Tag Archives: Christmas

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 your 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!!

Xxxxx

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3 tips to help ease anxiety at Christmas…

Christmas can be a fabulous time of year , in fact Christmas can be the best time of year. It can also be absolutely ram packed full of stress and anxiety triggers and noise and mess and chaos and worst of all…..

All.The.People.

Now I’ve been an anxious mess for knocking on for a decade now . Though thankfully anxiety is a rare visitor these days – in the same way you don’t see great uncle Bob all year round ’till he turns up at your front door ,half cut, on Christmas eve the same goes for anxiety for me.

I know everyone’s experiences of anxiety are different and I can only talk about mine but I have learnt a few tricks over the years to lessen it’s grip slightly over Christmas.

1) Don’t over commit
There are so many social events around Christmas time from the works night out to the catch up with the friend you mean to see all year to family get togethers. 

However saying yes (often for THE FEAR of saying no) to 3 parties a week when you know social anxiety is upon you is never going to end well. There’s little more stressful than knowing you’re going to cancel on people and then having to spend the whole day psyching yourself up enough to actually do it.

So choose the events you really want to go to and ditch the ones that you feel obliged to.

2) Give someone you trust a heads up.

Helpful if either you’re having people over for Christmas or if you’re going to someone elses where there are going to be a fair few people and you know you might at some point need a bit of a time out . That you might need to remove yourself from noise and over stimulation (and those damn people again) tell your partner or friend or aunt or mother in law. Let them know beforehand that this could be the case. 
You could even use a code phrase , you know if the rest of the family have you down as a solid individual living the shit out of life and you don’t want to blow your superhero ‘anxiety girl’ cover.

If you’re at your own house it’s possibly easier to slope off for 10 mins calm but if you’re at someone elses just have a code phrase. “I just need to make a phone call ” ( people call each other up on Christmas day , it’s passable) could mean “I am just going to sit in your spare room for a bit and get my mind together ,please leave me be”

3) Seek out the company of children

This possibly could just be me but during an anxious period children are great to be around. Yes I know my previous words about over stimulation don’t fit what I’m saying but stay with me. Just joining in with kids at Christmas can be an almighty distraction technique. I personally find it hard to worry about whether I drain everyone and noone wants me there when I’ve a small person singing me When Santa got Stuck up the Chimney or telling me all about the toy of the year Santa brought them. 
Conflict is a huge anxiety trigger for me also so I’d rather join in with a group of kids debating who the best superhero is than listen to Great Uncle Bob (yes him again ) being a racist , sexist bigot. He’s basically The Daily Mail in human form and causes you palpitations just listening to him rant.

For the record : I don’t have a Great Uncle Bob…we’ve all met this guy though right? 

I hope these tips can help even if just a little bit. Christmas can actually be a lovely time for those of us who struggle to feel cherished and worthwhile as people because most people are at their loveliest and kindest at Christmas and freer with their encouraging words (it’s probably the Bailey’s) 

I hope your Christmas is filled with as much social interaction as you can handle and that get as much physical affection as you can cope with/crave!!
Xxx


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JakiJellz

Not Just the 3 of Us

Rhyming with Wine

The highs and lows of festive singledom .. 

Christmas is a couply time .There is no getting away from it.It’s rammed down our throats in advertisements from October! Couples strolling hand in hand in the snow in matching knitwear.Then post Christmas ..we have show off present period.Everyone showing off all the lovely presents their other half have gotten them!!I’m not totally jealous by the whole thing,well a tiny bit….maybe!!

I’ve been part of a couple at Christmas and it was never a shiny happy smiley time, all thoughtful gifts and kissing under the mistletoe. So rather than weeping into the mulled wine, I thought I’d weigh up the ups and downs!

Low: No thoughtful gift from someone who adores you and knows you really well

High:No need to fake joy over a gift voucher ..or similar thoughtless gift!

I love gift buying and gift wrapping and all that goes with it at Christmas, nothing makes me happier than finding something I know someone will love. I’m not an easy person to ‘get’ though so when I receive a gift that makes me feel like that person knows me well it makes me giddy!!

Low: No sentimental Christmas card, with a loving message and gorgeously thought through words.

High: I don’t have to take huge offense when he writes out a card in front of me out of a pack that he’s just written one to Great Aunt Dot out of! It’s probably signed ‘from Steve’

I’ve a bit of a thing for cards! Would rather have a nice card than a gift anytime! I do still send Christmas cards (I know I’m so old fashioned! What a loser!)

