need your advice pls... kid issue/thanksgiving

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Jena, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    ok i'm sorry i have to come to you guys again, yet we don't know the right way to handle this at all.

    So, after finally figuring out what we were doing for thanksgiving, now boyfriend gets a call yesterday from his ex who says that 2 of the 3 kids want to be with-us for thanksgiving!! Now, i'Tourette's Syndrome the ex's year. Last year we had them. We already made plans, and can def not afford to add 2 more ppl onto dinner bill out at the restaraunt with my parents, plus his son would not fair well there at all, he has adhd.

    So, the ex is putting absolutely no effort into the holiday or making a nice holiday for the kids at all. Sh'es not cooking a turkey at all, just chicken no sides i'm sure no special dessert. IN her own words "itll be just another day". Now ofcourse the kids won't wanna be there!! Plus we "think" she gave them the option by saying well i'm not doing anything here so if you wanna go to dad's without checking to see what our plans are, etc.

    So, on one hand we don't want to, especially boyfriend make his own chlidren feel we don't want them, yet at the same time we are nt' sure how good this is for them the lack of stability. Cause now next holiday it'll be up for grabs oh where do you wanna go??

    I'm confused, so is he. his ex i'm telling you guys can't stand her!! I want to call her and say you haven't done enough bad things to your kids you can't even make a nice holiday for them! Her "partner" is a vegan, so to her there's no need for a turkey, yet i't s not just that it's her laziness of not doing the right thing for the kids. Even if it was chicken with sides, and desserts and some effort put forth yet there is not.

    What do you we do?? Do we upset difficult child my difficult child and say oh remember how we were supposed to go to grandma's that's cancelled, upset my parents with whom i'm sure would understand, and say ok we will take them.

    or does he say to his ex stop being lazy make a nice holiday for them and you should never of given them options. yet as he reminds me all the time we can't control her actions at all, or make her want to care. I'm just afraid if he says ok we'll take them, and we totally change our plans and wind up by his families now that on christmas and every holiday thereafter it'll be a joke of the kids chosing where they go, total mayham and giving them too much control.

    ??? any thoughts. we have to decide by today
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    In this case, I think I'd find a way to include the kids in the plans you already have in place, if at all possible. It's not their fault that their bio-mom is a *** and I hate to see kids be put in the middle and feel unwanted and it seems clear that if you two don't provide their holidays, etc., they might not get it at all.

    To try to say it clearer- not including the kids might be a lesson to the bio-mom, but it might not be worth it because it would be at the expense of the kids. JMHO
  3. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I think your boyfriend should take them to dinner with you, and give your parents the money for their share of the bill.

    SO and I don't have any kids together thankfully, but have watched this same senario with my eldest and her kids fathers. All of the bickering over whose holiday this is, whose weekend this is. Kids have sort of become "time slots" - with the "this is my weekend, my holiday" no matter where the kids wanted to be, there was always a problem associated with it, and the kids always end up knowing that either their mother wouldn't let them go, or their father didn't want to take them and really, that is too hard on the kids.

    boyfriend should not be passing any comments on how she is lazy and how holidays should be celebrated to this X - that part of his life is over and done with. His life is now being spent with you, and you now have an extended brood that you should always count as being there, and if they aren't, it should not be big deal to put away the two or three extra plates or put them out.

    I don't agree its giving the kids "too much control" over where they get to spend any particular holiday weekend. They are kids - they are going to want to go where they feel most comfortible and feel a part of a family. I don't see that as a bad thing. My kids have always been free to see their dads whenever they wanted and opted not to go with the my weekend, your weekend, my holiday your holiday time schedule.

    Course having said that, their dads never were involved after the split had taken place :)

    Good luck with this one

  4. ML

    ML Guest

    I think you should take the kids and slip def some money ahead of time. You have a lot of dynamics going on there. In this situation I would just try to tap into the holiday spirit of thanks, forgiveness, acceptance and do the best you can. I will be thinking positive thoughts for you and pray you have a wonderful day despite the madness.
  5. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I would say take the kids. make it work with your family. Sets a precedence to ex that you will make it work for the kids no matter what but it will show the kids that you care to have them. I can't tell you how many times when husband's ex was still in the picture we went through this type of thing. We came to expect it and were plenty prepared for the extras.

