Christmas Holiday

terinickOctober 27, 2009

2007 - Fiance' comes to St Louis. We spend Christmas eve w/my adult kids in St Louis and Christmas morning we get on a plane back to Toledo. I make dinner for his kids - they stay for 2 hours and go home to their mother.

2008 - Fiance' chooses to stay in Toledo. I go to St Louis to spend Christmas Eve w/adult kids and grandchild. Christmas morning I head back to Toledo. I make dinner for his kids and extended family.

His kids: Ages 17, 22, 23

My kids: Ages 29, 27

2009 - I decided to go to Florida for Christmas this year. Fiance' has had a year to get his head and heart around this idea. My kids were informed last year that I would not be coming to St Louis in 2009. Fiance' now stalling ... says he wants to be with his kids for the holiday. And before he makes a decision, he needs to discuss it with his oldest daughter. ::UGH::

We've been living together for 1.5 years - only see his girls when they come home from college (they stay with their mother) and the teenage boy comes around only with his sisters. I'm thinking he is choosing his kids over me. Is that possible? And if he's choosing his kids over me now ... will he keep doing that when we are married?

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Christmas with family is very important to a lot of people. Sounds to me like Fiance is one of them. (I am too -- I'd never vacation at Christmastime...) Plus, with his kids in college now, I suspect he's feeling 'The End' of fatherhood approaching.

You've no doubt heard the phrase "Pick your battles"...
This is not a battle I would pick.

And don't read too much into it.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 12:10PM
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I also would not make too big a deal out of this.

To me, family at Christmas is very important. I would not want to vacation around the holidays---being around my children, DH, parents and grandparents is too important to me.

If this is what YOU want to do, then by all means, do it--but I would not expect your fiance to want to give up his traditions.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 1:46PM
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Thanks "Sweeby" for the response.

Christmas with family is important for me but I can't be running around like a chicken with its head cut off to try and please everyone ... including the fiance'

Flying from Ohio to Missouri for Xmas eve and then Missouri back to Ohio for Xmas day is too much, especially when I'm the chief cook and bottle washer in Ohio.

My kids are disappointed I won't be in St Louis this year to celebrate with them. I'm sorry I've disappointed them, however; they are adults and that's life. Fiance' is too concerned about disappointing his kids and how they'll feel about him if he doesn't stay in Ohio.

At what point do we, as parents (step or otherwise) just throw in the towel and say ... I don't care what you think kiddo. At what point do we stop allowing our kids to manipulate us?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 1:51PM
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I'm certain it is difficult to plan, and this should have been thought this out earler. Re-arranging flights. GRRRR.

"I'm sorry I've disappointed them, however; they are adults and that's life. "

But your kids are older. Especially the one with her own child.

"I decided to go to Florida for Christmas this year" Maybe this is just imprecise writing, but was it just I decided? And not we decided?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 2:15PM
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Are you sure your fiance isn't just using his kids as an excuse, and that he genuinely wants to be somewhere else on Christmas?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 2:40PM
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Last year we discussed how crazy it was to spend time with all the kids over Christmas. I suggested we go to our winter home in Florida. Fiance' thought it was a good idea 11 months ago! Now that the time is here to make travel arrangements, he is stalling. He told me to go ahead and make my flight arrangements. He would take care of his own. So, I made my reservations.

As of this writing, I'll be in Florida on December 15th and he'll be in Ohio.

What does the age of children have to do with anything. Except for the 17 yr old, they are all adults.

To: Lovehadley
He has no traditions. As a matter of fact, just last week he told me Christmas was "just another day" and doesn't mean anything to him. I am so confused.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 2:47PM
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OK, I see a differnece between early 20s and later 20s and married, but so what, the 17 YO is still there.

I think the "go ahead and make your own flight arrangements" would have left me wondering. I assume you both live in same city.

It sounds to me that he didnt like the idea and was trying to avoid confrontation.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 3:30PM
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I noticed in your post you will be in Florida starting 15 December. It may be the time frame. It seems like if he travelled he would not only miss Christmas but any chance to have an early Christmas with his kids.

Maybe him coming down for a while and then getting to spend the day with his kids may work.... Or spending the time with his kids first and then coming the day after Christmas may work.

I love spending the holiday with my family and stepdaughter each year. So i would have a hard time just giving that up as well. It is the time of year where a lot of people love to be with family... and i would not fault him for that. Maybe it did not seem like it was so long a time until the closer it got and the more he thought about it. He still has a 17 year old and young adults as well.