Low: Having to do Christmas couply activities alone !

High: I can sometimes persuade the children to accompany me!!

Christmas Markets, particularly the Manchester one are romantic (In my head).You see the couples giggling over a mulled wine and walking hand in hand with their hot chocolates. Me, I drag the 9 year old along and she’s fabulous company. I only feel a tiny bit jealous of the ones sneaking a snog!!!

Low: Once the little ones are in bed I find myself sat in alone over the Christmas period.

High: Once the little people are in bed I can put on my Pjs , get under a duvet with a bottle of wine, copious Christmas chocolates and put on The Holiday…again!

I suppose if I were in a relationship I could allow someone under the duvet to share the wine and chocolate!!That could work.Just as long as they didn’t try to ditch The Holiday for a boy movie

Low: I spend a week alone when the little people go to grandmas

High: I have a week to finish the Christmas chocolate , watch rubbish TV and get to go home to visit my sister

I get so sulky when the little people leave me just after Christmas to go to another one at Grandmas over New Year. That’s precisely the time I do dwell about not being in a relationship. However I usually do squeeze in a visit home to my sister and niece and nephews during this period and I’m a big believer in home being where the heart is!

Low: Our Christmases are relatively low key. Just the children and I

High: You don’t have to put up with other people’s annoying relatives.

You know the type judgemental Aunt Mary, racist uncle Bob, inappropriate cousin Mike and you can’t even get drunk to take the edge off as you have to try and make a good impression!!

I think all in all I’m quite content as I am just me! I’m super aware though that this is because my previous relationships have been so dire I do romanticise how the next one is going to be!! Maybe next Christmas should Mr Right , his thoughtful cards and gifts and his love of the Christmas Market have swept in it will be a whole other story!!

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To the mum enduring an abusive relationship at Christmas time… 

Dear friend,

We don’t necessarily know one another but maybe we do. Living with abuse I know is torturous and I know you feel so alone, so I just wanted you to know that I know.

I know how your abuser hates Christmas and uses this as a mantra in order to justify his behaviour. That he’d never have torn the Christmas tree down if you hadn’t made a fuss when you know he hates Christmas.

I know that you’re going to spend the whole of the festive period treading on eggshells, trying not to draw attention to yourself or the children. Trying to quietly play with them,make them feel loved and nurture them whilst keeping them from being too noisy or too messy so as not to unleash his temper.

I know all the work will have been left to you, all the food shopping and present buying. Even if he’s withheld money you’d still have been expected to get presents, and you probably have.

I know whatever presents you have bought will be wrong. You’ll either have bought the wrong thing or you’ll have bought too much and he’ll call the children spoilt. He’ll tell you you’re an awful mum but he’s wrong. You’re not. You’re incredible.

I know that Christmas time might be a lonely place for you. Maybe you’re isolated from your own family and friends so have to spend Christmas with his. Having to watch him turn on the charm in public and play the devoted family man.

I know you’ll have not been able to get it right if you’ve been round his family. If you’ve been quiet he’ll accuse you of rudeness and being stuck up, asking who the hell you think you are and ensuring you continue to feel like shit.

Alternatively if you’ve been chatty you’ll be accused of flirting with his brother, his friends, his dad. Accused of having an affair, called a slag whilst simultaneously told you’re so fat and ugly no one else would ever want you.

I know maybe he’ll not buy you a Christmas present, he’ll tell you you’re not worth it. He’ll spit that he didn’t get you anything from the kids because you are such a terrible mother. Maybe it’ll go the other way though, maybe he’s presented you with the grand gesture, an expensive gift in front of people that’ll likely be smashed into pieces at his hands by new year.

Alcohol is a factor at Christmas too I know. He’ll use it as an excuse for his appaling behaviour. Blame it on the drink. Should you pour a glass of wine though then you’re back in awful mother territory. An alcoholic. A disgrace.

I think that there is likely still a tiny glimmer of hope inside you. You’ll ignore it for the most part because it is terrifying, you can’t let your mind begin to daydream about another way. You’ve just got to put all your energies into making the kids feel loved, keeping them safe. Focus on just surviving, your thoughts almost exclusively trained towards preempting his next move, keeping him calm.

You probably have even forgotten it was there, than tiny spark of hope. It’s been dampened over the years certainly but not extinguished. It’s lying dormant waiting for the day it’s safe for you to leave. It makes me sick to even say that. Safe to leave. We know the statistics though, we’ve read the newspaper stories, we know leaving abuse can be dangerous.

