How to best split Christmas between parents
6 November 2018 at 12:43 pm #17520
Can anyone share their ways with how they deal with Christmas?
This is the first Christmas since splitting with my sons dad and we are trying to figure out the best way to spend Christmas. Ex lives just over 2hrs away as he moved to his parents and he is wanting our son from 21st-29th Dec. I have no words to say back as I’m struggling with feeling bitter (which I know I need to deal with). Things are so up in the air. Really need some support but don’t know where to turn.so I’ve come here.6 November 2018 at 2:39 pm #17537
I think you need to look at chrisoms process as a year thing, what comes around goes around. Make it clear one Christmas is your and one is his.
I personally think thats a long time, I am not sure how your regular contact goes, Now you have to put your parent hat on and what do you think is best for your child? 23rd to 27th would be what I call Christmas contact myself, but each family is different, the biggest thing is to try and keep it as far normal for your son as possible. that why I ask what normal contact is.6 November 2018 at 7:56 pm #17566
Thank you for replying. It seems too long for in my eyes. Our son is just 6 and has behaviour troubles at home with me and sometimes school, yet is apparently as good as gold when he stays at his Nan’s with his daddy. Which I don’t believe, but I wouldn’t know for sure. I do know that they have been trying to make me look like a bad mum due to my existing anxiety but it has never impacted our son and no authority has ever been involved as there’s no issue with me. Anyway I digress, during the term time my ex has stayed at mine every other Saturday night and I’ve stayed at my parents to give them time together. Now he wants it to alternate between one weekend at mine and one weekend at his parents (the nans), but I honestly feel that his emotional state isn’t great and it’s impacting him. It takes a good couple of weeks to settle him back to a manageable behaviour before he then sees him again and then we’re back to square one. Hate it.
Ex has a huge family and do Xmas day on Xmas eve and I have no one so I would prefer to split Christmas so I at least get one of the days with him. Otherwise I don’t see any point in doing Christmas as it will be over and I think more confusing of our son.
(sorry this is so long. I’m so worried of what I have to reply back to his last message as I know that whatever I say always gets twisted and I’m made to look bad but all I want is what’s best for our son) . Thanks for replying before 🙂6 November 2018 at 10:27 pm #17573
<span style=”background-color: #fbfbfb;”><span style=”color: #1a1919; font-family: Lato, sans-serif;”>”apparently as good as gold when he stays at his Nan’s with his daddy” this actually can be true, Children are very clever and he will definitely know what buttons to push with you. We are always going to worried, and feel we are being judge, by the sound of thing, they must be ok with you, or they would have tried to contact social services. You leaving your home for your son to have contact with his dad is huge, and says how much you care about your son.</span></span>
With what you have said regular contact is, I would insist keeping it as regular as possible for your son, I know its hard but two days would be fair. maybe next year you can look at resolving this totally
Believe me I know totally were you are coming from, It was hard for me, to make a decision, I am in the very same boat as you, It just me and my son, so I actually wanted my son to experience a family Christmas, and money is so so tight this year. I let my son have an extra visit, over Christmas staying at his Grandma so his mother picking him up at 10am on Christmas day, and brining him back on evening boxing day. (he not allowed overnight stay with his mum), and have a overnight stay with his Grandmother and his little brother one weekend a month so I have tried to keep it regular for him.
Yes its a selfish compromise because I get to put him to bed Christmas eve, and see him open his presents Christmas day.
Not sure if it helps, end of the day if there is no court order or written agreement, then you have to be strong, be fair, but most of all always put your son first, no matter how much it sometimes hurts.
In the New year, might be worth setting a contact arrangement, so your son will get used to it, You will be shocked, if you keep it as normal as possible how resilient they are.8 November 2018 at 5:19 pm #17640
As you and your ex are two hours from each other, then you should try to put in something that will work every year, based on the school holiday. This is less confusing for your son, he’ll get used to it quickly and it gives each parent good family time together over the festive season, with minimum uncertainty or potential for disagreement, also minimum travel for your boy.