Your children are a little older and they may even be a little disappointed that you are going away but may not mention it. However i dont' think you are wrong in choosing to travel for yourself. He might have had second thoughts and may actully not want to be away for that length of time at the holidays.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 4:05PM
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After some discussion and a couple of phone calls, my FDH will meet me at our Florida house on December 23rd.

When he phoned his eldest daughter to inquire about her holiday plans, she told him she would not be coming "home" for Christmas this year because she was celebrating with her boyfriend and his family.

When he phoned his middle daughter, she was only concerned about when she would get her presents.

When he phoned his son, he left a message asking for a return call, however; none was received (as expected).

FDH was not left with a warm, fuzzy feeling from his daughters. I think he expected them to respond differently.

I'm relieved the holiday issue sorted itself out for this year.

Thanks for all the input.
I appreciate everyone's words of wisdom.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 11:10AM
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17 year olds are notorious for not planning ahead. Some 20s are not better. Many parents of teens, including myself, make it a point to be available for holidays and family traditions, especially if they have shown up in the past. It doesnt mean giving up your own life, it means understanding that you are the adult. There are plenty of other times for vacation.

This is a sad situation. Congradulations for helping to cut down on father/kids time. Of course, you wont know for a while if he resents the situation and views you as part of the problem.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 2:09PM
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WoW! I sense some judgement and sarcasm from your post.
Thanks for responding, however; I think you are way off base about our situation.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 2:55PM
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Terinick - Glad you guys were able to work out the vacation time. Enjoy Florida - Christmas weather is glorius there during that time of year.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 3:47PM
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I feel your pain. My adult skids live in the area so travel at Christmas is not such an issue. However, Thanksgiving is a similar situation for us with my relatives living in the Midwest and East Coast (we live in LA.) My skids have NEVER come along for the Thanksgiving gatherings of my family although invited, and I was very hurt when I found out on those years when DH did not come (he has come with me to my family's many but not all years) that HE was secretly invited to SD36's home for dinner, and I was not!!! In years past I've planned elaborate Christmas gatherings mostly for DH's kids and grandkids. They have shown up late or not shown up at all. Or asked if they could just come pick up presents afterwards, or asked if we could do another dinner for them after New Years.

Like you, holidays with family are important to me. And like you, I have vacationed in Florida one Christmas as a single adult. I had a great time that Xmas in Key Largo!! I liked your post because I have been thinking the exact same way this year, that I might look to plan something really different for DS7 and myself, without the skids. Hopefully, DH will want to come with us, whether it's to the Midwest to be with my family or some beach somewhere especially since I do all of the work, shopping, wrapping, cooking, decorating etc etc etc that goes with Christmas at home.

Your DH sounds torn between upholding what he thinks is a family tradition with his kids, being with you and accepting that he may not be top dog with his kids any longer. Either way, make your plans so you will feel good this year. Florida sounds good to me!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 3:54PM
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"...make your plans so you will feel good this year. Florida sounds good to me!"

Well said LAmom. I hope it all works out for you Terinick, and you celebrate what the season is truly meant for... not the gifts, not the guilt.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 4:04PM
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I think the greatest gift I ever received was when god gave me a child. I would never come between a parent seeing his child at Christmas for the sake of a Florida vacation.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 4:06PM
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You and your husband have a right to be happy too. A few years back my dad began alternating (every year) between his family and his wife's. I understand that he wants to be with his wife during the holidays. At first it bothered me but now I am glad he is not alone. I have my own life and there is no reason he can't have one too.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 4:22PM
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KK1222, how old were you when dad started alternating. OP's fiance's son is 17. And this is not alternating, or splitting (and seeing both families), this is just OP deciding she'ld rather be in Florida. Makes things pretty clear to your kid.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 4:30PM
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my SO's Xwife is never ever around for any holidays, she is always gone on vacations wiht her BF. they usually go to "all included" places so they can be wasted the whole time. she basically chooses her trashy BF over her DDs. some people just don't value family time or traditions as much. Girls are hurt, but she doesn't care.

I expect serious problems in your marriage in the future because you started by making him choose and both you and him will probably have problems wiht chidlren because you choose some vacations over family time. majority of people spend holidays with family. you want no family for holidays at all, it seems extreme and is going to backfire one day.

