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Sharing family with ex over Christmas

(44 Posts)
hapgran Sun 11-Dec-16 12:44:54

Feeling sorry for myself but not really moaning, it's just that it is hard to share the family with ex husband and his wife over the Christmas period! And also hard for the family to have to pack up in one house and move on to another....

tanith Sun 11-Dec-16 12:51:10

Its that way for lots of families sadly, my family had to do it for a long while but those years are now gone but its just as hard when the grandchildren gain partners and have to share themselves around with the partners family moving from one family house to another and which one gets priority.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and try to count your lucky stars that you get to spend time with them over the holidays.

Jayanna9040 Sun 11-Dec-16 13:08:51

Time for them to have Xmas in their own homes I think and for you and ex to be the visitors. I keep suggesting it to my family, but nobody seems to listen.....

Swanny Sun 11-Dec-16 13:12:37

My son announced a few weeks ago that they were spending this Christmas with his father (my ex) and his current family. My initial feeling was great sadness, immediately followed by guilt as I realised I had spent the last 8-10 Christmases with my son without giving his father a thought.

It has since transpired that they are only going for the day anyway, so I will have my Christmas with the family on Boxing Day. I know I'm a lucky Grandma and my little family is very precious to me.

Christinefrance Sun 11-Dec-16 15:03:22

That's how it is these days with extended families. Your ex loves his family too, I'm sure you can find it in your heart to be magnanimous at Christmas.

ninathenana Sun 11-Dec-16 16:47:41

Try to be greatful for what time you do have. I know it's hard. My GC have always spent the Christmas period with Ds in-laws. It didn't feel right to complain as I saw them 3-4 times a week and other GP's were in another country and saw them 2-3 times a year I didn't like it though tchsad
D and SiL are no longer together but the GC will be with their father.

M0nica Mon 12-Dec-16 07:16:15

It isn't just with family splits. DS and family spend one Christmas with one set of parents, the next with the other.

They all spent last Christmas with us. This Christmas will be sent with DDiL's family. They will come to us on the 27th. We live 200 miles from them so it is quite a journey to us.

I am always surprised just how many people expect to see their children and grandchildren very specifically on Christmas Day and are upset if they do not. As a child I did not spend one Christmas with my grandparents or even visit in the season, we lived too far away and for my children, one set of grandparents stayed every Christmas, as DH was an only child. My parents, we saw on Boxing Day, they always spent Christmas day with my sisters.

Mumsy Mon 12-Dec-16 07:52:45

Shoulders back, head held high, smile on your face and tell yourself ''I can do this and I will''

Mamie Mon 12-Dec-16 07:53:58

It surprises me too MOnica. DD and family come to us in France every other year and spend the other year in their own home. I haven't seen my son at Christmas for over twenty years and have never spent it with those grandchildren. It is a long and difficult journey from their bit of Spain, they have very little holiday and need time to recover from work and school. We watch them open their presents on Skype and then enjoy the rest of the day on our own.
When I read on here about how people expect to see their adult children at Christmas and the corresponding threads on Mumsnet about how difficult it is to please all the grandparents I am a bit shocked tbh.

Sulis Mon 12-Dec-16 09:55:42

I was busy feeling very pannicky and sorry for myself until I read everyone else's input. My ex will be spending Christmas with our son and his family this year. It is very rare, and I begrudged it. This year I had planned to spend it with an old friend, who would be coming from London to me in Suffolk, and we had been in contact with one another to talk about how we would like it to be and what food and alcohol I should get in for her visit. So I made a special cake, and got in all the stuff to put in the freezer, and the wine and alcohol. She then called last week to say she had changed her mind. I have been very upset. But I shall take Mumsy's note to heart - shoulders back, head held high, smile on my face and tell myself "I can do this and I will". Thank you Mumsy. xx

Lupatria Mon 12-Dec-16 10:01:54

after spending several years alone at christmas i had the pleasure of my daughter and two grandaughters moving in to live with me so we now have a family christmas day.
the girls then go to spend boxing day with their father and his family and everything seems to work out well.
i split up with my ex husband many years ago however neither my daughter nor my son get on with their father so they rarely see him.
this year, however, my son, his wife and two daughters are coming to us one day over christmas week [don't know which yet] which is a bonus as, for the last four years, we've travelled to see them for a day.
whether they will go and see my ex when they're here is up to them - i've never said anything about them going or not going.
i never took it as a "right" to see my grandchildren on christmas day as my daughter and my son preferred to spend their christmas days at home.
when i was married and the children were young we did alternate christmas days with my parents and his parents and it all worked out well.

radicalnan Mon 12-Dec-16 10:06:20

I keep saying it. It is just one day, only our ridiculous expectations, fuelled by Dickens and sentimental stuff make it different from any other, enjoyable family day.

Let it go, and cherish the bits of it you can have without making a rod for your own back. The moment you let go, you can start to appreciate other stuff........and are generally surprised (I am) by how very lucky you are.

ajanela Mon 12-Dec-16 10:11:37

Haven't we built Christmas up a bit too much and have this ideal picture of family all happily being together and how upsetting it is if they are not there. (A family that don't always get on at other times of the year.) With modern technology we can make contact and lets try helping out friends who are who are really alone by inviting them to join us.

Lilyflower Mon 12-Dec-16 10:11:49

My mum was divorced from my dad so I could never spend Christmas with both of them and then when I met my DH we had two sets of in-laws to see at Christmas. My daughter lives with her lovely BF and they both want to see their parents at Christmas.

