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Need Input / Advice on Blended Family Christmas

Misskatt7's picture

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.

ybarra357's picture

"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."

Please don't put off for counseling. It's needed. Desperately.

Willow2010's picture

Wow...ok...First off...do not expect your DH to be "dad" or love your child like he loves his kids. Not possible for him to love your kid like his own. No matter what he says.

Second...do not worry about what the kids get or do at BMs house. If DH wants to throw them a party, then let him. but let HIM do it, not you.

Ah Christmas....I would be furious if my SO told me that Santa could not visit my kids at my house. You can work around it. And why would your kid get whatever you/she wants but the skids will have a limit? And if you get your child more gifts, you should not give them to your child infornt of skids. That is just cruel.

Finally...disengage. Let DH handle his kids and you handle yours. If toys need cleaned up, let DH know to have kid clean them up. If they leave out dishes, have DH let them pick them up. Ect.

You sound a little jealous of the skids. TOTALLY NORMAL. But you need to keep it in check alittle better. And telling your DH that your kid can have whatever she wants but his kids will have a limit is not the way to do it. Always remember...he feels the same way about his kids that you feel about your kid.

Step life is hard.

Misskatt7's picture

Yes, indeed. Jealous. I hate feeling this way.

I do not have my daughter open any extra gifts in front of them. Of course not. Last year, they opened equal amounts together and then on Christmas Day my daughter opened the ones I had gotten her.

I guess I cannot just reconcile in my mind the fact that his kids have TWO parents and during Christmas they get DOUBLE gifts, x amount from their mother and x amount from their father. Why would I limit the amount of gifts I buy my daughter, knowing that no matter what they will be getting more gifts. It doesnt seem fair? I buy all the gifts. I see things that I know my daughter will like, whereas I am not as familiar with his kids likes / dislikes. Should I not buy things for my daughter for xmas that I know she will want simply b/c the gift amounts should be equal? Should my SO, with my help, pick out equal amount of gifts for all the children, but then I buy separate gifts from me to my daughter? Wouldn't that be the same as if she had TWO parents like the skids and receive gifts from both of them?

Yes, this is hard.

Disneyfan's picture

What wrong with what she said???

People complain here all the time about dad's letting BMs off the hook financially. Many posters are dealing with men who expect them to pick up a deadbeat mom's slack.

The OP is doing the exact thing many of those dad's do. If it is wrong for a dad to expect his new wife to play mommy and pick up the tab for his for kids, then it's wrong for a BM to expect the same from her new husband.

Snowflake's picture

I was referring to all the comments made. Even the one below. You think it is okay for her to tell the original poster that she bred with a loser. wow. I do not think that is okay. And then to hashtag dads dont matter. We don't know if the father decided not to have anything to do with the daughter. We can't assume anything that was not said. That is really sad.

I can understand op wanting her daughter to have a life with her and her husband. It doesn't sound like he is filling that role for her daughter, and that is her hard reality. No need to rub it in her face.

twoviewpoints's picture

" 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. "

Yet here OP is whining about what the skids get/have because they have two parents financially contributing to them. She denies her child the potential to have the father contribute, yet thinks it's unfair to her child the skids have both a mother and father tending to financial responsibility *shaking head*....

Snowflake's picture

This is great advice from willow. I know that it is difficult to hear though. What you are feeling is completely normal.

I think what willow said I'd correct, that no matter what your dh says, he will never love your daughter as much as he loves his kids. I would honestly just hold him accountable to love your baby together the same way he loves the skids.

For the Christmas situation, I would have it where Santa dropped off some presents early for all of kids and then you go out and get extra presents that you want for your daughter from Santa or just from you and dh.

I have bios with my ex husband. Dh will say that he loves them. He may, heck we moved across the country literally so that we could be closer to them, but I don't expect him to love them. They have a father, it is not a competition. I do expect him to love our bios, and i am feircely protective of them. It makes me angry that he played guilty dad for a long time with the steps, but is the everyday dad with ours.

