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Dad refuses to host ex's 2 other kids for Christmas, 'we planned a trip to a beach resort.' AITA?

Dad refuses to host ex's 2 other kids for Christmas, 'we planned a trip to a beach resort.' AITA?


"AITAH for refusing to take my ex girlfriend's 2 other children with me for Christmas?"

I (40M) have a daughter Claire (14F) with my ex Amy (39F). Amy and I broke up when Claire was born because she felt like we settled down too soon and felt shackled by our relationship and family. We have always shared 50/50 custody since.

I got married to my now wife Jane (35F) about 5 years ago. Amy went on to have 2 other kids with 2 different men who aren’t involved with the kids. So she has full custody of her 2 other kids, then 50% of Claire. Her two youngest sons are 2 and 4. Claire doesn’t love her living situation with her mum.

The place is crowded and her two younger brothers are just well…toddlers. She says they don’t leave her alone and she gets no time alone there. So she prefers to stay with me more often now. She also gets along really well with my now wife and wants to spend a lot of time with her.

Claire asked me if she can spend Christmas eve and Christmas day with me and Jane. Our regular schedule was that Claire spends Christmas Eve with one of us, and Christmas Day with the other, then we switch it around the next year. I told Claire that I can’t give her an answer to that without discussing it with her mum.

She asked her mum before I could discuss it with her and Amy called to tell me it’s ok and that Claire can spend both days with me because she has her hands full anyway and it would take some work off her plate.

I’m excited to have both days with Claire and so is Jane. Jane actually suggested we go somewhere since we have both days to spend with Claire. So we planned a trip to a beach resort in another city.

I called Amy to let her know and she said it’s fine, but she called me back two days later asking if there’s any chance I can cancel the beach trip and do something in our city, and also include her sons so that she can go and see her family this Christmas.

She said her sons don’t have passports so she can’t take them to another country with her to visit her family, but this is the only time she has to visit her family because she always has to work.

I said I barely know her kids, so it’s going to be strange to just take them in and take care of them for however many days she’s gone. I want to just relax with my wife and Claire, and taking care of two toddlers that I don’t even personally know is not my idea of a good Christmas.

That’s so much pressure and I haven’t taken care of a toddler in about a decade. I also already told Claire about the beach trip and she was so excited, so simply staying home isn’t an option if it’s not an emergency. I don’t imagine she’ll be too happy to have her brothers come along when she complains about being at her mums house because of them either.

I told Amy the reasons above (except that Claire doesn’t like being around her brothers) and she said I’m doing this to punish her for leaving me, and that I could easily take care of her sons but I’m being spiteful. I told her to stop being ridiculous. We broke up 14 years ago and I’ve found the love of my life after that, there’s no reason on earth for me to be spiteful.

I said I really am sorry to decline her request but I’d rather just be with my immediate family this Christmas. She said she didn’t think I was the type to alienate children out of spite and she’s disappointed in the man I’ve become.

This is the first time since our break up that we had an argument or anything even close to it. She usually isn’t like this so while I think it’s unreasonable of her to expect me to take care of her two sons while she’s gone, I’m kind of worried I damaged our coparenting relationship.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

quill3216 said:

NTA. It sounds like Claire might move in with you full time.

Hachiko75 said:

Christmas is the same day every year. She had plenty of time to get passports for them.

nitzsches_onlyfans said:

NTA she's emotionally blackmailing you so she doesn't have to take care of her kids.

JuliaX1984 said:

NTA You can't alienate kids who aren't yours. Let her demand the dads take them off her hands for the holidays.

wlfwrtr said:

NTA Caring for two toddlers while their mom is off having a good time in another country is no joy. What if one got hurt? Your daughter requested to spend both days with you so she didn't have to put up with her brothers.

Do you think she'll ask for that again in the future if you do what she's trying to get away from? Your ex is only saying those things as a manipulation tactic. Trying to make you feel bad so you'll cave in. Remind her she got what she wanted. Part of that was for you not to be in any future family with her.

miyuki_m said:

NTA. It's astonishing to me that she wants her children to spend Christmas with people who are practically strangers. Aside from your daughter, they would be spending the holiday with people who are not family.

This makes no sense whatsoever. What kind of mother wants to spend Christmas without any of her children? If they were adults, that's different, but they're all minors, and two are just toddlers. Wow.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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