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Missing out on my family Christmas again

217 replies

ChristmasbloodyChristmas · 25/11/2019 15:40

I've name changed as this could be quite outing. This is first married Christmas with DH, obviously not our first Christmas, we've been together for six years. We live in The Midlands and the whole of my family live in Scotland, about seven hours drive. DH has two adult children (18 and 20) and I don't have children. Every year I've visited my family either between Christmas and New Year or in January as I understand how important it is for a father to see his children at Christmas. As we're around for Christmas we do see the rest of his family on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, making the whole of Christmas a DH family event, while I don't get to see my family until after the event. I'll be honest, its not ideal but it's one of the perks of being a childfree stepmum. This year, his children have their own plans, girlfriends/friends but we still can't change the plans, we still have to be around for all of his family events, while I don't get to see my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews until after all the lovely Christmas feeling is over.

AIBU? Please please don't say I chose this life when I met him. Six years ago when I met him I wouldn't have expected to have to give up seeing my own family at Christmas forever. It simply wasn't the choice I made.

OP posts:
Drabarni · 25/11/2019 17:08

YABVU to have accepted this to begin with. They are his kids and your family miss you because you're playing host to kids who have nothing to do with you.
Sorry, but more fool you.

HyacynthBucket · 25/11/2019 17:09

Its a big mistake to get into a routine over Christmas - as in"We always go to x or z each year". It is best to negotiate it each year, otherwise you get really stuck in other people's expectations and it is very limiting. This year, surely he could go up to Scotland with you for a few days - after all his kids are quite grown up now? You could share out the Christmas family thing. Could you fly to minimise the travel time?

ChristmasbloodyChristmas · 25/11/2019 17:12

I wouldn't say his kids have nothing to do with me. They're not blood related and I wouldn't like to think what would happen if we split, but I'm definitely part of their family. They treat me like a step mum, they're loving and kind some of the time, and a bloody pain in the arse teenager some other times.

DH likes my family, I'm not sure he'd want to live next door to them, but a visit once or twice a year isn't a problem. I don't think that's the issue.

OP posts:
IdiotInDisguise · 25/11/2019 17:13

I've been lead to believe that this is how it should be for a step mum.

The thing is this time there are NO children around, this is not a Christmas vs. DSM problem, this is a relationship equality issue.

My dad never wanted to spend Christmas with my mum’s family, they were lovely and we were closer to the family of my mum. He always had a lot of different excuses but deep down we knew that for him Christmas was about his own convenience and wishes rather than those of my mum or his DDs.

juneshowers19 · 25/11/2019 17:13

At 18 and 20 I really can't imagine they'd give a monkeys if 'seeing him over Christmas' meant seeing him a few days either side of the event. Weeks even..... Just go!

OliviaBenson · 25/11/2019 17:14

Get back on to the kids and tell them you would like to go away so invite them for a specific date when you are back.

It's far too woolly as it stands and is playing into your H hands. If they knew the arrangements they can plan accordingly.

You haven't left it too late this year at all, you would just be giving in to keep the peace.

juliej00ls · 25/11/2019 17:15

So the children don’t need to commit to a date and time. Very rude and poor training for adult life. That would make me very cross. I would not accept that from my children.
Your DH doesn’t want to go to Scotland and he is using the I’ve got children as an excuse. He is also not pushing them to commit as it suits. I bet if he wanted to do something he would not be so obliging about this shoddy arrangement.
You need to decide do you accept this is your Christmas or do you want to go There is no right answer but I would advise you to maintain as a many strong links with family and friends as you can as I suspect he will refuse to do lots of things and you may find your circle of friends etc shrink.

CoraPirbright · 25/11/2019 17:17

I’d approach the children again, telling them that you haven’t spent Christmas with your family in years and you are keen to go and see them. Please can they give you a firm time/date when they want to see their father! It really is totally reasonable!

Your h refusing to make any sort of compromise is a whole other issue......

ContessaLovesTheSunshine · 25/11/2019 17:18

I suspect that if he relies on his kids to be around he'll be quite lonely.

Let him be lonely. It will make him realise that his kids are that much older and that he is much less essential to their happiness than he used to be (as it should be, in the usual way of things). He will be far more amenable to coming with you next year if you do; mark my words.

