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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:

swingofthings · 02/11/2018 12:15

Also OP has said that he wants to see his mum on Xmas morning, that's different to meaning that he doesn't care to not see his dad on the day. I would take from that that he meant he wants to see both his parents that day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon as it now. Funny how OP interpretated this to mean he'd be happy as long as he is with his mum that day, regardless of not seeing his dad.

Also maybe mum has accepted to make the best of what was imposed on her and now think it suits her fine too.


VanGoghsDog · 02/11/2018 12:27

But what a child would 'rather do' and what is in their best interests are often very different things.

Of course the DSS view needs to be taken into account but the DP is his father and gets a much more heavily weighted say than the child does. The mother does want it because it is in the child's best interests, she wants it because it fits her traditions.
You don't want it because it's in the child's best interest, you want it because it fits with what you want to do.

The only person who has been objective here in looking at the child's best interest is the judge! We don't know the full story - so the only advice any of us should give is 'follow the court order'.

I tend to agree that splitting the day is a pain but having separate days has its challenges too. But it really is only a day and not worth all this angst, just work round what you have. Have a nice quiet time with your new baby for the morning, and then when DSS comes over you can do more presents and see your family the next day. Oh, and 45 mins is nothing, I drive more than that to work!


Dotty1970 · 02/11/2018 12:31

I haven't read replies so just commenting on your post.
YABU.. This is having step children you need to accept this. It is similar to the arrangement we have and we just work with it as the main thing is that the little boy gets to see his dad on Christmas day and boxing day.
I feel sorry for him you probably feel your daughter is missing out (which she really isn't, he is her brother) but he would be missing out if you change things.
It sounds like you resent him and are putting your daughter before him.... Poor thing.


HauntedPencil · 02/11/2018 12:55

From the point of view of your DSS I think it sounds preferable to have one whole day with each of you.

It's not nice for a 9 yo either to waste 1.5 hours of the day both days in the car

He could have a really nice full day with both of you.


LIVIA999 · 02/11/2018 12:56

With our DSD and S we always spilt. So Christmas Day one year with us and Boxing Day with mum and swap the next year. It wasn't perfect as I have a huge extended family but my DC live with their Dad and I wanted to make sure the step children didn't even feel left out. Over the years it's all changed and mostly they come to us on Boxing Day now to have lunch with my family rather than DH family bizarrely.
I think you just need to take each year as it comes. There will be a few years when he barely gets out of bed for Christmas if my experience is anything to go by.


swingofthings · 02/11/2018 13:00

And how do you come to that conclusion haunted? Because when I suggested it to my kids, they were adamant that their preferred Xmas days was one split so they could see both parents on the day. Even now at 19, independent and driving, my DD will spend half the day with me and half the day with her dad and family, at least that's what she told me was planning to do when I asked her her plan, so what makes you say that no kids would prefer this arrangement?


Ginger1982 · 02/11/2018 13:31

If you, your DP and his ex are in agreement with going back to Christmas Day with mum and Boxing Day with Dad, just change it back! The court order is there to set out what should happen when parents can't agree. It's not meant to be set in stone for time immemorial and if you went back to court just to change that when you're all in agreement the judge wouldn't be happy that you couldn't just have agreed it between yourselves.


feathermucker · 02/11/2018 13:35

DSS is your family.

Dinner can be rearranged for different times. There are plenty of days over the Christmas period to see family.


flyingspaghettimonster · 02/11/2018 14:21

45 mins drove is nothing. I guess it seems long in the UK, but really it isn't. Where we lived you'd drive that just to get to the shop. That sa8d, the arranged times are dumb. Better to get a whole day till evening each. Is ask about changing the hours.


footballmum · 02/11/2018 14:27

This should be about what your DSS wants, not your DP. If your DSS would rather stay at home on Xmas Day then your DP should respect that and make a fun Boxing Day.


HauntedPencil · 02/11/2018 16:18

Because that's what the child actually wants? He is 9.

He wants to stay at his mums where there is a big family party.


