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AIBU re Christmas

94 replies

Namechanged1212 · 02/11/2018 09:30

Have posted before but name changed for this

Myself and DP have a baby daughter who is 2 months old. He has a DS from previous who is 9. The arrangements when he first split with his ex was she’d have DSS Xmas day and my DP would have him Boxing Day. They ended up in court around access for various reasons and it was agreed that ex would have DSS on Xmas eve/day until around 3.30pm, DP would then collect him and drop him back Boxing Day at the same time.

Tbh I find this arrangement awful as it means that me and DP are really limited on what we can do on Xmas day and Boxing Day. My family live a good 45 mins away from DSS so we don’t really have time to have dinner with them before we have to leave to collect DSS and equally if we go round after that’s most of Christmas Day finished. DPs family largely do their own thing so wouldn’t be seeing them.

This year we’re having to have Christmas Day at home just me DP and the baby and going to my families once we have collected DSS so will probably get there around 5/6 on Xmas day. I feel like I’m really missing out on seeing my nieces and nephews etc and whilst the baby this year is too young to care, once she is older I don’t want her christmases to be disjointed and boring as we can’t do much before collecting DSS

We’ve said to him about maybe doing alternate Xmas day and Boxing Day but he’d rather be with his mum Xmas morning.

Wibu to say from next Christmas (not this) we go back to Xmas day with his mum and Boxing Day with us? For DD sake it doesn’t seem fair she won’t get normal christmases based on the rubbish timing of collecting DSS. Other alternative is if I suggest we pick him up around 6pm? I just feel like we don’t have Xmas day or Boxing Day as a whole day to actually spend with any family
Or anything!

OP posts:

Witchend · 02/11/2018 10:28

I think being shuttled around on Christmas day is horrible and emphasises to the child that they don't belong in one place. I certainly found that feeling very unsettling.

But there does seem to be a number of step parents who are very happy to go along with that until they have their own baby and then they want to change it. I think it would be the worst timing to change it, as it is very easy for the child to interpret it as "now they have another baby they don't want to see me for Christmas."


Namechanged1212 · 02/11/2018 10:30

Miss Terry - I know but I really don’t want to argue with DP about it and I think he’d not be happy with the suggestion as he ‘has to see his son on christmas’ when we last discussed it when I fell pg with dd as DSS won’t ever have an Xmas eve or
Morn with his little sister with the current arrangement.
I think a later pick up might work but not convinced DP would agree to it tbh - and I know mums family drink quite a lot at family party so not sure she’d be that agreeable either lol

OP posts:

ohreallyohreallyoh · 02/11/2018 10:31

Lots of parents don’t see their children on Xmas Day. I have been separated for 10 years and we do a break up from school to the 27th/27th through to back to school arrangement. So this year I won’t see my children till the 27th. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just how separated parenting works.

Unfortunately it sounds like your DP has had problems with contact and has got caught up in getting his own way at all costs, regardless of logic.

I fear you may need to accept it until your DSS feels ready to tackle the issue with his dad himself.


Namechanged1212 · 02/11/2018 10:32

Witchend - fair point. It’s only the second Christmas this year of doing it so not to do with the baby so much as I just thought it didn’t work at all last year but as no other childrento consider did what was needed for DSS to see his dad on Xmas day. We did both think that having a baby sibling here would maybe mean he wanted to come
Over more on Christmas etc but as of yet hasn’t really changed anything

OP posts:

Thesnobbymiddleclassone · 02/11/2018 10:33

I've never understood why people split the day. The poor kid never gets to enjoy it. It should one has Xmas day and the other had Boxing Day the n you switch the next year.


