Need Input / Advice on Blended Family Christmas
This is my first post. Things have been building for a while and I have considered counseling for my Significant Other and I, but who has the time? We certainly don’t. In the future, if things continue as they are, we will have to cross that bridge.
I have a 4 (5 in a couple weeks) year old daughter from a previous relationship. Her father is not and will not ever be in the picture. I do not receive any CS from him, nor do I wish to ever pursue it. My SO has two children from a previous marriage boy 7 & girl 10. We get them Every Other Weekend. Like many of the other users of this site, I do not like them. There are not really any good reasons for my irrational dislike. The boy is a sissy. He cries at the drop of a hat. If I ask him to do something, such as pick up his toys, I have to actually stand there and watch him do it otherwise he simply won’t do it. The girl is a good kid. My only issue with her is that she is attention seeking and her father favors her – clearly. My SO and I are expecting our first child together in December. We are having a boy.
From the beginning of my relationship with my SO it has been understood that he will be the “father” of my daughter. However, the differences in behavior towards his children and my daughter are stark. She loves him though and he “loves” her.
Recently my SO and I have fought over birthdays. My daughter will be 5 at the end of the month and this year, like every year, I plan her a little birthday party. This year, since I am pregnant, I have decided to forgo a party at our house and have it at the bowling alley. I send out invitations have cupcakes made, etc. For the skids we do cake and some decorations around the house usually the weekend we have them after or before their birthdays. They get nice gifts (this year they each got a new bike) etc. Furthermore, their mother throws them large parties with their friends etc like I do for my daughter. My SO, this year, was upset that we don’t do more for his kids’ birthdays. My thinking is..what are we supposed to do MORE? Are we supposed to also throw a large party like their mother does for them? Then they get two parties…that’s ludicrous. My SO says it shouldn’t only be their mother’s responsibility to throw them parties. I am at a loss. What does he expect me to do? Invite their friends? I don’t know who their friends are, where they live, or even where to begin such an endeavor. Furthermore, the daughter’s birthday is in February. Her last birthday we were snowed in all weekend. The son’s birthday is right after July 4th which means that July 4th celebrations with them usually double for his birthday. I am not sure what he wants. AND I sure as hell am not going to plan his children’s birthday parties.
My biggest issue though is Christmas. Our first Christmas together, last year, was NOT something I ever want to repeat. It wasn’t horrible, just not how I want to celebrate Christmas. My SO’s parents are in town and generally stay with us the weeks leading up to Christmas and a couple after. They are not horrible, they don’t bother us much, etc, the thing is that my SO’s kids think that with Nana there they can do whatever they want and act however they want. Furthermore, with my SO’s mom losing her dad in October of last year, this was her first Christmas without her dad and she was pretty emotional about the whole thing. The custody agreement is firm and even though I have asked him to discuss it with her, my SO will not and the agreement remains. We get his kids the night before Christmas Eve and they go back on Christmas Eve. Which means that the opening of gifts happens on the morning of Christmas Eve. At first I thought I would be okay with this, but I am not. Santa comes TWICE? WHY!? My daughter has Santa come twice, b/c I want her to open her gifts like the rest of the kids on Christmas Day. His kids do it with their mom, why should my daughter’s Christmas be completely messed up b/c of his kids? Furthermore, the gifts!! We get all the children gifts. I get equal amount for his two kids. But for my daughter, it makes sense to me to get her more gifts. His kids are getting gifts from two parents, so if I want to get her more why not? I am the only parent getting her gifts, so in the end each child is probably getting the same amount of gifts total the skids spread over two households. And last year, with his mother being emotional we did Santa a THIRD time so that she was there and provided her own gifts for the children from Santa. Are you kidding me?! That should be a one-time deal, but what if it isn’t? What is a solution to this problem? How can we celebrate Christmas? I want my daughter to have Santa once, on Christmas Eve night and the in the morning open her gifts. My daughter’s tradition shouldn’t be completely fucked b/c his kids need Santa to come to our house?! My SO says he wants to experience Santa with his kids, but when do we stop this? With our baby coming, I do not want this practice to continue. My two kids will have a normal Christmas and not this Santa twice bullshit. Furthermore, my kids will have many gifts, as many as I want to get them, whereas the other two will have a set amount. I need advice and input on this.
Thank you in advance.