    The other side of that is for the last several years I have let easy child make up her mind when she sees her dad. Because it isn't his visitation it is hers. So it is her choice. It is just a change in mind set.

  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Another vote for including boyfriend's kids in your family's thanksgiving celebration.
    You've already made plans to spend the time with your family, and this will send the message to boyfriend's kids that they ARE part of your family and will always be welcome with you.

    As for the Ex, my advice is the same when dealing with her. Be the lady, and make sure that boyfriend behaves like a gentleman. That way, if the Ex makes a scene or says nasty things, any negativity will stick to her, not to either of you.

  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi guys!

    Thank you so much for all your input. We were so tossed and confused over this that we actually contacted his therapist, boyfriend's and i met with mine today and we had coffee.

    They both actually said that allowing kids to come with us, yet we wouldnt' go to dinner with-all of them ( we simply can't afford it) would be very wrong on multiple levels.

    They said it is wrong because these children (his) have not had enough time to get accustomed to the "schedule" of the holidays yet. That this will create uncertainty for them with each holiday that comes to follow. They will think it's their decision and it will put pressure on them to chose between Mom and Dad, if we don't keep to divorce decree this time around. Not to mention their anxiety level and unsurity with what is coming next, a lack in routine for them.

    They also said we can't control what traditions they do or don't do there, yet it's their mom's turn (with whom by the way before coming out of the closet; was very much into tradition and holidays) to step up to the plate and show these children a nice holiday. They need to see their mother be strong and capable we take that away if we take the kids and go along with her selfishness.

    boyfriend tends to "save" the day a whole lot in regards to the ex still. He feels badly for his children and never wants them to do without. This has caused huge issue for his life both financially and emotionally. For example alimony was supposed to stop well over a year ago, once she took a live in partner, yet he still pays it, their mortgage on house, their car insurance, etc. it really is out of control. So, by doing this and swooping kids and changing plans to "save the day" again he is enabling her to continue behaving with her own needs first and foremost and not her children's needs.

    They said the therapists that is, that if years had passed, the children's holiday routines were set in stone and a familiarity with the schedule was in place and this happened it would be fine for us to take them, switch our plans and go to his dad's for thanksgiving. Yet because those things have not happened yet for them we cannot it would be wrong. I do agree.

    My heart wants to have custody of them to be quite frank, it always has. I have grown to love them, yes even with their antics yet at the same time i knew this woudl be the "right" thing to do. Which will probably upset boyfriend and me more than the kids.

    WE also found it it's her partners' birthday that day and she probably wants to be alone with her which is why they gave kids and option with-o speaking to boyfriend first. so so selfish.

    I hope this in the end teaches boyfriend a firm lesson finally that the ex isnt' the person she was. She functions at most times with what her best interests and desires are, not what these 3 children need and desire. I actually said if we do take them this year i feel in my gut you should take them every year than hands down. not just when ex doens't want to deal with her own children.

    Wow, you guys this stuff is difficult. Ontop of my difficult child, my easy child, my own stuff than throw in all his issues. Sometimes it gets to be a bit too much to be honest. I just want to eat turkey!!!! LOL

  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Wow, I know what the therapist said and all. Yet I can't do it I can't look at these kids and say ok we can't take you.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member

    ok i am so so done. Im just relentlessly posting so i don't scream. I dont' need this aggrivation i really don't, i don't even feel well.

    I told boyfriend listen i know what therapists said yet i cant hurt kids that way because their mother is a freak. I suggest we take them with-us and than just plant your ex in your own way tell her we won't allow this to happen again. Yet i cant' make the kids suffer because it's wrong.

    he responds with well if i take my kids their going to want to see their family for thanksgiving!!!! WOW!!!!!!!! I told him i'm done, done talking, done, done, done!!! So, now his ex controls the day yet again. i do the right thing and say let's take kids with my family than he says well my kids will want to see my family. Is this what i'm giong to go thru each holiday?? I can't , i won't i can't handle the stress. no way!!! wow im so so flipped out
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    ok- what if the kids go to his parents' or other of his family's house for dinner and you all go on with your plans. You can't change everything around for them, but they can either do XYZ with you guys, or do ABC with so and so..??
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member


    thanks i'm so so done right now i have to be honest i really am. I can't do this every holiday i can't handle it. I deserve some normalcy also and my kids. I've smoked way too much today, called my mom of all ppl and vented lol, tried working with boyfriend totally and for him to say that WOW is all i can say.