You are talking about choosing Florida over kids (Florida? what's all the fuss about? it is just Florida). i choose company of my DD, SO's DDs and other family over Florida any time, let alone during holidays. I can go on vacations other times.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 4:44PM
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First of all - to all the posters who seem to think we are "vacationing" in Florida. We are in our mid 50s, retired and winter in Florida. Usually we head south after January 1st.

All our children are invited to join us for Christmas this year. If anyone wants to head south, we will help financially with their transportation.

To kkny:
As I said to you previously, your posts are filled with judgement and sarcasm. You don't know enough about our situation to make such harsh comments.

To finedreams:
Are you related to kkny? Cynicism is so un-fllattering.

To lamom:
Thanks for the positive reinforcement. I hope your holidays are filled with love, laughter and joy!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 5:14PM
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Your retirement seems to be the focus in your life at the present, and their is no reason it shouldnt, your kids are older. The problem is retirement and a 17 YO is tougher. Is 17 in High School? What if he wants to talk to his dad about college choices? My experience is you have to take your times with the kids not only when it suits you.

I'ld like everyone to think long and hard how they would feel if they were 17 and a parent just went on vacation over Christmas like this. That the parent wouldnt even be available. Not because the parent was serving in the Gulf, or was with a sick Grandparent, but just becuase his new fiancee wanted to go to Florida.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 5:27PM
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Just thought long and hard...Ex has SS convinced to stay home on holidays with her and her jobless homeless boyfriend..She would be too lonely without him. Other SS has already bailed to spend holiday with his in laws..Hhhmmm, I guess we could stay home and DH and I could spend Christmas dreaming up college stuff to talk to SS about, but, no, we often travel..DH plans weekend after, or plans to celebrate another day and let Bonnie and Clyde have the jolly day to themselves. Terinick, Enjoy your holiday guilt free....

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 6:40PM
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FD and KKNY,

I think terenick has made things clear...she is not choosing a vacation in Florida over any of the kids, step or bio. She is choosing a relaxing Christmas in Florida with her husband-to-be instead of commuting between two cities with two sets of kids, all of whom are invited to spend the Christmas holidays with them in Florida, travel paid! Shoot, terenick, invite me and send me a ticket!!!

Where is it written that Christmas or any other family holiday/event has to spent in some overworked, overtired, unappreciated family members home, most likely the mom's, step or bio? She's already said that her husband's kids with the exception of the 17 year old have made other plans. Her kids too if I understand correctly.

The point is to be together and she has offered that to them all, in Florida. Without her and her fiance commuting, slaving and being stressed. BTW, it was the fiance who opted out first of the dual Christmas with her kids. Are you trying to say her kids are less important than his???

Now in my case, I am preparing to make my DH choose between me, DS7 and his adult kids in a pretty direct way. After years of catering and slaving for them, I may the next one on a beach for Xmas except I won't pay their way to come too, they are grown, let them figure it out. They will be invited to whatever we do AS ALWAYS but it won't revolve around them and the effort, budget and focus will be completely off of them. Since I have a child who is still a child, I'm sure you can appreciate that.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 7:33PM
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Somehow these stories morph as objections are raised. I am a little unclear how Dad offered to pay for a trip when he apparently hadnt communicated with son. And son is 17, is there an issue that he wanted to spend some time with sisters home from college or mom.

And she could have spent time with her kids and split holiday as she did previously, I am not saying his kids are more important (all they are older).

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 8:57PM
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Terinick - Your last post hit the nail on the head.......

I am glad you and your fiance worked out the details of the Christmas Holidays with what you all felt was a good outcome for you all. It didn't seem to me as if you just always choose to "vacation" over your kids or skids. Correct me if I am wrong - you gave an outline of how for the past couple of years you and FDH travelled to visit both sides for the holiday. You had made known the plans months in advance and to be honest FDH is a very grown man.... if it bothered him that badly - i am sure he would stay with the 17 year old. He made his decision and that's that.

Enjoy your holidays..... I personally don't travel on the holidays - but this my preference.... but i guess i would be wrong if out of the 3 vacations i took this year... one of them was just me and my DH. We left out SD and my BD home - and went on a cruise for 7 days. I guess i should have been shot and hung out to die. LOL!


    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 9:08AM
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Lamom, you are choosing between 7YO and ADULT children. Here, OP has pressured her fiancee to choose between vacation and 17 YO. I agree with FD, that it is not unheard of for parents down the road to blame partners for estrangement with kids.