Look at the school holidays (usually two weeks) 20th dec – 4 jan or similar. Divide it into a week each. So 21 – 27 and 27 – 3 or similar. Then alternate this every year.
First year will be emotional and odd, but honestly this is the best way. I’ve experienced many problems with splitting holidays, but this is the one that regularly works for everyone. Your child will live in the moment and know when he’s seeing each of you, with minimum back and forth difficulty for him. You & your ex can organise each year, knowing what is happening.
Try to work out a parenting agreement for the future if you can, with similar arrangements set out for w/e & other holidays, based on school timetable – give your son a routine that he gets to know, it will help him be comfortable in the situation.10 November 2018 at 5:03 pm #17677
Hi Anonymous – appreciate your honesty but you are dividing parents into more/less important to the child, and homes/beds into “own” and “other”. When the parents have split, the child has two homes and two parents, not together, yet both of equal importance to the child. Creating a situation where there is a perceived difference is not a child-centric approach.
Also, in this case, you are ignoring the practical considerations. What is the father (who lives 2 hours away) to do if the times are as you state? Stay at the mother’s home? Confusing for the child (are mum and dad back together?) and maximising potential for disagreement, however ‘amicable’ the split. Dad stays in a local B&B? Child has xmas time with dad in a B&B room, well that certainly isn’t great for either the kid or parent.
So, I respectfully disagree. There should be a solid block of holiday time for both parents and a regular, understandable routine for the child that both parents promote. The date doesn’t have to affect the child’s experience, I have had perfectly lovely ‘christmas’ dinners with the kids on the 29th December.10 November 2018 at 5:23 pm #17678
Thank you for your comments, as yet I’ve not been able to read them and reply as I’ve had more trouble from the ex. I will read through them a10 November 2018 at 5:24 pm #17679
I will read through them when I get back home with my laptop. At the moment my ex is at my place staying the night with our son 😩😢10 November 2018 at 6:38 pm #17684
Anonymous, I appreciate that each of our experiences would likely colour our advice. However remaining child focused is surely the only sensible approach, dividing the parents into primary caregiver and non-resident parent is utterly divisive and doesn’t reflect that both parents are equally important to the child. Particularly as you go on to state that this “primary caregiver” MUST see the child every christmas day, whatever the practical considerations. Pretty aggressive stance that.
Don’t think anyone should be dictating anything, what I’ve advised is both parents should work out an agreement that is practical, child-centric and as futureproof as possible. I hope the original poster will not be encouraged into battle.10 November 2018 at 8:10 pm #17688
tbh Anonymous being as this is meant to be a forum for single parentS (ie both) I was trying to provide some reasonable counter to your frequently overly aggressive, unnecessarily confrontational and certainly non-childcentric suggestions. I salute your commitment, but am not sure that already conflicted parents need advice on how to step it up. However I can see you are taking it personally. I will withdraw.11 November 2018 at 1:21 pm #17727
Children have to be put first, and life must be made as normal as possible, They are far more adaptable as we give them credit for. Children will see and feel negativity, we must be the best parent no matter as hard it can be, with our own emotions,
Always remember time is the best healer.12 November 2018 at 5:08 pm #17788
i’ve been separated from my ex for 7 years. He does about 40 nights a year (his choice) so my home is very much my son’s home.
I do all the run up & my son spends Xmas day at mine. Then ex collects him 9am on boxing day and has him until lunchtime on New Year’s Eve, when he brings him home.
So I get to see presents unwrapped and to do Xmas lunch, but ex gets more days. Then ex can party on NYE, which suits me because I wouldn’t sleep knowing son was with very very drunk ex.
your ex is being completely unreasonable. Think about how many days, about specific visits like taking your child to the pantomime, and what happens on NYE.
Do not allow him to bully you. Stay calm but clear. Could you do until Xmas day 2pm, and then he collect your boys and keep them until 29th. That is more equal.