    I'm just going to my parents i'm keeping my plans whether he goes or not. I'm done now. I try so hard because i'm a good person, i give my all, my heart, my time and than he says well they'll wanna see my family!! Can you imagine?? Am I being overdramatic here?? I don't think I am.

    He won't do that, he won't drop them by his families without him. You are 100% correct we shouldn't change our plans due to his ex being a pyscho. I can't believe he even said that to me. He said well i didn't say i'd do that, yet it is the truth they won't want to go to your parents!!! I said oh well, they dont' wanna be home because mom's not cooking or caring i offer our existing plans, yet you take it a step further and want to totally cater to them now??? so the heck with me,easy child, and difficult child???

    That man will sit alone with his kids on thanksgiving i will be in my truck in a heartbeat with my kids. Plus difficult child, mine will give me a huge problem now if he gets his kids and hauls them off to his dad's difficult child will cry because she'll wanna be with them yet will want to see her grandparents.

    I can totally see why the therapist said to not allow this to happen. So every holiday his ex can flip script upon how she's feeling, and totally screw our holiday up because he wont' just keep our plans in place and add his kids??

    i am so livid. you have Occupational Therapist (OT) understand it's not the first time his ex has done something totally wrong and self centered that has affected me and my family. If i told you the stories your hair would stand on end. ugh!
  12. Jena

    Jena New Member

    sorry i do appreciate your words and offering ideas. I'm just done at this point with this holiday. I have my own health issues that i'm trying to figure out, difficult child popped up with a rash today suddenly that i'm wondering if it's like last time she was on seroquel and we had to stop the medication, i'm just really stressed now. I can't live this way. My stress level is up to the max right now. It's not fair or cool.
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hey Jennifer - please try and take a deep breath.

    I am confused. Did you already tell the children they would be joining you at your family's table? Or did you only tell them they wouldn't be with their mom?

    If all they have been told is that they will not be with mom, then I would say to boyfriend that he can take them with him to his parent's home and you go to yours. If you've already told them they were coming with you to your parent's home, then I would tell boyfriend that he needs to save the day by being consistent about the plans and this year, you all go to your moms.

    on the other hand, it is important, VERY important for everyone to realize that, yes, every year for every major holiday there may be an upset and you may not spend it together. How about a family meeting and vote and see where everyone stands. Are all the kids old enough to participate in something like that?

    Early on it was very difficult for my kids to not join H and me at my brother's traditional Thanksgiving shindig. They got over it - it's just another day spending dinner with extended family.

    Perhaps you are placing too much importance on the day.

    Perhaps you and boyfriend can take all the kiddos to his parent's for dinner on Sunday following instead of Thanksgiving? Or vice versa.

    My exh and I split the holidays. One year they are with me for Thanksgiving and him for Christmas and then the following year we switch it. Now, as the kids got older and their work schedules change, we parents, i.e., the ADULTS in the situation, get over ourselves and you eventually realize that it's not the DAY that is's what you make of the time you ARE together. So, two days after Christmas or Thanksgiving, the girls will visit their dad for a day or so. Or vice versa.

    It's not a celebratory holiday is the familiy is fighting. Hugs - good luck.
  14. ML

    ML Guest

    ((((((((Jennifer)))))))))))) I'm so sorry you're going through this. If I had to do it all over again I would never have gotten married a second time. But you know this comes up again and again. For instance when my dad died 5 years ago my mom remarried a couple years later. For the first time in my life I don't always get to spend the holidays with my mom because now she has other considerations, a husband, grown step kids and step grands. I plan to just "love the ones I'm with". Meaning that however it winds up, I'll try to find celebrate with those I'm with and appreciate the good things about the day. It totally hovers that you have to deal with ex's selfishness and the fact that you have so little control over these holidays. Just try not to put pressure on the fact that it's a certain day, like Jo said. It's just a day. Great big hugs. I'm feeling your pain right now and wish there was something I could do to help. xoxo ML
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member


    You are right i have to breath i'm flipping out right now. Bottom line is we already told my parents we are coming, reservations have been made, etc. I told difficult child she is excited, so is easy child.

