So, Christmas is a couple of weeks a way and my ex and I still havent discussed what will happen. We know our son is with me and my family Christmas day and with his on Boxing day. That parts fine. But what about christmas day? I'm sure my ex wants to see our son and, being its a big day, I want my son to share some of it with his Dad. I thought about offering to let him stay over to do stockings and gifts for our son in the morning and then jet off about 9 for my own families place. Sounds fair right? But then my mom is all upset cause she wants us to stay with her. Christmas is a big to her and she wnats us there. What do you all think? I dont want to upset anyone at christmas but, above all, I want my son to enjoy his day. Maybe visit his Dad early afternoon for a few hours? ...
I have always invited my ex over on Christmas morning. If you think you can stomach that, why not extend the invitation? If it's not a big deal to him, he can decline. He may not have requested it because it never occurred to him that an ex-wife would be open to that. IMO, if you and your ex both celebrate Christmas, then your son getting to see both of you that day (esp. during the stocking-opening and other morning festivities, which are often the biggest deal, for kids) should be a higher priority than grandparents' schedules. The generation who still has young children at home ought to receive the most consideration, in scheduling Christmas get-togethers. The grandparent generation should be accommodating.
If you think it would be sad, to only see your kids on Boxing Day and not at all, on Christmas, chances are your ex does, too.
I'd just enjoy the day. It's just a day. I think your son will enjoy a really good day with one parent over traveling all over the place like a chicken with its head cut off. I told my lawyer I'd rather not have them at all on a holiday than make them visit both of us because I think I'd be better for the kids.
I think this is a very family-by-family thing. If there's a lot of conflict and the kids have to decompress, going from one family to the other, this would be a valid perspective. If you have kids who get overwhelmed by changes and transitions, same. If there is significant distance, it would be crummy for kids to spend hours of Christmas Day, traveling.
However, I have kids on the Autism spectrum (i.e., change and transition is not exactly easy). Since preschool, this has been their schedule:
1 - Spend most of Christmas Eve with their dad;
2 - Big family party at paternal grandparents', that evening;
3 - Picked up from grandparents' by me, for Midnight Mass;
4 - Wake up at my house a few short hours later, for stocking-opening/breakfast/neighborhood gift-hunt with my big family PLUS their dad and whichever relatives/friends/exchange students he brings with him to my house;
5 - A few hours of down-time at my house, after their dad goes home and some of my siblings go to visit their significant others' families;
6 - Christmas afternoon at their dad's;
7 - Back to my house, for a late dinner with my family, Christmas night.
I used to worry that they might get stressed by all of it and we'd need to change the schedule. But they're surrounded by people who love them, for two straight days and they love it. So, why not?
My ex hasnt asked, so it is mostly me worrying and thinking how I'd feel not seeing my son on Chrstmas. Christmas has always been a big deal for my family and I want to make it a big thing for my son too. For us, it is all about family. Being with those that you love. I wouldnt mind inviting my ex over to spend the night and do all the stockings and morning gifts with us. To me, my lil man then gets to see both his parents whom he loves and adores. My parents live only 5 minutes from me so its just one short drive around 9 and the rest of the day with them.
My ex and I do not make a good couple, but we can get along really well most of the time. We are even managing to become friends (slowly). The majority of my worry is that my son will be missing something by not getting to share Christmas Day and Santa stuff with both his parents ... the other part is that I know my ex will be home alone that day. That makes me a little sad and i think its got him a ltitle down too (though he won't say so to me). No one should be alone on Christmas
I'm such a sap aren't I? lol
I guess I am coming from a marriage that I'm leaving because these things were not important to STBXH. He always opted to work Xmas every year. He's a nurse in the er and its triple time on Xmas. I guess there is over time, double time, and then triple time. Part of why I left, I'm more important than extra money to buy toys.
Yes, you are, Findingstrength.
And your kids definitely are.
As I said, it's a family-by-family thing. Do what's right for your kids and have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas.
Obscure, I think you are 100% on the right track. It may not work for everyone, but how can what you've described possibly be bad for your kid? Even if Christmas isn't as big a deal to your ex; if you make it a big deal to your son, how great if he can think of his father as part of that (even if your relationship with his father didn't work out)?
What you've said sounds a lot like me and my ex. There are inevitably hurt feelings when you realize that someone you loved isn't a good partner for you - ESP. when you have a child together. After a few years, my ex and I really, truly got over that. We still have good relationships with each other's families. We are very reasonable with each other, in terms of sharing time with the kids; and supportive of the kids' relationships with each other. We've known each other since we were kids and have resumed being friends (albeit on a limited level that doesn't threaten each other's marriage). It's really, really nice. For the kids, even more than it is, for us.
And the first step was to ignore all the conventional wisdom about hostility and boundaries with one's ex and for me to be appreciate that he was kind enough to agree that I could have the kids Christmas morning; and to be compassionate about the fact that he might feel lonely and miss them. So, I just invited him over...even though, the first couple years, I felt angry toward him and was afraid he'd bring his girlfriend. I decided that should be of secondary importance to my kids' ability to enjoy Christmas morning with both their parents. It was a good decision. If you think it might wind up being a good decision for your kids, just do it. If you're not too angry/abused to conceive of it, then it can't be wrong.
I think a lot of this depends on relationship with your ex. I deal with holidays both ways. With my first ex, I wouldn't have invited him to spend the night, but he certainly could have come over in the morning. His family lives out of state and he, his now wife and his parents have all spent various holidays with my family. We all get along and it's never been a big deal. He buys my other two kids presents and I buy his son one. We've always just compromised and worked out holiday plans.
With my newest ex, he refuses to respect appropriate boundaries and it wouldn't work. Our kids are older, 9 and 10, and he would stand around and make angry or passive-aggressive comments the entire time and ruin the morning for everyone. He also makes comments to my older daughter and it is important to me that she enjoys her holidays and doesn't spend all her time and energy avoiding him. Because of harassment/abuse issues, I have to follow the parenting time schedule closely with him. It limits flexibility and makes the kids miss things. It seems to be getting a little better with time and I hope eventually will be a more relaxed situation. (He's dating someone now which is helping.)
If you and your ex can celebrate with your son, then do it. His relationship with his dad trumps grandparents. It gets easier and less awkward with time.