DC’s birthday/Christmas - how do you do it?

(12 Posts)
IcePlease Tue 07-Aug-18 14:06:52

Hi all,

Just a quick question out of curiosity really.. how does it work in your family in relation to step children’s birthdays/ Christmas etc.

Do you do things separately with your family and then mums family or is it joint? If it’s joint, do you attend or does DP just attend?

Thanks in advance smile

OP’s posts: |
IcePlease Tue 07-Aug-18 14:09:13

Meant to say DSC’s birthday... sorry

OP’s posts: |
user1487168313 Tue 07-Aug-18 14:22:34

Because we are the NRP, the mum will arrange their bday party (dad will contribute towards the costs). Normally we do not attend, but I think that depends on your relationship and the dad's relationship with the mum. We will do something special with the kids separately but won't host another bday party.

DSS is moving in with us soon for secondary school. Considering that we become the RP for him and also his school mates will be near us, I guess we are going to host bday party for him going forward (the mum won't be invited in our case but she can make arrangement to do something special with him separately).

AnneLovesGilbert Tue 07-Aug-18 14:26:46

Separate celebrations here. Ex organises something with her family and something small with school friends, we organise something with our family and friends and their DC. Works well and it's what the DC know and are comfortable with.

Christmas, we have the same pattern of days every year and the DC ask each parent for different things so no chance of doubling up.

IcePlease Tue 07-Aug-18 17:53:10

Thanks you both - my dp and ex currently do a day out together on birthdays and a small gathering for close family together around the time also, well that’s what happened last year anyway and ex wants the same this year. He doesn’t feel comfortable with that arrangement now as they don’t get on particularly well but try their best to hold it together for the children. I’m not involved in either and would never be so i was just trying to get a view on what others do in blended families. As he wanted to do it seperately to avoid the atmosphere but she isn’t happy about that... more for him really to get an idea of others arrangements. Thanks smile

OP’s posts: |
AnneLovesGilbert Tue 07-Aug-18 18:35:19

They both have to be happy. They’re equal parents and should both get to celebrate in a way they feel is fun, relaxed and good for the DC.

When I was younger my parents continued to do joint things and got on so it worked well. Fair to say my dad was a very passive parent and my mum was happy organising everything.

DH and his ex don’t get on at all, arrange contact by email and barely speak so it would be very weird for the DC to see them together. Keeping things separate works for everyone and the DC are happy.

IcePlease Tue 07-Aug-18 21:20:59

I think if you can get along like your parents then it would be great and I think the ideal for most seperated parents. He is passive too really but to the point where he will do things that don’t make him happy and then it causes a bigger issue when he eventually says what he thinks as it’s probably a bigger shock than if he just said what he thought from the get go hmm.

Yeah I do agree they need to do what is right for everyone and not just what she decides, I don’t want to give to much of an opinion on it to anyone in RL as she isnt overly keen on me and probably would just come across as me going against her out of negativity.

He does know he wants it to be seperate really but gets down when he is told he is being a selfish dad for it. I think knowing other people do things separately just helps him know it’s normal and not him being a horrible dad. He knows he isn’t really as he has them 2 nights a week and extra half days here and there if his shifts allow but she does play the guilt card with him a lot as she wants 50/50 but his shifts don’t allow him to and she wouldn’t want them to be with me.

It’s just one of those things I guess, every family is different and I just think his ideal is very different from hers as she wants to keep things so they are pretty near to how it was before they seperated and it’s just not possible. As in he can’t pop to hers all the time to have the kids while she does her cleaning or cooking before or after work etc. In an ideal world that is how she would like things to be.

I think the way your DP and his ex are could be how they end up too as discussions about anything always lead to something negative and it’s probably not healthy to be that way forever but that is obviously for them to think about. Im not involved in the arguing just get the nasty remarks from her via him hmm.

I’m just looking forward to the day when it’s all ironed out and everyone is amicable as I can’t see everything being a battle forever... I hope wine

OP’s posts: |


user1487168313 Tue 07-Aug-18 22:05:47

OP please do tell your husband that if he is doing his utmost for his kids, he shouldn’t accused of being a “selfish dad”. Whenever the ex of my husband cannot the way she wants, she sent nasty texts to my husband saying “you are a horrible dad, you shouldn’t have kids at the first place”. It is very hurtful, although I think my husband is mature enough to brush those comments off, I always try to comfort/reassure him.

NorthernSpirit Wed 08-Aug-18 07:26:05

Separate activities here.

My OH has a very vitriolic EW (boarding in naraccissim). They only communicate via email (which a judge ordered due to her abusive nature).

It’s court order that they do alternate Christmas / new year. Alternative Easter holiday. The kids birthdays are a week apart and a judge ordered he could take the kids out for a birthday tea on one of their birthdays (but she refuses that). So he isn’t ‘allowed’ to see them in their birthdays.

So they don’t do anything joint (I do worry about big events etc when they’ll have to be in the same room). We do something for the kids when they are with us.

Do what’s best for the kids / you.

user1493413286 Wed 08-Aug-18 07:45:36

We do it separately; when DSD was younger DH would sometimes be invited to parties (normally if he’d been asked for money for it). Now we do a family day out with DHs family and DSD will do something with her mum; she doesn’t want us to all be there as she finds it too odd.
I’d happily do whatever DSD wanted for her birthday; i wouldn’t be keen at all on doing Christmas together and would probably refuse to do more than an hour or two.

Crossroads18 Wed 08-Aug-18 08:19:07

With regards to my step kids we do seperate celebrations and we don't contribute to the ex parties etc and she doesn't contribute towards our plan. One because we live the hours away, two his family wouldn't want to be there with her after everything over the last few years, thirdly because it's usually a big expesenive party that we would both be invited to and last minute usually changes her mind and says we can't go. Partners sister in law has her own bouncy castle company, with popcorn machines, sweet stands etc and we hired it for the ex and then she told us on the day we weren't allowed to go she just wanted th discount of his sister in law. So now we
Do a day out with them when we visit to celebrate their birthday usually a theme park or zoo thing etc and then use one of partners relative house for everyone to come and visit whilst cake and presents are done.

With my sons Dad we always done it seperatley as we never quite got on however I always got on with his family so they all came and were invited. I did invite my ex but he declined. This year though as we all get on like a house on fire we are going
To do something together. It took us a lot of work to get here but now we can have group chats about our son, attend appointments together etc

T2705 Wed 08-Aug-18 11:58:29

For my DC I usually arrange a treat or party with their friends which ex contributes to but doesn't usually bother attending. I usually have my family and friends round for a bbq or drinks or whatever and my ex does the same for his family. It does mean birthdays get a little protracted but the kids seem to like it!! As far as contact, we tend to have half the day each - if they wake up with me on their actual birthday, ex will pick them up just after lunch or vice versa. We consult with each other about what the kids have asked for and buy separate presents.

DP, on the other hand, does shared presents with his ex, and gets up super early on DSDs birthdays to get to their house early for them to open them, he and his ex do any kind of party or treat with school friends together. They go for a meal or something with his family and his ex celebrates separately with his family (DP is the enemy as far as they are concerned!) We have a nice dinner or something for them on the next contact day. This may change as time goes on though. I may be invited to the family meal - who knows!

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