Namechanged1212 · 02/11/2018 10:35

Ohreally - I think you’re right. I’ll just suggest we host next year and then the following year DSS will nearly be a teen and old enough to decide for himself.
I feel for DP as he does mean well but sometimes can’t get past the ‘I must see my son even when it’s not practical/what is best for him’ where he’s trying to be a good dad and keep
Routine after they broke up

OP posts:

Namechanged1212 · 02/11/2018 10:37

Thesnobby - agreed. I’ll express my thoughts to DP but ultimately let him decide whether he wants to leave as is, chat with mum or DSS and I’ll work around it. By the time DD is old enough to understand Christmas properly and not have a disjointed day things could well have changed anyway

OP posts:

Feefeetrixabelle · 02/11/2018 10:38

You could sell it to dp as by moving it back his ds sees his dad on Christmas Day and you can have Christmas 2. So he arrives gets a Christmas Eve style box. And then goes to bed and see if he has been good enough for Santa to come twice. That way both him and dd get 2 Christmas. On the day she can open presents at your families and save yours for Boxing Day.


Oliversmumsarmy · 02/11/2018 10:42

I don’t think your feeling about not seeing your family has anything to do with what should or shouldn’t happen but I think the current arrangement is a bit pants.

Alternative Xmas day and Boxing Day would be better.

Either pick up late Christmas Eve and deliver back late Christmas Day or pick up Early Christmas Day and deliver back early Boxing Day.

The current arrangement is really disjointed even for SS’s dm who must equally be tied to not being able to go anywhere else on Christmas Day and Boxing Day


starfishmummy · 02/11/2018 10:44

If this so important to you then perhaps you should not be with someone who has children from an earlier relationship.

So the obvious answer is for you to LTB then you won't be inconvenienced by dss agsin


KiwiFroot · 02/11/2018 10:45

@starfishmummy what a ridiculous post.


Yabbers · 02/11/2018 10:56

Why is everyone insisting there is a hierarchy of who is more important in a family? And why should an entire family and extended family plan their day round one 9 year old boy? If Dad wants to see his son, he should arrange than and not expect the rest of his family to change everything for that. But dad always should remember his other children are important too.


swingofthings · 02/11/2018 10:56

DP does have another child too- DD - and I don’t think it’s a good habit to have where every Christmas he has to disappear for a few hours away from her / the rest of the family
And here we go. New baby comes and the eldest should be put aside to suit new baby.

Your baby is two months old and will no concept of what the day is about. She will not miss her father for a few hours, her father who SHE gets to see every day.

I really feel sorry for your OH as its really coming across that now that he has a child with you, you expect him to prioritise your wishes above that of his and clearly have no empathyvto the fact that it means a lot to him to see his DS on Xmas, something he's thought had to get.


Didyeeaye · 02/11/2018 10:57

It's a shame that DSS is having to split his day as well and you would probably find he would prefer 'Two Christmases' the 25th with mum and 26th with dad rather than the current arrangement. That being said it might be difficult to arrange since it was through the courts so ideally DSS's mother would need to be on board. I get what you are saying though and don't think you are being unreasonable as 3:30pm is still Christmas lunch time in most houses.


Thymeout · 02/11/2018 10:58

It's obviously too late to change anything for this year, but if you all set off for your family at whatever time you usually would and you stay put while DP goes off to pick up DSS, the only inconvenience is DP missing Xmas lunch. And that's easily solved by plating up his meal and putting it in the microwave when he gets back.

DSS can occupy himself with his step-sibling/other kids or more pudding, whatever, as appropriate. I do agree sitting around with a young baby at your home till it's time to pick up DSS will feel very flat and to be avoided if possible.

Btw, try to lower your expectations about a 9yr old boy being that interested in a baby. It's a big gap, even in a non-blended family. They may never have a close relationship, no matter how much you would like them to. That's just life.


Whoisshequestionmark · 02/11/2018 11:05

You go to your family and your DP can stay at home ready to collect his son. Easy. Him spending time with his children is far more important than spending it with you and your family. That way he'll see his youngest in the morning and his oldest in the afternoon.
Don't like the though of that? Then how do you think his son would feel if you put a stop to his visits to suit your own selfish needs. YABVU. You chose to have a child with a man who already has one with another woman. You have no right to dictate if they spend Christmas together or not.


florentina1 · 02/11/2018 11:05

I do think that this is one occasion when the son should get to choose.
My ExDil has a large extended family who practically live In same street. They spend a lot of time together, with frequent family celebrations.