Drabarni · 25/11/2019 17:18

In terms of being a parent and their family though, you aren't.
They have a mother I take it?
At their ages I'd think the last place they'd want to be is with parents, or step parents.
Go to your family if your partner won't go, then sod him. He can't think much of you if he just wants a step mum for his kids and no involvement with your family.

theemmadilemma · 25/11/2019 17:19

So what, for the rest of his life he'll make sure he's available over Christmas for his ADULT children to maybe pop in sometime when they find the time? Just in case like, to be ready and available?

That's ridiculous. He (and you) is allowed a life too, and if they can't just arrange a day/time he should feel he is able to make arrangements or do whatever. As they build their own families I guarantee they will do as they please.

He's making a sorry future for himself (and now you) if he can't do anything but hang around waiting on them.

NoSquirrels · 25/11/2019 17:20

Offer 2 options: Christmas Eve lunch or Boxing Day dinner, at a convenient pub, to exchange presents. Then invite them to something else - a Sunday lunch at yours, a festive outing to the cinema, on a different day. Plan a New Years Day evening feast.

Just stop waiting for them to decide what’s convenient - offer some firm choices, insist on a decision by this weekend and make travel plans accordingly.

aSofaNearYou · 25/11/2019 17:20

I have nearly always put DH's family needs over and above what I want. Isn't that what step mums are supposed to do

It's really sad that you have internalised this to the extent you have - if him having children makes him unable to commit to a life where there is balance or things naturally slot into place so that one person isn't always the one expected to make sacrifices then he has no business getting into a relationship. It's incredibly selfish.

GabriellaMontez · 25/11/2019 17:22

If you had baby next Christmas would you still be expected to stay in case his kids decided to show up ? Will you ever have a Scottish Christmas together?

Does he feel guilty? Is that why he let's them be so rude in making plans?

kitk · 25/11/2019 17:24

If the kids were 10 and 8 I'd tell you to get over yourself but they're adults with plans of their own! I'd go to Scotland by myself personally

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter · 25/11/2019 17:25

Sorry but he'd make this work if he wanted to.

Your parents are in their 80s, you've let him have his way long enough.

Havaina · 25/11/2019 17:30

You’ve been together 6 years. Start this marriage as you mean to go on and go and see your family in Scotland this Christmas.

You are being an utter doormat OP.

goldfinchfan · 25/11/2019 17:31

Can I throw into the mix that if your parents are already in their 80's then perhaps they should be put first.
You don't know how many good years they have left.
Go and see them and let them enjoy being with you.
Teenage kids won't need you.
Leave it up to your DH whether he goes with you.

I think you need to go home to your family and enjoy them.
you don't want to leave it too late...not being morbid maybe you have many more Xmases with them.

After this year I would say to go alternate years...

maggiecate · 25/11/2019 17:33

Instead letting the kids set a vague agenda, How about you invite DSS’s and their girlfriends over for brunch on Christmas Eve, do pressie swap etc and then you and DH hit the road up to your parents. That way you get something firm in the diary so the kids know it’s that or nowt. If DH wants to go home on Boxing Day he can do, you stay for a few more days and travel back on your own.

sunshinesupermum · 25/11/2019 17:33

if you don't break the pattern now that is going to be it from now on THIS with bells on.

Annasgirl · 25/11/2019 17:35

Hi OP, please go and spend Christmas with your parents - my parents both died within a year of each other a few years ago and I am so so glad of the time I spent with them, especially the Christmases.

Dojacatttt · 25/11/2019 17:35

I think it’s up to him as he is the one with kids. Don’t care if they’re 18/20 I would be really upset if I didn’t see my parents on Christmas and I’m 21?

sunshinesupermum · 25/11/2019 17:36

And yes if your parents are already elderly please make the most of the Xmases you have left with them. You've been with your DH for six years before being married - this isn't really your 'first' Xmas together.

His attitude is like that of my BF's DH and she pandered to him over Xmas (and his 3 kids) for years. It cause huge problems for them.

comingintomyown · 25/11/2019 17:36

I see how he would want to be home on spec over the Christmas period because he will want to think they couldn’t imagine that time without seeing him at some point. I presume they live with their Mum ? If they are being non committal that suggests they are happy to be flexible whereas he is stuck in the idea of being more central to them. I sympathise that he may be unwilling to give that up but he is now married to you and you have needs as well.

I think I would say in a nice way you will be going to Scotland and yes no doubt he will be lonely at times but that will be for him to think about. With parents in their 80s you can argue they may not have a lot of Christmas’ ahead and that is just as important as him seeing kids

sunshinesupermum · 25/11/2019 17:37


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