Imagr8tma, I assume you left you kids in the care of someone responsible, but to me, recommending that OP did the right thing by pressuring her partner to leave his 17 YO over Christmas, as you recommend, is not the mark of a great mom. To say OP's fiancee felt this was a good outcome for all totally ignores that he has been dragging his feet.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 9:42AM
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To kkny:
We canÂt expect everyone to automatically understand everything we say as we intend it to be understood. Basically, it often comes down to belief systems (how we see the world, and assume that others see it the same way we do) and definitions (if two people define a term differently, it becomes difficult to have a conversation based on understanding). It is obvious you and I view parenthood (step or otherwise) differently. I suspect we won't agree because our definitions don't match, therefore; IMO you are the weakest link. Good-Bye.

To: Sweeby, imagr8tma2, dotz, lamom, kk1222, silversword and lovehadley
Thank you for making up a positive majority. The statistics for 2nd marriages has a 34% success rate. The #1 reason for failure is the kids, regardless of age.

I was previously married for 25 yrs. I was single for seven yrs before meeting the man who will kiss my last breath away. Neither my kids nor his kids should stand in the way of the life we are building together.

As kk1222 pointed out, she has her own life and realizes her Dad should have one too. It is a sign of maturity when parents and kids can "let go" of unrealistic expectations - reestablish the relationship as adults and live independently without feeling guilty or obligated.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I'm thankful my kids decided to drive 8 hours from Missouri to Ohio to spend the holiday with us. I'm thankful my fiance's eldest daughter is driving 3 hours to be with us too. I'm disappointed my fiance's middle daughter and 17 yr old son will not be here but they chose to travel with their mother. And that's OK. Everyone has made their choices. We respect their decisions and give thanks ... just like we will respect their decisions and give thanks at Christmas too. Hopefully, they will extend the same courtesy.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 10:50AM
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I had asked KK1122, what age was she when her dad went off without her. No answer.

Maybe dads kids feel if they dont want to see them on Christmas, they see no need to make effort on Thanksgiving.

As to "reestablish the relationship as adults", 17 YO is not an adult. Whether he will have a better relationship with dad when he is older, who knows. But I dont think this is helping.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 11:22AM
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kkny - LOL! WOW! I am not sure how saying I took a vacation with my DH without the kids (after taking my BD and SD on two vacations this year) constituted a question or required a comment of wondering or assumption that we had or had not left them with an responsibile person. Of course we did - If we took the time to plan out three vacations this year - and one did not involve the kids - we most definitely were responsible enough to plan for their care during our vacation time.

I don't see how you correlate Terinick being a bad mom for traveling during a holiday. She and FDH decided to take a trip. FDH has the right to choose and do as he would like. He could have taken her up on the trip or not. It was his decision - as adults decide on things to do all the time.

I did not suggest or state at any time anyone in this made the right decision in this situation.... i recall saying i was suggesting it was maybe the timeframe that caused FDH an issue and dragging his feet.... then i recall saying i was glad they worked out a solution that worked for them - but pointed out i don't travel the holidays myself as my own personal preference - and i recall saying her FDH made a decision for himself to travel and wished them the best for their vacation.

I didn't or wouldn't take it as an opportunity to tell her she is a bad mom or he is a bad dad. I don't personally know anything about them other then they had a discussion about the christmas holiday - so i kept my posts relevant to that. I didn't tell anyone to leave their child during any holiday - i suggested why he would have an issue and as far as i am concerned..... it is not my place to judge anyone on being a good/bad mom or dad .......

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 11:25AM
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I think it's an interesting observation that "...I suspect we won't agree because our definitions don't match..."

Every family does things differently. Christmas, in and of itself, means absolutely nothing to me. It's a pagan holiday to celebrate the return of light, the solstice, that has been co-opted by the Christians and twisted beyond recognition to support gross consumerism.

That being said, my dd goes to her grandparents house for the holidays. They are Jewish, but they celebrate Christmas, and they do a bang-up job of it. She has tons of cousins in their state, and has a fabulous time. Her dad doesn't want her for that holiday because the winter is very busy for him and he wouldn't get much time for her. He prefers the summer.

I could be selfish and keep her with me, but she has a good time there, and the two weeks off make for a good long visit between two sets of grandparents (she has two sets on mine and one on her dad's). My dad and SM have never gotten her for Christmas. They're ok with it.

