How to survive Christmas when it’s not ‘your turn’ with the kids

I like being a single parent.

I like that all the decisions are mine.

I like that we’re a solid little unit of 5.

I like that our family dynamic is so lovely an we all just fit.

I do not like sharing the kids time.

I especially do not like sharing the kids time over Christmas. There’s no two ways about it , it sucks. Hard.

It’s bad enough that most of the big retailers Christmas ads are full of images of that perfect family unit , I even as a content single parent feel put out that I and the kids don’t have that it’s sold to us so intensely.

Some parents Christmas’ don’t look like that. It’s not mummy and daddy looking over the children rushing downstairs to see if Santa has been before tucking in a huge dinner all together with extended family gathered for extra cheer.For some parents Christmas comes with a gut wrenching incompleteness. Some years it’s simply not your turn.

I’ve done ‘not my turn ‘ with small girl a couple of times now and I thought maybe I could share how you can possibly ease the awfulness even just a tiny bit.

1) Don’t feel obliged to join other people

When people find out you’ll be alone at Christmas they’ll likely invite you to join theirs (nice humans will anyway!) If you know being in someone elses Christmas will make you feel worse though , don’t do it. It’s hard to know how you’ll feel if it’s your first time.People you are close to though I am sure if you change your mind and cannot stand sitting home alone later in the day will greet you over .
Also though

2) Don’t be a misery martyr

If you do want to take up a lovely invitation from friends and family don’t say no for daft reasons such as – they’re only asking out of politeness or that you feel that you’re betraying your children in some way if you dare crack a smile without them. You sat crying into the Quality Street will benefit no one if you’re wishing you’d have just gone to your friends rather than take up emotional self flagellation as your new hobby.

3) Have an early (or late) Christmas Day

So Santa is a tricky one if you don’t have the kids the actual day the big guy comes but I’ve found the elves are pretty open to an email explaining the situation . They’re usually good to drop a little gift off on an alternative day , nothing so huge as to upstage Mr Claus but just something to open.

Then get your Delia on ,do your turkey ,pop on a silly paper hat and have your Christmas! I’m a silver linings kind of a girl so I’ll just say if you have ‘your’ Christmas after the 25th – half price turkeys!

4 ) Remember it’s just one day

I know this is hard. Almost impossible hard. It’s THE day ,the one everyone has been banging on about for months . Tomorrow is a new one though , as is next week and you can fill the little people’s festive period with so much fun stuff. Pantos generally go in into the New Year , festive events like Winterwonderland too go on after Christmas day itself.

5) Seek out #joinin on Twitter

Ok now this one has cheered me up out of my misery on a few festive occasions. Even on years all four children are around,once they’ve gone to bed on Christmas Day I can feel a little lonely. I’m someone who enjoys my own company all year round ,but I don’t know Christmas just seems to highlight my solo-ness. It’s probably the one time I lament the absence of another adult person on my sofa.

The amazing Sarah Millican began #joinin for anyone alone on Christmas who doesn’t want to be. She explains it better here , have a read. I can vouch for it as a perker upper though. I’ll be there on and off throughout the day as really I’m often surplus to requirements once presents are done and dinner is eaten!!!

I’m @daydreamer_mum on Twitter so should you fancy slating annoying relatives , chatting about eating your own body weight in chocolate , discussing the Christmas TV or just fancy a chat over Christmas if you’re lonely tweet me . Social media has its low points but surely over Christmas we can make it a force for good.

Nothing I can say can make Christmas without the kids any less shit. I so wish it could. Take very good care of yourself if it’s not your turn this year. Remember it’s just a few days and there’ll be a gang of cool kids on Twitter around for chat!!


My Facebook page is here if you fancy

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25 thoughts on “How to survive Christmas when it’s not ‘your turn’ with the kids

  1. I have also been through sharing children at Christmas, Myself and my second husband usually had the children on the big day they would visit their father for an hour to exchange gifts and then spend the whole of boxing day at his house, not easy but we made it work #teenstweensandbeyond@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

  2. we’ve been in this situation many times over the years, but people still feel the need to make sure we’re invited to join in with their families, they don’t seem to think that we don’t have our kids so why would we want to spend the day with theirs being reminded our kids aren’t with us #triumphanttales

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  3. What a great idea! I don’t celebrate for religious reasons so it doesn’t bother me but I can still relate as I’m not with my kids dad anymore and my (now) husband is a musician and works every new years eve! It used to be so annoying but if you change your mindset you can always make the best out of any situation. You will find me on the sofa, with a massive Baileys watching New Years Eve the film, crying my eyes out – and that’s where I choose to be despite plenty of invites, it’s amazing feeling comfortable in your own skin! 😉 Great post! #tweensteensbeyond


  4. I hadn’t come across #joinin but I think it’s such a fantastic idea. Everything is heightened at Christmastime and I imagine it must be so hard to not be with your little ones, but as you say, it’s only a day, and you can still have your own magical Christmas time with them on a day that works for you. Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

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  5. Admittedly I’d never heard of #joinin until this year but having recently discovered it, it’s such a lovely idea. I hope you have a lovely Christmas this year. Thanks for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. Hope to see you again on Tuesday for the last linky of 2017 🙂

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  6. I’ve also never heard of #joinin so well done for bringing it out here in your post. I truly hope you have a lovely day Kelly – I know you will make the best of it and look forward to hearing how it goes. Thanks for sharing this with #tweensteensbeyond and may all your dreams come true in 2018


  7. In the early years after my divorce from my eldest’s father I spent a couple of Christmas’ alone and although I did join other families it was like a part of me was missing without my own family in tow. We still take it in turns and although we have our youngest it is still odd without him with us but when he does return we do Christmas all over again! I have not heard of #joinin – sounds like a great idea I will check it out. Hope you had a lovely time Kelly when you were reunited once more. #TweensTeensBeyond

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  8. Hope you had a lovely Christmas. #joinin is such a lovely idea.
    We managed a good time. Christmas can be tricky for mine, but as the years have gone by, things have improved. Just wish there wasn’t so much pressure to have the idyllic time!
    Happy New Year! #tweensteensbeyond

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Really useful advice and I’m sure it was very useful to many, many people as are all of your posts. I have loved reading your blog during 2017 at #TweensTeensBeyond and am looking forward to reading more in 2018. Happy New Year xx

    Liked by 1 person

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