My son has never had Christmas and Boxing Day with his children. When they had to go back to Court on another matter, he asked my advice about whether he should apply for Christmas Access.

I said that he should not. My GD is really sensitive and even on the access days she phoned her mum constantly. She was only small but the reason for wanting to call was because
she was worried about her mum being on her own. I could not image that she would have enjoyed Christmas away from her. It was heart breaking for my son but it was in the best interests of the children.


SEsofty · 02/11/2018 11:07

So collection is at 3.30. Drive is 45mins

Have Christmas dinner at half four when h gets back.

The step son might just end up eating lots of roast potatoes

Don’t really see why the need for the angst

Then on Boxing Day do lunch at one and h leaves at 2.30 to take him back. Has quality quiet chat time with his son on the drive and is back for half four


IrmaFayLear · 02/11/2018 11:21

You read so many complaints about deadbeat dads, and here is a dad who has fought in court for access, and is obviously determined to maintain a relationship with his ds. It would be easy for the dad to let the access and relationship slide, and then be blamed for absenting himself from the child's life when he is on the cusp of teenagerdom and all its attendant problems.

Anyway, I agree that to change things this year sends a bad message - ie that the ds is surplus to requirements. I'm sure it's pretty hideous for him though to have to visit OP's family. I have heard so many sad tales of kids being schlepped to new wife's family at Christmas and the grandparents showering gifts and attention on their "blood" gc and the step gc sitting there like lemons.


RomanyRoots · 02/11/2018 11:23

Children should come first at Christmas anyway, let alone if they have the baggage that coming from a broken home brings.
I think the child should be consulted and if he wants to be with his mum on xmas day, he should. Irrespective of what a court order or anyone else thinks.
I wouldn't want my dc to have had to have spent their Christmases in different homes.


WitchesHatRim · 02/11/2018 11:27

DP does have another child too- DD - and I don’t think it’s a good habit to have where every Christmas he has to disappear for a few hours away from her / the rest of the family.

Completely disagree! Your DD will have the benefit of her mum and dad together all the time for starters. Do not start pitting one child against the other.


Jaxhog · 02/11/2018 11:30

If dss want to be with his mum on christmas day, then he should be. But why does DP have to collect him? Can't his ex deliver him to you? Then Dp takes him back.

I also agree with the Christmas Day with one parent and Boxing Day with the other, suggestion. It sounds like the only person who wants to split Christmas day is your DP.


RomanyRoots · 02/11/2018 11:43

DP does have another child too- DD - and I don’t think it’s a good habit to have where every Christmas he has to disappear for a few hours away from her / the rest of the family.

Maybe, he or you should have thought about it before having dd.
He already has a family, it's not like you didn't know.
We can't always have what we want and if that's the way your dp and his ex want it, then you just have to suck it up.

It is better for dss to be with one parent on xmas day and the other on Boxing day, but your dp wants xmas day, too.
If he has to leave your dd to be with his son, at least your child has two parents together, something that dss will never have Sad


Missingstreetlife · 02/11/2018 11:55

Splitting days is good for little kids, they miss the parent they are not with, especially resident parent.
Not so good for bigger kids, more disruptive, already done Xmas and tired when they get to you. Court orders can be varied to recognise developmental and circumstantial change.
Would parents do alternate years from next year? Or you having new year instead can work well when they are big enough to stay up late, but not yet into teenage parties.
What do they do on his birthday


ErickBroch · 02/11/2018 12:02

Divorced parents, split Christmas every year with no problems. Rotated every year at whose I would wake up at, then would usually go to the other house around 1-2 for lunch.

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