She will always be welcome at my house for the holidays, or at my location, wherever it may be. (last year my DH and I ordered pizza, and drank beer and ate pizza in bed while we watched tv. Since we never ever get to do that, it was the perfect way to spend the holiday for us!!)

But let's remember who are the adults here and who are the children. If I don't want to wear myself out decorating/shopping/cooking/hostessing I have the right to say no, and do the holiday any way I please. There is no requirement; other than social stigmas placed by the bourgeois; to deck the halls.

I'm not a scrooge, but I'm not raising a Disney Princess either. This is not Tinseltown.

Enjoy your holiday. Continue to make all of your combined children welcome. Try not to let the choices they make about who they will visit when bother you. Continue to respect decisions and give thanks... that's what the holiday is really about!!!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 11:29AM
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kkny, You're right, I am choosing between a 7 year old and adult kids. Of course, the adult kids come with couple of grandkids too. But, this year, even the 7 year old may be experiencing a different kind of Christmas. Holidays are joyous times when observed with the right spirit. They are also a lot of work, pressure and expense.

Terenick has a pack of grown kids, step and bio, including the 17 year old. She has had enough of catering to them. This doesn't sound like a step/bio competition, even for dad's attention, this sounds like a very sensible opt out.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 11:34AM
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And what i do not understand, if stepkids are so much work then why not go see your own kids? They aren't important either? then what is important? I miss my DD. I don't know how people don't miss grown children when they are out of the house. I don't get it. But then I know people who haven't seen their parents in 10 years or their children for 5 years (not living on the other side of the world), it is what it is. Some people aren't even upset about it. Some people just aren't that close to their children/parents and aren't that family oriented. It is what it is. Not everyone has the same values.

SO's exwife's brother called us the other night and asked to talk to his sister. LOL he didn't know they are divorced and that she lives elsewhere for years because he hasn't talked to anyone in his family for 10 years. ha

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 12:13PM
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Lamom, yes its sounds like OP is has had enough of the kids. And its her priviledge not to see her kids, who btw are older. But to pressure her fiance to leave for Florida two weeks earlier (they're retired, why cant they go in January, Florida will still be there) and leave his kids, especially the 17YO, I think is not only a crummy thing to do, but may end up biting her, if later fiance blames her for any estrangement.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 12:30PM
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finedreams, I can't believe I am defending terenick who I don't know at all, but she is not saying that the stepkids alone are so much work, she's saying, I believe, that accomodating all of her kids, step and her own, is more work than she is willing to do this year, especially since they have made other plans for themselves as the grown people they are.

I have a little kid, 7, so his needs are different. Her whole group of kids are much older, including the 17 year old. Ease up, she's had enough. What's the problem, is going to Florida that much of a hardship for these adults who have been invited with airfare paid for, hers and his? This reminds me of the John Grisham book Skipping Christmas. A great book with a disappointing ending where the parents decide to spend Christmas and their Christmas budget on a cruise for themselves. Then they fold on that promise to themselves because their 20 year old daughter decides to come home for Christmas at the last minute.

What are these holidays about anyway? Who are they about? A bunch of indifferent grown kids? Or really enjoying time with family? Parents, step or bio, are family too.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 12:40PM
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Indeed. If two years ago the 17year old (then 15, I'm assuming) came over for 2 hours... that's just not enough time for me. Either pick another arbitrary day to hold X-mas and have an entire day with the kids, or just call the whole thing off. I personally would not go to the trouble for 2 hours of visiting. That's barely enough time to have a nice meal.

Sounds like dad has guilt. Let him. And you do as you like. Surely you're old enough to not need him with you on the actual holiday. Make a special celebration with him when he gets to Florida. Support him in being a dad. (also, just a note, men are not as socially required to "do" as much as women. So his perspective on the holiday, what it means, and how much work is involved may be totally skewed. Men are usually conditioned to be waited on... so it may be a perfectly lovely holiday to him...)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 12:48PM
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"Support him in being a dad." -- You're joking right?? Support him by saying we're retired, we'll be in Florida all we want.

Dad has guilt for wanting to spend Christmas with his kids?

OPs kids are launched. My guess -- the fiance's kids will remember it was mom who didnt run off to Florida, mom who made certain there was a holiday for them. Then in addition to some people with the guilt diagnosis, they'll be a diagnosis of parental alienation, because the kids remember who was around for them.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 1:06PM
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KKNY, that's not at all what I said. You are a master manipulator.

