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We have an legally agreed arrangement that I have the kids Wed/Thu each week and every other weekend, while holidays are meant to be 50/50 agreed between us.

This Christmas she asked that I take them before Christmas, she have them for Christmas and boxing day (also one of my daughters birthdays) and I take them again for the holiday period after. I regularly feel that I am a gloryfied sitting service to be used when required and ignored when not.

I came back and put forward that it would be fair if she had them the 1st week of the holidays and I had them the 2nd, and agreement was made.

I was due to pick up the kids tonight or in the morning and she was to let me know what suited her best.

Today I had a abusive message from my ex that my son was upset as he did not know if I wanted to see him over the holidays, my ex accusing me of not making any plans to see the kids.

Needless to say this is very upsetting and my reasons for not trying to have them with me for the 25th/26th was I now live in a very small place with my ex having what was the very large family home, that would give them a more traditional christmas, with lots of others about.

My ex on a number of occasions has lied to the kids and manipulated situations in the past, changing arrangements making out to the kids and others that I do the changing while I am forwarded as in the wrong.

I phoned and spoke to my son and he asked if I could pick him and his sisters up and I said that is fine and told him I could be there for 6.30pm, in the background I could hear the ex saying 'see he does not even want to cook you dinner'.

I am very angry that I am lied about and run down with obvious negative effects on the kids, this happens a lot and , while I have text messages and e-mails that proove that I was the one pushing for arrangements to be fair and arranged, this time and in the past. Out of frustration I have used the who reads me service so I can proove that she recieved and read many e-mails, and although things have been finalised over the phone it is completely transparent that I was the one seeking to get the arrangements sorted.

Basicaly, what can I do about this.
Could you ask her for alternative arrangements - maybe you have them more often each week? You can get this legally enforceable if needed. Maybe start planning in advance with your children...some holidays and activities, so they know you're involving them etc.
With the kids - I find a sense of humour helps. So if son had been told I picked him up at x time because I couldn't be bothered to cook dinner for him, I'd joke and say - you mean you've already had dinner when I cooked a five course meal? Son laughs and isn't bothered about stuff like that. By making him laugh and having a joke with him it shows him I care more than cooking dinner for him would. Also tell them that of course you want to see them at Christmas but you were worried it wouldn't be much fun in a small place and maybe next time circumstances will be better. In future though - I'd look at the option of booking a holiday over Christmas if you don't have a lot of space at home. Doesn't have to be too expensive - we stay in youth hostels and they have Christmas packages with outdoor activities etc.

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