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Vacations with stepkids -REVISED

My husband and I have a daughter of our own who is 1. We also have a 7 year old son from a previous relationship of my husbands and a 17 year old daughter from my husband's previous marriage. We are struggling with how to do vacations because not only does our son live with us just part time, but all my family relatives live 2 states away. I have suggested to my husband that we split holidays. Each year we spend Thanksgiving with one set of parents and the Christmas day with the other. The following year it switches. Since we don't get to see my family that often we would still go there after Christmas to spend time with them too (on the years that we weren't with the on Christmas day).

NOTE - there is a court order but they have agreed not to follow it.  That order had us splitting Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.  The courts don't care that the father is married to a woman whose family lives out of state.  That is usually how it is done here unless the parents specify otherwise.  As they are getting along (sort of) we didn't want to rock the boat and go back to court to revise orders to how things actually are.

My son's mother loves Christmas too and may not be willing to let our son go out of state every other Christmas. She doesn't let him travel with us for Thanksgiving either. The problem is my husband decides that he is not going to go out of state without our son so I end up going with our daughter alone.

I hate not being with my husband. I have told him that we are a family first. I have also told him that I feel he is putting our son first before the rest of the family. I love our son, but I don't like how this is being played out.

I could really use some advice on whether my recommendation for the holidays is sound and how to handle things if our son's mother won't let him travel out of state with us when we want the family to go.

NOTES - Yes I have told my husband exactly how I feel and he has even read this post so there are no secrets about my feelings.  Also, I don't refer to our son as my stepson. He calls me Mom (whether he should or not is neither here nor there and for a different discussion) and I call him son.  My husband takes it personally when I refer to him as my stepson even when trying to clarify to someone that doesn't know our situation so out of respect for him and deep love for MY son I do not refer to him as a step son unless absolutely necessary. Final note - Our son's mother is not accepting of me.  She feels I'm to blame for their breakup even though he was split from her when I met him.  It's her issue so there is no chance of the three of us chatting out it together.  Although I have attended parent teacher conferences with them and she has not objected.  I don't want to push it.  Plus I think this is an issue best handled between my son's mom and my husband.

With great anticipation of your responses and great thanks for any input. I'm so sad.

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Asked by steptonmom at 5:02 PM on Dec. 7, 2010 in Parenting Debate

Level 4 (33 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • Have you been very open with how you feel to your husband? Just as you put it here? Communicating all your concerns, wants, needs, feelings with your hubby is the only solution I see. You have to put it as nicely as possible while not being afraid to say it all. If he doesn't know how you feel he can't help you or change the situation.

    Let him know you understand his not wanting to leave his son behind. As you love the 1 year old you may put yourself in his shoes on how he feels and sympathsize with him. This may open him up to knowing that yes you understand how he feels, but you still have needs, and a compramise needs to be made so you can both be happy with the situation.

    Is your sons mom accepting of you? Maybe willing to have a group talk or if not your hubby could always work out something whatever he can with her to get maybe every 2nd christmas out of state.

    Hopefully I make sense, good luck :D

    Answer by Skepticchick at 5:08 PM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • Well first, let me make sure we are clear, you said son but you mean STEP son, right? You have to remember that his son was around before you were, you know (i assume) of him before you married your husband. You may have to may adjustments for them. Why don't you try to you, your husband and you dd go on the year he is with his mother and stay home when you have him, this way, you are not going against her wishes. I would also like to point out how great it is that you are understanding of her wishes, many step moms would just complain about them, good for you :) I hope you can work somethng out so that everyone is happy.

    Answer by JLS2388 at 5:51 PM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • Is there not a custody/visitation order in place? If not, then that needs to be done first. If there is, then that order should address holidays and travel.

    Answer by missanc at 9:16 PM on Dec. 7, 2010

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