Yes, she should support him in being a dad. If he wants to be with his kids and she doesn't... go to Florida! Have a good time! Make another Christmas with just the two of you when he gets there.

Kids should come first until they are raised. Then, hopefully, if it all turns out right and they are considerate, they will put their parents needs on par with theirs regarding holidays. Then it becomes a "family holiday" rather than a 'work-mom-till-she-drops-while-the-rest-of-us-party' holiday. Don't dis, you all know that's usually how this one plays out.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 1:58PM
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I love your description ... "work-mom-till-she-drops-while-the-rest-of-us-party holiday!"

No matter how many hands there are to help, the majority of the work falls onto the shoulders of the woman ... let's face it, someone has to stuff the bird and clean the toilet!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 2:18PM
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Actually, my brother is a fab cook and does all food stuff. And when my mom ran holidays, she was able to delegate a lot of chopping etc to the non-cooks.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 2:31PM
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"work-mom-till-she-drops-while-the-rest-of-us-party holiday!"

true sometimes ..... LMAO

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 2:44PM
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I'm still confused on the objections on this one. ALL of the kids have been invited to spend Christmas with OP and her husband in Florida. I know I read that and that they have offered to pay for the travel!!! Geez, what more do you want from them?

If these grown kids don't want to travel on Christmas as the parents have done for two years, then that says a bit about them. I guess I'm a little different, I've spent Christmas with my original family and extended family in other places including Mexico, Detroit, Boston (where I lived as an adult, parents traveled to me), Key Largo and Rome, Italy (I was 9 the time in Rome, but with my family) But I was 16 in Mexico, with my parents,sister and cousins and in my memory, it was a legitimate family Christmas, just not at home. All of these Christmases except Key Largo came complete with trees, gifts, Christmas dinner and family. Key Largo was family and seafood in a restaurant but we were cousins and adults and loved it all. This year I am considering going to Ohio to be with family or maybe even Florida myself!

Loosen up! OP/terenick, enjoy yourself. There won't be any alienation unless these grown kids just expect you to work yourself to death for the sake of a tradition they are not upholding themselves. And the 17 year old just isn't that young anymore!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 3:29PM
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I don't care about Christmas since i am a Jew but I have people in my family who are Christains so i do stay wiht them because they are important to me. My family is important. I do not care if it is pagan Christian or muslim as long as it is important to my family.

My SO is the one who cooks. i clean. i am not that great of a cook. So it is not true that majority of work is done by women, it is not 1950s anymore. too bad some families still make women work so much harder.

i understand not wanting to be around for holidays, maybe you aren't that close to your family. But why making your fiancee choose? that's where the problem is. he wants to be wiht children, he shoudl be allowed to.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 3:31PM
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lAMOM,I've spend holidays out of town too. But when a child has divorced parents it is more difficult. Here it appears that OPs fiance and his X live relatively close to each other. So one parent taking the kids out of town is to me unfair. You'ld be making the kids choose. Its not Florida v. Toledo, its family v. not.

As to 17 YOs not being grown, I find that disengenous. How many people here have complained about how hard it is to get teens to visit.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Is it unfair for one parent to take the kids (regardless of age) out of town for a holiday? If that is the case, then the BM is guilty of doing just that over Thanksgiving (with two of the three Skids)

You seem hung up on the 17yr old - perhaps more than the average bear. Were you abandoned at or near this age? Would you change your mind about our situation if I told you:

a) Father & son have had little contact for the last 5 years (way before I even came around)

b) When son does decide to participate in family events, he is moody, hormonal, rude and makes it a point to insult everyone.

c) Son has ruined family gatherings with outlandish outbursts, including fleeing from a restaurant in tears because he didn't like the way his father was looking at him.

d) Son does not return our phone calls, text messages or emails despite our consistent and persistent behavior to remind him he is loved.

e) Son ignores us when we attend his band concerts ... literally turns his head the other way AFTER having direct eye contact.

