I know full well that a lot of my followers are mums and some even single mums like me. Speaking from experience It is such a daunting prospect facing Christmas as a single parent (especially a new one) but i’m about to give you a little vote of confidence on this one because it’s not that bad.
Ok so my first solo Christmas, this was the hardest. I pulled the Christmas hamper out brimming with sparkles and glitter to find memories of family life, Surname based signs and I sobbed, I sobbed my little heart out. I wondered how it had all gone so wrong and how I ended up alone. I really did my absolute best to create the worlds biggest pity party, which all my family and friends were of course invited to. I think on your first solo Christmas everyone is fairly understanding of the change and the upset (but let me tell you this won’t last).
Come January all the decorations came down and went back in to the hamper and the year carried on, every day with me getting stronger and stronger.
Christmas year two I started to create our own traditions, cried less and started caring less about which parent had spent the most money or bought the best gift. (At the age of two lets face it Arabella was happy with the wrapping and the box). The next two Christmases moved forwards in a similar fashion until Christmas number 5 (which is the present day).
Initially I just want to say it’s amazing how much good you will find if you start to look for the positive in any given situation.
We have always split the day 50/50 one of us will have Arabella on Christmas eve and in the morning, the other from Lunchtime on Christmas day through to Boxing day. Initially of course this was terrible and having to make the order in court was even less of a joy, but now I wouldn’t have it any other way. Arabella is actually with me this Christmas eve and Christmas Day morning, but when she goes to her dads at lunch time, do you know what…I’m going to crack out my pyjamas and binge watch Christmas films (something I wouldn’t be able to do if she was with me) I could go out for festive drinks, i’m basically a free agent. You can view this as good or a bad thing ‘woe is me I don’t have my child on this magical day‘ or ‘Ok I’ve seen her on this magical day but now I’ve got 8 hours to be selfish, post Christmas day selfie pics on Instagram and generally bum around doing whatever the hell I want’ It’s entirely up to you whether you go for the positive or the negative but you will soon realise the easier road to go down.
My top tips for coping with a solo Christmas:
1.Chuck out anything that resembles the old relationship you had (take as long as you need to do this but believe me it’s easier when it’s gone)
2. Start creating your own traditions with your children, ones that only involve you and them (or maybe even your family) basically people that will be sticking around.
3. Get social, go out see friends, stay busy at the beginning an don’t sit and dwell.
4. Don’t get in to a present war with the other parent. Who cares who bought what as long as they get something, fill themselves with turkey an watch some sort of Disney Christmas film (these are kids it’s not an interview for the apprentice)
4. Turn off your ‘on this day’ setting on Facebook or you will be inundated with reminders of what you were doing last Christmas (and who with) who needs that shit.
5. Look for the positive, for example: ‘yes this is a shitty situation but in what way could it be seen as positive’ (silver linings do really come with every cloud)
5. And lastly an probably most importantly, put yourself first, have some downtime, do whatever makes YOU happy at Christmas, this can be anything from sleeping to getting blind drunk on Mulled wine (the choice really is yours).
I hope this helps you if you are going through your first, second or perhaps third solo Christmas. And like I said at the beginning it really isn’t that bad. (I promise)
Thanks for reading and as always speak up if you’ve got something to say.