Things get messy and you just have to share and not take offence.

I think the best way to look at it is that Christmas is a season with three bank holidays and two sets of adjacent weekends and this is usually enough to see everyone who needs or wants to be seen. Don't regard Christmas Day as the one and only special time or you will be making upset for yourself and others.

Remember the goodwill even if you have to grit your teeth to keep showing it.

I am not trying to lecture as, at the moment, I am gritting my own teeth to show goodwill to my own DS who is offering Christmas ill-will towards me because she is under pressure from her own in-law family and work commitments.

Hunt Mon 12-Dec-16 10:14:20

we seem to have an answer to this problem. Everyone does their own thing on Christmas day and we all meet for a party just after Christmas.Everyone tries their best to be at the Christmas party which this year is on 27th. We are now getting partners of the younger ones and so we will be 26 in number this year. Everyone buys one present and we draw the recipients out of a hat. We sing carols, have a nice meal and play old fashioned games like musical hat and ring on a string. The young ones think it is fab! And we oldies love it too.

micmc47 Mon 12-Dec-16 10:14:40

With well over one third of marriages ending in divorce these days... and that doesn't include the "partnerships" which also break up, you can bet that something approaching half the population of the UK will be experiencing this "sharing Christmas"again this year.I'm one of the statistics, and it's never easy, but all I can say is a bit of give and take from all concerned, plus a "softly softly" approach usually works things out. And in my case Christmases are so much better since my ex and I both acknowledged that we were in a bad marriage, and moved on independently. There are some positives if you'll look for them...

icanhandthemback Mon 12-Dec-16 10:16:42

We haven't spent Christmas Day with our children for years, except for the one who is still at home. Most of them have 4 sets of parents to fit in, some of whom live hundreds of miles away, and it is just too much pressure on them for us to expect them to choose. Instead we have an "open house" on Boxing Day and they can choose to come if they so wish without any sulking from us if they can't make it. So far it has worked very well but I suspect we will feel quite lonely when our last child exits Christmas day and I sometimes wonder if our stance seems stand offish to the others because their other parents don't seem to be so magnanimous. I was shocked when my DIL said she had to go to her parents for Christmas or her mother would be very upset.

Seasidenana Mon 12-Dec-16 10:17:53

I agree with Jayanna9040 it works best for us that my 3 grown up kids have Xmas in their own homes. It's only right that they create their own Christmas memories at home. I'm lucky enough to be able to visit them, it's a 2 hour drive. They visit me at other times, and share the time they spend with me, the ex and his new family. They always sleep at mine though - no room at the inn at his place.

hapgran Mon 12-Dec-16 10:19:22

Some fair comments - my children also go to families-in-law alternate years so have to split themselves into so many pieces. At the moment they do it willingly and we have great fun when we are all together. I do not take it for granted though, and would totally understand if they said 'enough!'. I think the point I was making in OP was that it is somehow harder sharing with ex and wife - but, as someone pointed out, they are also an important part of their lives and it's just me being jealous! Some of you have definitely made me think, though !

luluaugust Mon 12-Dec-16 10:32:46

We are also doing alternate years at present, one year DD1 the other DD2 and DS. How long this will go one is anybody's guess as some of the other in laws are much older and will need family around them if possible and the elder grandchildren are getting girlfriends but we have had a good run which we know we have been lucky with.

marionk Mon 12-Dec-16 10:53:27

Glasnost seems to have hit our family and it is now common for both myself, my DH and my ex to be invited to DDs family gatherings at the same time. All very civilised now thank goodness

amt101 Mon 12-Dec-16 11:08:02

Funny how life works out. The whole family were due to fly out to my daughter living overseas but she hasn't wanted to see me since brexit as I didn't vote her way. I'm having it on my own and have bought lots of things I enjoy eating. Not sure about doing a full Christmas meal; maybe maybe not.

Granarchist Mon 12-Dec-16 11:20:23

We do the alternate years option - one reason being that none of us think spending the Christmas period travelling the motorways is fun for anyone. This year however the 2 dd's with in laws abroad are off there and we have been invited to DD no 3 (just married) for Christmas with them and her in-laws. V scary. I feel rather old! But DD sounds v organised and I have been asked to provide bits and pieces for the main meal which will make me feel wanted and now I need a perfect recipe for a chocolate roulade!!! Her m-i-l is a brilliant cook so slight pressure to keep my end up - suggestions?????

Smithy Mon 12-Dec-16 11:50:24

I am lucky in the respect of my DD, she has spent almost every Christmas with me although I have been divorced since 1984! (the 3 or 4 she didn't spend with me she was with a partner and they decided to wait until boxing day which was fine - I have a friend who has come every Christmas for about 30 years) My DS and wife and kids always put her family first so we fit a visit in to them on Christmas day to suit - its not a big deal. HOWEVER if I was totally on my own Christmas day I wouldn't be too happy, though I'd try not to let it show.

millymouge Mon 12-Dec-16 11:54:13

amt101 I can't believe that your daughter doesn't want to see you because you voted differently to her, I think that is very sad for you flowers. My DH and I are so,lucky all the family come to us and have been for years. I know it is silly because it is really just another family day but I do love to see them all together. These days as we get older I do wonder whether we shall all be here next year, dear Sis is getting frailer by the day.