Anyhow, please go to counseling. He also needs to know it is not your responsibility to parent his kids in any way. They have two capable parents for that. I would get real with him and tell him that you know that he doesn't love or treat your kid as much, fine, but that is a two way street

I hope it works out for you, this blended family stuff is really hard.

Willow2010's picture

Yea...the jealous feeling sucks balls. BTDT....It helps to disengage!

And yes...it is annoying that skids get twice of everything. But both parents want to do "parent" things with them. And they should be able to do that.

Just try NOT to think about what goes on at BMs house. You have an extreamly long road ahead of you hun. Disengaging will help, but mostly this situation will not get better.

EDIT TO ADD!! If you change your mind set it will get better. And separate finances asap!! That helps a lot.

Disneyfan's picture

And he will want to have his other kids there as well. Having a kid with the OP shouldn't change anything.

Why are the dad's feelings/wishes tossed out of the window?

What if he decides he wants her daughter gone? Would it be OK for him to say he only wants their kid together, his two oldest kid and the two of them to spend Christmas together.

Her kid is also a stepkid. He may very well dislike her and is sick of her being around 24/7.

Andie91801's picture

You can spoil you kids and let DH does whatever he wants with his. Disengage. I used to tell my kid that their BM's hand writing is so ugly and the elves couldn't read it so they got all address n date mixed up and Skids have to pretend to be happy about the presents otherwise the elves won't be happy about that. }:) Its a secret. LOL When Skids got older I told DH to deliver their presents to BM and if he wants to play Santa with his children he's welcome to go over there on 25. They can come to my house on 24 to have dinner but no open presents.

A.

thisisnotmocking's picture

That is not even remotely funny. And I've got a pretty twisted sense of humor.

thisisnotmocking's picture

I'll try to come up with something offensive about your comment. I'll read again. Better Biggrin

Willow2010's picture

I used to tell my kid that their BM's hand writing is so ugly and the elves couldn't read it so they got all address n date mixed up and Skids have to pretend to be happy about the presents otherwise the elves won't be happy
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Holy shit :jawdrop:

notarelative's picture

Give Santa to BM.
On Christmas Eve morning all kids open gifts from you and DH.
Santa comes for the yours and ours kid on Christmas morning, just as he comes for the skids at BM's home.
If in-laws come on another day all kids open only gifts from in-laws. Santa does not come on relative gift days.

Dial down the expectation of lots of gifts now. Santa doesn't have to bring a pile of gifts. In many intact homes Santa only brings one or two items.

Disneyfan's picture

Why should dad have to miss out on those memories?

What step parent wants to create special memories with his/her stepkid, but not his/her bio kids????

No one would tell a SM to have her bio kids do Santa gifts with her ex each year, while she and her husband do Santa gifts with his kids.:sick:

notasm3's picture

"Santa" gifts are not that magical except when the child is very young. By early elementary school most kids just focus on what they are getting.

Disneyfan's picture

Santa gifts or not. If dad wants to spend Christmas day (every other year or split the day with mom), he should do just that.

Monchichi's picture

I'm really confused. Why are birthdays and Christmas not alternated between the parents each year? Before you tied the knot and had children didn't you agree important things like traditions?

Does it really matter how many presents our SK's get? Chucky has 3 Christmas' every 2nd year and 2 in the years alternating. 1 @ BM, 1 @ granny and 1 @ dad's. As long as our traditions as a family are kept to in my home, I don't care how many celebrations each unit wants to have.

My girls aren't missing out. They have no idea what is going on everywhere else and seriously not everything is equal in life.

These ladies taught me that on here. Check your jealous on behalf of your child(ren) and let this go.

Edited to add: "blended family" is a misnomer in my view.

Disneyfan's picture

Some judges have the parents spilt the day. ExDF and BM's order was set up that way because she refused to do every other year. He agreed to a 50/50 split of the holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter) in exchange for a full month in the summer. She wanted to stick with every other weekend schedule during the summers.