Namechanged1212 · 02/11/2018 16:41

Swing if you read my posts you would see that he wants to stay at his mums family party that happens on the evening of Christmas Day. He has lots of cousins that side that he likes to see on Christmas Day so when we collect him he gets taken out right in the middle of the festivities.

He likes seeing my family as he gets on well with my nephews so it’s not like he’s forced to spend time with the ‘new wife’s family’. He is treated equally with presents etc to the biological grandchildren you can’t just make assumptions that he is not.

Both children are equal priority all of the time and DSS would never miss out based on DD and I expect the same vice versa. I don’t think it’s fair that DD under current arrangements would have a disjointed Christmas through no fault of her own. Obviously where she is tiny it’s not an issue this year and could well change anyway by the time she’s old enough to appreciate a ‘magical christmas’

DSS is my family and I adore him - that doesn’t mean that Christmas until 3.30pm is going to even feel like Christmas when me and DP are just waiting around with a baby to collect him.

Ginger I’m just not convinced DP would agree to it. He knows it’s what DSS would want but he think what is in DSS best interests is to see his dad and baby siblings, regardless of what he’d rather do.

Dotty I don’t resent him at all - I more resent that DP and ex blindly agreed to a judges order with no questions despite it not being the best option for anyone!

OP posts:

blackteasplease · 02/11/2018 17:29

Yabu for the reasons you gave, i.e. meal times that can be changed.

But I think dss ' wishes should be taken into more account. If he would rather be with his mum's family he should imo. 9 is old enough to make that choice I think.


Chamomileteaplease · 02/11/2018 18:54

I feel your frustration! It seems to me that your DP is putting his own needs before his son's and yours and your baby's.

I am with others who think it is cruel to split Christmas day for the child. Let him enjoy it in a relaxed way with his mum and her family. Stay with his new toys and chill.

Then be picked up next morning for a lovely Boxing Day and night with his dad. I really don't see how that is a bad thing. Sounds perfect for everyone. Not least for the poor child!

Do try and talk to your DP again. He sounds somewhat head in the sand. I really feel for the boy.


SEsofty · 02/11/2018 20:58

I don’t understand why you don’t all go to your parents in the morning say half ten then he goes and gets ds at half two and you stay there

Your daughter then never gets a disjointed day as she stays at grandparents and dad just pops out for an hour and a half.


Snitzelvoncrumb · 02/11/2018 21:36

I think what you are suggesting sounds reasonable, assuming it's actually what DSS wants. But just imagine how you would feel if you couldn't spend Christmas day with your daughter. Your partner probably knows you are right, but he won't budge on it as he must be very excited to get to see his son Christmas day.
There is so much pressure for one day, I also get annoyed with it.
You need to step back on this, or you are going to look like you are trying to push his son out the family, even if you are just looking out for him. Give dp Christmas day with his little boy, leave it for ss to tell his dad he preferred it the other way. Try to work around DSS this year.


AtSea1979 · 02/11/2018 21:43

OP your suggestion makes sense to me. But I would be thinking along lines of picking DSS up on Christmas Day evening and having that as like his second Xmas eve and Boxing Day like Xmas day. So collecting him around 6-7pm (assuming bedtime is about 8 or so).
But maybe ex likes it how it is.


DisneyMillie · 02/11/2018 21:58

Haven’t read full thread but surely just go to your family Xmas day morning and everyone have an early lunch so you’re done in time for DH to go get DSS on his own and bring him back to your family for the rest of the afternoon / evening. It’s only an hour and half out of Christmas Day then for him - he gets to see his son and no disturbance for you and your DD.


User97532468 · 02/11/2018 22:08

I understand that your DSS wants to not have split days but also can completely understand why your DP wants to see his DS on Christmas Day. Would you be happy in your DPs situation?

The reasons you’ve given (apart from DSS not wanting split days) seem to be more about your needs and prioritising your baby over your DSS. Will she not want to see her brother on Christmas Day growing up?

I think you can make suggestions such as pushing back pick up to evening if that would make DSS happier but ultimately I’d leave it up to DP and put my needs aside as children take priority.

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