    This thread was all about his ex being selfish and not wanting her kids on the holiday and giving them an option if they wanted to spend it with dad without consulting dad. His divorce decree states this year is her year, yet she is not wanting to make the effort for her kids.

    So, only option right now is if he comes to his senses, and just includes his kids with our existing plans. If he choses to go to his dad's with his kids, bad bad choice on his part (catering to his children's needs), he will also upset my difficult child, not to mention my parents.

    Therapist suggested to not even take them at all. If you read further into beginning of the post, yet i felt too bad and suggested to him we just take them. Yet not to change our plans for the day, and upset difficult child.

    So, in closing his ex will mess with us every year this is what she does. That is why therapist said put an end to it right now. Yet i didn't want kids to get hurt to teach mom a lesson. yet he has to understand and be a grown up and realize he can't change his plans already made last minute like this. That's just wrong.

    His ex has such severe interference in our lives. she is so so difficult and this is just one small example. it has been a year and a half of this now. i can't handle the stress i have a full plate already.
  16. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Any chance you can just have Thanksgiving dinner at your home and invite both sets of grandparents there? I discovered many years ago that cooking for two or twenty is pretty much the same amount of work when it comes to holiday meals.

    You have every right to be furious with the ex but do your best to keep the anger to yourself. Letting her know is self-defeating. Sounding off to boyfriend is just going to lead to fights. He won't defend her but he will defend any decision he makes about his kids regardless of how unfair it is to anyone else. Sadly, that's usually the nature of the beast when it comes to the non-custodial parent. Definitely do your best to not let any of the kids know how much she angers you. No matter what, it will get back to his kids and, thus, his ex at some point. The less she knows she has upset you, the more you are ahead of the game.

    Remind ex that you are a blended family and there should be turns with the grandparents. Not my/your parents but the grandparents of all of the kids. If one set of parents treats the kids differently because some of the kids are biological and some are not, then those grandparents need to be talked to and reminded that no matter where the kids live, they are now all grandkids to both sets of parents (he talks to his, you talk to yours). On this one, he's dead wrong to say that they'll have to go to his parents. Unless, of course, he doesn't want your relationship to work. It really does have to be a united family as much as possible. If the grandparents don't follow the plan, they lose but he can't do the separation at this point.

    I really don't have an issue with the kids choosing where they want to spend a holiday. I think kids should have a say-so in this. I do have issues with no advance warning by ex but there's not much you can do about that. However, the plans that were put in place should not be changed unless there is a real reason (no room, not enough food, not enough funds to feed a couple of extra mouths). Because the kids expect to be with one set of grandparents is not a real reason. Sorry, dude.
  17. Jena

    Jena New Member

    ahhhhh yes thank you!!!!!! SORRY DUDE IS MY TAKE ON IT TOO!! You are all soo good. I don't know what i'd do if my easy child ever broke LOL!!! :)

    boyfriend believe it or not is usually very fair, yet he's overloaded right now with what his ex has done, yet that isn't my fault. I have only tried to be supportive, truly regardless of my ranting here. I am very mad right now, i have been in the past also. Yet I have never once let the kids feel it. I"m very good like that. I have never said a bad word about his ex to his children, they are an extension of her and that would only hurt them. I also never say a bad word about my ex when he drives me to want to drink. That's just me.

    Yet, i told him you are making it worse right now. Ex messed up, she does all the time yet how we as a unit handle the fall out is KEY!! Tha'Tourette's Syndrome our only hope in this. She has said bad things about me to her children, specifically her older one mos. ago and caused a total upheaval in our home that his oldest had to be removed one night because she lost it in on me and difficult child. things have been chaotic. Yet we removed her, sat her down, and told her the truth not her mother's words. She has been good in her behavior at least since that point. Sure she has stolen but she's respectful to me at least and loving :)

    His ex is a make or break. He is the only one in which can control the situation and make sure he makes the right choices after she makes the bad choices.

    im trying to defuse making bubble bath with tea difficult child can tear house apart 4 a while
  18. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Jennifer, did the therapist point out to you and boyfriend that neither of you can change how his ex behaves? And that only you and boyfriend can change how you behave and react? In my very humble opinion, that is the only thing either of you have even a small amount of control over on any given holiday that his ex decides to manipulate all of you, including her children.