When it’s safe though, when you’re ready that tiny glimmer of hope will see you through.

I’m sorry that your Christmas is an ordeal. I’m sorry everywhere you look you see happy families enjoying cheery Christmases with devoted fathers and husbands and you wonder why you don’t get to have that. Even the TV bombards you with smiling festive families and I know it just makes you want to weep for your children and for yourself. I know you do your weeping in secret. I’ve been you.
I’ve done years of Christmas being a time of violence and of criticism and shouting and screaming and pain. I didn’t think there’d ever be a time that that wasn’t my life. I couldn’t have ever envisaged that one day the children and I would be safe here in our house, able to do Christmas our way, able to enjoy rather than endure. Here we are though. It is possible, there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. I know you can get there too.

Just please know this,

You are valuable and you deserve to be free. You are loved and cherished and there is a whole army of women out here ready to mobilise and support you when you are able to make those steps.

I wish you a safe Christmas and a peaceful new year

Xxxxx

If you are in an abusive relationship and you need help the Women’s Aid website is here for help and advice

The Freedom Programme which helped me immeasurably after I’d left the abusive relationship but also is open for women still in the relationship has groups around the country as well as an online course. Their website is here

My Facebook blog page is here

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JakiJellz

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Spending Christmas with people you’d rather not? Let me help… 

Christmas is fantastic. I loved it anyway , but when you’re a parent it takes on a whole new level of awesomeness. It goes from being amazing to bloody brilliant!The problem is everyone wants to be round the kids for Christmas.Therefore you might end up having to spend the special day with pain in the arse in laws , annoying siblings or in my case for many years my child’s other parent !

Having people you’d rather not over for Christmas dinner or having to go to other peoples houses doesn’t have to put a downer on Christmas though.

I’m not claiming to be an expert , but I’ve spent the past 15 years doing one or the other so I have picked up a few handy hints along the way..let me share!

* The main thing is to avoid conflict.At all costs. This may mean restraining from pouring a whole gravy boat over the person who has said ‘Is this turkey a bit dry?’ Or it may mean spending the couple of hours with a fixed smile when an elder relative comments on how spoilt the kids are and in their day you got an apple and orange and were grateful! Whatever it takes (even if that is hiding in the larder with a bottle of Prosecco and a straw)

* Which leads to the next point. If you’re going to have a drink , just have a couple (until your unwanted guests are gone or you’ve left whoevers house you are at anyway) My motto is drink enough to render you mellow not enough to loosen your tongue. Previously I’ve had a glass whilst I hide in the kitchen whilst someone else puts toys together lovingly cook a feast of a meal. Then obviously a glass over lunch. At this point I would point out to my guest that I would get him a drink but he has to drive home doesn’t he? (code for you are NOT staying over) Post lunch gentle nudges are necessary to get your visitor to leave. I like to use “ooo Eastenders is on in a bit!!” Now I don’t always watch soaps over Christmas , but I am not going to surrender THAT get of jail free card!..and with a kiss on the cheek and a Merry Christmas they are gone and you can open the good wine.

*Keep cool with the ‘It’s all about the kids’ mantra .Make sure at the times you feel a bit niggled just look for the kids? Are they smiling? Course they are! Grandma / uncle /cousins/daddy may annoy the hell out of you but they’re up there in the children’s top 5 people. So as long as they are having fun everything is fine. Every year before my children go to bed on Christmas Day they declare it The Best Christmas Ever. That will do for me.

*If you’re having to go to someone else’s house because ‘that’s what we ALWAYS do’ Be prepared. This is usually a mother in law one. She’s insistent that she has hosted Christmas since it began. If pushed she may declare that Jesus was actually born in the shed at the end of her garden. Anything to ensure her family are at her bosom for Christmas dinner. This is likely the kind of mother I’m going to become when the kids are older , so I do get the woman! Anyway if you are going to someone else’s house. Prepare yourself for the fact they may do Christmas differently .This can range from the relatively minor of only getting one roast potato each with dinner (hit me with half a dozen or don’t bother. Do not tease me with one!) to the more serious of insisting on a walk after lunch. Only place I want to walk to on Christmas day is the telly with a glass of wine in one hand and a selection box in the other.

Have a lovely , fun filled time whatever you end up doing . Let’s face it , annoying relatives (even other people’s) are as much a Christmas tradition as turkey!!

