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First Christmas apart(14 Posts)
I’m new to posting on Mumsnet - I’m a step mum to a lovely 4 year old boy. Me and his dad haven’t been together too long and this year is the first Christmas my partner and his son won’t be together. We’re having him on Boxing Day, I can’t wait.
I’ve never been in a relationship with anyone who has children so this is all new to me. I have to say, so far, I’m enjoying it. But Christmas is worrying me.
We’re planning all the family things such as decorating the tree, Santa visits, writing a letter to Santa etc... it’s not so much my step son I’m worried about as amazingly, he’s dealing with his mum and dads split really well. It’s more my partner.
So, how can I make Christmas Day special for him (it’ll be the two of us the dinner with my family) and try and help him through the day when his son isn’t there?
Thanks in advance x
Oh lord. Brace yourself for the following influx.
1) being told you are not a stepMum as you have not been with your partner ‘too long’
2) being told you are being too full on too soon about doing ‘family’ things.
3) asking if you are the Ow?
4) asking how long you have been together and if it’s less than a year it’s very irresponsible that you’re spending Boxing Day together, with the child.
I’m not going to comment on that, but I’ll answer the question you’ve asked. How do you support your partner? You do your thing with your family and give your partner space and fully expect that he may be sad about not seeing his son wake up on Christmas morning. Don’t over compensate or go OTT (as that too can be overwhelming). Just be kind and allow him to feel whatever he feels.
He may be fine.
Agree with above pp's points tbh. Do you even live with the fella? By law you're not a step mum until you've married his dad but typically would be considered a step-parent when you begin caring for the child physically - as in do you wash his clothes? Do you put him to bed? Do you bathe him? Do you help him with homework?
In regards to your question, although your boyfriend cannot be with his child on Xmas day, encourage him to keep communication open with the child's mother and speak to his son on the phone and send/receive a few pictures of Santa's gifts etc so he still feels involved.
You are whatever you want to be my dear, some people may say you are not the step mum but at this time you are doing a great job as the fairy godmother. So keep your chin up, you are taking a lovely interest in this child and it is lovely to hear he is accepting you well.
The things I have appreciated when I had to spend Christmas away from my son were:
- the people/family I spent Christmas with made me feel a proper part of their family.
- a thoughtful gift goes a long way
- the mum of my friend cooked my favourite food... because I was going to be there.
- Do a repeat of Christmas when DS got back home.
Enjoy your time together and keep the good work with this little kid.
My advice is stop with the expectations or trying to make it a treat day even tho your DP doesn't have his child. Give him space and appreciate he may be withdrawn or upset to not have his child with him and understand this is not about you and whether you do, you cannot overcompensate for him not being with his son. Just give him space and love/comfort if he wants it and don't make it a project to make his Xmas amazing because, without his child, it's unlikely it'll be more than nice. Making no offence to you
BTW, my son was the age of this kid when I split with my ex, and so was the child of my new partner I met a few years later.
IME, the children were not that bothered about talking things through, keep in touch with the absent parent or sharing pictures of the toys. They just wanted to be left alone to play with their toys.
Thank you everyone for your replies, definitely things I will be taking on board for my partner and the little lad. Much appreciated
I didn't read all the replies.
You sound very lovely by asking how you can make the Xmas day special for your partner (if I understood well), but you are not his mom, he's an adult and he should be able to deal with his feelings. Generally men don't appreciate being treated like children by their woman. Like others said, don't overcompensate, you didn't create this situation, you don't need to solve it.
Why you are a step mum? Does that little boy need one? Is something wrong with his mum?
Why do you force yourself on so much?
You seem to overstep (a lot), you are his dad partner not his mum.
nor your DP's mum like #Anuta77 pointed out.
Maybe its your first year and you are bit over excited but back off. You are creating a situation where BM will be upset with you and then your Partner gets lot of problems and its all because you are trying to play mum to someone who does not need it.
Second question like a woman to another woman:
Why do you expect that he will not be happy in your company?
If he don't feel happy with your company without his son being present then its a huge red flag: he is looking for a childminder for the time he should have his son (soon you will do all the driving, looking after and entertaining the kid and get blamed about everything he really should be responsible for) you will not be a partner to love and grow old with.
Is that what you want your life to be? Some woman actually do want that. Its all good if you are also one of them.
Bloody hell there's some unhelpful, nasty posters on this thread aren't there?!!
I would just treat Christmas Day as a nice relaxing day with adults and plenty food and alcohol. And boxing Day as the day to focus on your DP's son, open presents, etc. Kids have absolutely no problems with Santa coming twice over, if your BF wants to do him a stocking.
When my kids were little I used to miss them when they were at their dad's sometimes. I found it much harder if I was around other small children. If I was just with adults it was easier to enjoy the child-free time and not miss my kids. Do your own family who you'll be with for Christmas dinner have young children? Something to be aware of if they do that your BF might prefer some adult only company for much of the day.
I really don’t understand the bitchiness on this thread either. If my son’s stepmum was as nice as this woman is to her boyfriend’s kid I would be BLOODY grateful, rather than trying to establish a stupid hierarchy that will ultimately make my own son unhappy.
I think @Firefliess has some good advice OP.
One thing I would be wary of is being TOO indulgent of it. Supportive, yes, understanding, yes, but ultimately your partner needs to create a situation where he is happy and comfortable with how his son slots into his Christmas plans (whether it's Boxing Day or whatever) and still able to enjoy his day with you and the other adults in his life, rather than moping and impressing upon you all how meaningless time with you is if his son isn't there.
It will naturally be a bit different for him but this is also your first Christmas together, there are still positive things for him to enjoy and he will still have a second day with his son. He does need to make peace with his decision to leave, I have seen it before where men in his position are still acting like Christmas is awful for them having to spend it with JUST their partner years later, and ultimately that's not fair on the partner in this situation.
Be understanding, but encourage him to set new traditions and not see it as the end of the world.
@lolapops14 the posts on this thread are horrible - and I'll stake my hat on it, that only 1% of the replies are step mums.
I stopped posting on the Step parenting thread for this exact reason. The majority were only ever bashing and never actually helpful.
I'm a step mum (by marriage for all those trolls). Last year was the first year by DH woke up with his LG on Christmas Day (she's 6 - they've been split up since she was 2).
Christmas is about the kids, Christmas Day can be whatever day you say it is. We do Christmas whatever day we're having DSD.
So Boxing Day treat it as Christmas Day. Christmas dinner, presents everything.