear is they don't help!
I'm not going to say it was easy from the get go, but I think it's been better for the kids. DH and ex get on well and she came to our wedding. It works and it was worth the first slightly uncomfortable Christmas to make it work better the next year.
Of course your SS wants his mum and dad together Christmas Day. Personally I think this is a bad idea and it will lead to tears - mostly yours. However well you all get on (and it’s admirable) you are putting tremendous pressure on yourself.
Personally, there’s no way i’d spend Christmas Day with my husbands ex wife!
I spend every Xmas day with my exh. Been divorced 6 years, remarried 5. His mum also comes although she is quite elderly and no trouble.
I would say me and exh are amicable, not friends as such. We just put everything aside for one day.
Dc are teens now anyway.
I have dc Xmas Eve and do a big family tea with all my family then exh has Dc Boxing Day and me and dh have a little day to ourselves. It works well.
I get through it by telling myself it's just one day. My brother (single, early thirties) will come to mine too if my mum is working so often that helps dilute it a bit too. Obviously alcohol helps too.
I often get resentful that exh doesn't contribute to the whole Xmas dinner spread, but I know he is not well off and it's not like he doesn't pull his wait with the dc as he does. He is always very grateful and offers to wash up etc and his mum always buys me a bottle of something nice to say thanks.
Dh is a star about it too and is very hospitable. Everyone behaves themselves and knows it's just one day.
My advice is to try it once. And review every year. Make sure you get another day to just you and dp / your dc / family so you get to enjoy the Xmas spirit more relaxed.
God I'd rather spend Christmas alone than be in that situation
Also spending time together like that will be incredibly confusing for Ss and likely give him hope his parents will get back together. This will jeaspordise your relationship with him as you will always be seen as the one getting in the way of that...
mrs your dh is a saint!
Op, how old is SS? I agree that it’s nice that you’re trying to give him the Christmas he says he wants but please make sure he understands that it’s not a chance that his parents are getting back together. My dsd is 11 now but when she was smaller she used to ask if mummy and daddy could spend time with her together, she thought that if she made them spend time together they’d get back together. —no chance—
I hope you have a lovely Christmas. Personally I’d rather walk over hot coals than spend more than 30 seconds with DH’s ex, and so would he.
No advice OP but that is lovely that you are willing to do this for your dss
I think you are crazy! And although it’s what the child wants, it does not mean it is best for him, I wouldnt do it personally
My ss once said he wanted his mum dad and both partners to all live in one big house together. We didn't do it though. It's nice that you want to make him happy, but I think you need to really think this through.
Whether it works depends on the relationship you all have. I know it wouldn't work for me and I was once friends with the ex wife.
If your unsure maybe just try a Xmas celebration meal this year before Xmas. If that works do Xmas day next year.
Oh gosh, I really feel your pain. I did this the first year DH and I were together and it wasn't the most fun day out I've ever had. I arrived just before Xmas lunch and spent the day on my best behaviour and trying to be as helpful as possible. But it did feel quite awkward for me and there's no way I would do it again.
Yes, it was what the children had wanted at the time, but in my opinion, it didn't help them come to terms with the separation. If you've already signed up for this year, I hope it's not too painful and make sure you hide the bottle of Baileys where you can find it!
It is just easier to have everyone all together. It does help that DH's mum and dad are there too (plus other in laws often). If I had family close by I'd probably invite them too - so it becomes all more balanced ....
If you have someone else you know is going to be on their own then maybe you could invite them too?
I think it depends how long ago the split was and if things are amicable.
If a recent split, or handovers etc are even slightly awkward then don't do it. It'll be uncomfortable for everyone, including DSS!
Who's going to be hosting it? If you get the choice have it at your place so you know where everything is and can have a little lie down if it all gets too much. Let/expect DH to do a lot of the legwork, shopping, cooking, hosting, cleaning up. It's your Christmas too.
My Mum, Dad and SM have spent several of the last 5 or 6 Christmas days together with my siblings, partners, kid, but my parents had been divorced for about 20 years when it started so plenty of water under the bridge!
DH and his ex barely speak and my DSC would be horrified if they suddenly started wanting to spend time together, it's not that sort of set up.
I don't know OP, everyone's different and you're a good sport to even consider it. Don't make life harder for yourself by taking on too much or trying to make it all perfect. You're going above and beyond already and have nothing to prove.
Really good advice above to see if there's anyone you could invite for the day as well, might dilute any tensions and you'd have someone there you know well, so there's less opportunity for am awkward triangle of mum, dad, kid, and you killing yourself hosting around them and having a horror of a day.
I tkink there's a big difference between a 'all together' Christmas day when it involves a large family and members who have remained friendly with the ex, and celebration with father, new partner and the ex, with the kids only.
In the first scenario, I think it would be easier to treat the ex like a distant relative of partner, saying a word or two and that's that, whilst they speak with the others. The second scenario is much more awkward. How much do you normally communicate with the ex? Regularly, sometimes, not at all?
I don't suppose this is what you expected whev he was asked the question.
It can work for some families... I think it will be somewhat uncomfortable, but if she's willing to come then I guess she isn't bitter or still has feelings for him.
Thanks for everyone's advice. SS is 10, he has never known his parents together so I doubt he'll see it as an opportunity for them to get back together. We will host, DH will do all of the cooking etc. We live overseas ( not sure if that makes a difference) so it will be a bit of an indoor/outdoor day with time spent in/by the pool. So not really stuck inside around one table ... I have asked friends to join us, they may have family commitments by will try. (Agree this would lighten the load) DH and I have a good relationship with SS's mum, I give her a hug when I see her. Gave her flowers when she was having a tough time. We are all going out for dinner in a few weeks for SS's birthday. Let's hope it works, when we asked her she said she'd only come for a few hours as it was important for us to have a day together too.
Yeah my advice too would be don't do it. Of course he wants them both around on Christmas day, what child wouldn't want to see everyone they love all at once on such a special day of the year.
Just because he wants it, it doesn't mean you should do it. And yes like PP said, I too would rather spend Christmas alone than with DP's ex.
Don’t do it!
Or make this the last time...
Of course a kid would say that, if you asked them if they wanted their parents to remarry they would say yes. But that’s not the reality. And to be honest my kids just wanted loads of chocolate and presents, alternate years with each parent is a lesser wish!
It will be awkward and awful...
Actually only a few hours sounds loads less awful. But still...
OP I think your update above is quite helpful as it’s clear you’ve got a good relationship with your DH’s ex.
That’s great and sounds like you go out of your way to be supportive of her and she of you. The fact that she recognised you and your DH needed some time too (only coming for a few hours), is reassuring.
Sounds like it could work - see how you get on this year.
You could always say you've had a think and you don't think it's plausible?
Tbh though it does sound like you have a good relationship with the ex so maybe it won't be too bad...
SS's mum has had a really tough year, you can tell that has impacted SS. I always look back on my childhood Christmas's as being magical. I'd like the opportunity to give them a really good day after they have had a really tough time !
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.