    Imagine how crappy the kids already must feel deep down, maybe without even realizing they feel that way, that their mom doesn't want to spend the holiday with them and now you and their dad are arguing about it all. That rots. And I'm not blaming you or boyfriend for making it worse, but the longer this is drawn out, the worse it will be each time the ex starts in with her garbage.

    I love the idea of you having the meal and inviting the parents, though I know it may be too late for that now. I think you will have to muddle through this holiday and then have a discussion (best with the therapist on hand) afterwards to decide how you will handle these types of situations in the future. You and boyfriend have to decide how you will react - or NOT react - when his exh pulls this...and figure out how not to hurt the kiddos in the process. That will be tricky. Best of luck. I hope that you can come to a solution. It may mean that you just have to let this one go and let your boyfriend do what he wants to do with his kids - your difficult child may get upset but you can work through it. Your mom may get upset, but she's an adult and you can explain to her that you're still working on the blended family stuff. It's very understandable. I'm so sorry that you're feeling so overwhelmed by this, but I think you will be okay. Remember, deep breaths and time outs for yourself.
  19. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I think it's just been a while now of things on and off from his ex and her endless behaviors and this just for me is the icing on the cake. How can you not want your own children for a holiday and "do" for them, it enrages me.

    Just so you know, the children have no idea we are arguing about anything at all. He is at work all the time except two days a week. he works 18 hour days. So, yes I know i can't imagine how horrible his kids feel knowing that their mom is offering us up as an option because she doesnt' want to do the holiday with them. That is what made me go against the therapist and say ok let's just take the kids this year. I don't want them so young like that 9 and 7 to feel unwanted for a holiday. If mom's going to make them feel this way than i am certainly not going to.

    I agree whole heartedly with you regarding "our" actions. That is actually exactly what I told him. I said "our reaction" to her antics as a "unit" is very important. It's our only hope. Granted i'm flipping out, yes immature on my part, i know. Yet i have a limit and this is the icing on the cake for me in regards to her. I know from here on out I will handle these things by not getting involved and making my own plans to be honest. I cannot "help" him learn how to grow in his situation quite frankly. Situation meaning adapting to divorce, shared holidays, a difficult ex wife with whom he still care very much for and she uses it to her advantage by pulling things like this. He has to find his own way with his therapist during his sessions.

    I have my own stuff, difficult child home all day. I can't do this it's way way too upsetting to me. I know what I would do if I were him, yet I"m not. I would get her on the phone and plant her, than i'd take my kids with my girlfriend's family and have a great day. done. when i make a decision i tend to stick with it, he's all over the place i think due to the guilt he feels that their own mom is looking to dump them for the holidays.

    His ex is unlike anyone i've ever met, truly. She is needy, demanding, aggressive, self centered and self absorbed. It's a bad mix for a woman who decided to have 3 children.

    :) my bath helped and i made difficult child myself and easy child a great dinner steak, salad, baked rolls. we had a great weekend actually 2 play dates with difficult child new friends, movies with her friend this morning, last night we did our pizza and movie. thanks again
  20. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Jennifer, I feel for you - I know how difficult it is to be swimming against the tides all the time when you're dealing with one manipulative person and one wishy washy person who is being manipulated. How awful to have to constantly be the one who is trying to make sense all the time.

    I hope that you remember first and foremost that you have to protect first yourself, next your kids. boyfriend has to do the same for himself and, as you've pointed out, you cannot do it for him. This is all between him and his exw. It's a crummy position to be in, as you're trying to make a life and family together, but if you're not on the same page, it's going to be a difficult task. Unfortunately, the kids are the ones who suffer the most.

    Try and have a nice holiday despite all the drama.