This young man is in need of therapy. He is angry and hostile. He lives with his mother and newly married husband. His father is at a loss. Our hands are tied and all we can do is pray the kid grows out of it. We ask God to "Hurry" everyday.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 3:54PM
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Sorry. I only get on the computer once a day.
I was in my early 20's when my day started alternating years. I realize that is different from 17. The point I was trying to make is that I want my father to be happy. I'm glad he has someone to share his life with. Second marriages are so difficult as is. I don't want to be the one that makes things harder. I wouldn't split up from my husband during the holidays so I wound't expect him to split up from his wife. If they were able to get away for the holiday good for them. Life is too short!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 4:04PM
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Terri, I dont think it was right for mom to take the kids away for Tday, without discussing with dad, etc. Some people alternate. Yes 17 is a teen, and I hear he is difficult.

No, I wasnt abandoned, I had a loving and warm family.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 4:49PM
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kkny, I guess I see the point now. If OP and fiance take the entire blended crew to Florida, they won't be around for gatherings with the BM in dad's case and BD in OP's case. I wasn't really understanding the dynamic.

Well, you are right, I grew up in an intact family so all of our out of town Christmases at least until well in to adulthood were intact with everyone there whether at home or away. Even as an adult, we stayed pretty intact. Divorced situations are different, on that I'm sure you are right. I'm both a SM and BM but never divorced and not a product of divorce.

As an adult though, even though my parents then were together and alive, I went on some holidays without them which I think is what many adults do, especially single ones in their 20's. Skiing, visiting my boyfriends family or even a branch of the family they didn't want to visit on my own, stuff like that. On the 17 year old not being that young, I'm not being disingenous, I already told you I traveled away at 16. But, it was not a divorced situation so you make a legitimate point on that. and, I don't have a teen so having a teen show up I guess is a big deal although OP said he only follows his sisters.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 5:07PM
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Thank you La,

I know you are a good mom to your little guy. As kids grow into teens, it isnt always easy, and you dont always have the luxury of picking your times to communicate.

As I said, it wasnt right when mom took the kids away either. I think divorced parents should try not to move. My X and I ususally manage to split holidays.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 8:04PM
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To be honest, I don't really see what the big deal is about parents taking kids away for holidays even if they are divorced. I'm 22 now, but my parents have been divorced since I was very young, so pretty much every holiday I can remember has been spent with either one parent or the other. They both continued to live close by each other even after the divorce, but both of their extended families (my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc.) lived significant distances away. If either of them wanted me to have a real "family" holiday travel was necessary. I never really thought of it as a big deal if I only saw one parent over a holiday, especially since I was surrounded by so many other family members I rarely got to see, and my other parent lived close enough to me that I could see them on a regular basis anyway.

When my father remarried he and his wife often spent holidays with her family. If I was with my mother, even if we were going to be at home, he would still travel with her. I never saw this as a slight to me, and it never made me feel like he didn't care about me, I just viewed it as him making his own plans the same way my mother and I did. I was always invited to go with my father, and did on occasion, but I never felt like if I said no he should drop everything to stay home and have a 2-hour dinner with me to assuage some kind of divorced dad guilt. From the sounds of it, the OP's 17-year-old SS already has a difficult relationship with his father, and I don't think he's going to look back and point to this one particular Christmas as being the cause of the problems between him and his dad. I think as long as he knows he is invited to spend Christmas with his father then, even if he chooses not to, there really isn't a problem with his dad and SM going to Florida. Yes, his parents won't be near each other so he won't be able to see both on Christmas, but that's just one of the realities of divorce. Sooner or later he's going to have to get used to the fact that his parents don't plan their lives around each other and their plans might not allow him to see both of them at the same time.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 12:37AM
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To Harp405:
Thank you for posting your experience and opinion. You have great insight for a 22 yr old. I admire your wisdom.

I didn't divorce until my kids were in college, however I am from a divorced family and don't recall holidays being an issue when I was a kid either. We were always surrounded by people who loved us regardless of "whose" family we were visiting.

There are some people here who believe my FDH will eventually come to resent me for "making him" miss Christmas with his kids. I'm wary of those allegations. For the last 29 years, I've created magical holiday celebrations for my family and friends. I will do it again this year except the location is Florida. All are welcome. Keywords: THIS YEAR

Thanks to all who've participated in this thread - let's put this puppy to rest.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 9:43AM
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terenick, thanks for beginning an interesting thread. Harp's perspective is similar to mine. Enjoy your holidays.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 10:11AM
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I also feel Harp's perspective is accurate for my experience as a child of divorce, and how I'd like my DD to view holidays as well. I hope it all works out for you.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 12:03PM
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