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Top Ten things about school Christmas concerts… 

1) The sheer excitement

The kids are so giddy that they’ve been let out of their classrooms, the announcement that Frosty the Snowman is the next song getting cheers I’d not heard since telling my sister it’s ok to drink at breakfast time on Christmas Day.

2) The naughty kids

The ones having a laugh, jabbing people and chatting when the teacher has already put his finger to his lips. Usually prompting a TA to crawl over to them telling them they’re spoiling it for everyone else. For the record kid, you’re not spoiling it for me, I’m having fun.

3) Fake festive teachers

Yes you are wearing a santa hat or a Christmas  jumper. Yes you’re smiling and pretending to be jolly, but if anyone dare uncross their legs you are on it like a ninja. Christmas or no Christmas.

4) Terrible singing

Why do kids do that that thing of shouty singing? . Hate to be all Simon Cowell about it, but you can pull off shouting through 12 days of Christmas THREE FRENCH HENS!!! Sounding like a football chant. Doesn’t work to bellow Away in a Manger. All about the song choice kids, all about the song choice.

5) Alternative Christmas plays

If your school ditches the Nativity and goes rogue your child could be ANYTHING my child was once a garden gnome!, in her first school play eldest girl was a piece of tinsel. This involved just standing by a tree silent and still for 20 minutes.

6) Wrong words.

Always the child singing that bit louder than the others getting words so wrong but so enjoying themselves. I want that child to come to my house and sing carols wrongly, yet enthusiastically whilst we eat our Christmas dinner. Unless it’s people singing ‘Good tidings we bring to you and your KING?? In We Wish you a Merry Christmas.. That just grates!!

7) The thank you speeches.

You know where the headteacher thanks all the parents for the lovely Christmas gifts. You’re either feeling terribly guilty at this point as you forgot or very smug as you were sure she was looking directly at you as she said it as yours was totally the best present. Walking past the staff room this morning I have to say I’d be giving a thank you speech too if I’d managed to accumulate that much wine and chocolate!!

8) Candles.

Always a risky combo candles and kids and don’t the teachers know it. Everyone is edgy, breathing a huge sigh of relief at the end when they’re blown out. I get a feeling the caretaker is just the other side of the door with the fire extinguisher secretly hoping for his big hero moment after 20 years of unblocking loos.

9) Joining in!!

The actual joining in bit isn’t my favourite, in fact the phrase’ you too mums and dads’ is an anxiety attack trigger I am sure. My favourite bit is looking around and realising all the other parents feel just as awkward and uncomfortable with doing the actions to 6 geese a laying. Well all except one parent who’s whole heartedly embracing the singing and dancing.

10) It’s an excuse for a therapeutic sniffle

Kids singing Away in a Manger just ends in tears every time. Their cute little faces are just too much to stand. Please don’t make the sweetest cutest one sing a solo though, that makes the therapeutic sob into ugly, snotty , crying.

So here’s to school Christmas concerts – just no-one mention that this is small girls last ever Christmas in Primary School or those ugly, snotty tears will be back!!

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Mission Mindfulness

Christmas ads fib!

Yes it’s still November but the Christmas ads are out so I’m allowed to now use the C word!!!

I love a soppy Christmas advert, I do. They make me feel emotional and nostalgic and warm and fuzzy inside. You can’t beat them to make you really feel festive . They make me feel something else though too.. a bit of a failure. Our Christmases don’t look like the ones on the ads, I feel guilty about our non advert perfect Christmas.

Then I get a grip. It’s all fibs to fool you into buying stuff!! I’ve thought about the perfect Christmas scenes the ads sell us and how my more real scene unfolds at home!

Christmas ad scene :
Perfectly wrapped colour coordinated gifts under an exquisitely decorated tree. I’m always so jealous of the trees.

Real scene:
I’m a good gift wrapper. I love it, luxury paper, ribbons, bows, sprigs of holly (too far I know). That only extends as far as grown up gifts though. Kids gifts are usually wrapped in £1 a roll Asda special paper. The tree?? Oh my!! I let littlest girl decorate the tree so it’s now become her thing. She’s so giddy and enthusiastic about it and the tree always looks… interesting.

Ad scene :
Gorgeously dressed table, glistening turkey, perfectly cooked vegetables, mountains of food.

Real scene :
I do a good line in table dressing. I can compete with an M&S ad, no problem.

It. Ends. There.

Lovely food on the table, candles, place names it’s all there. Then I take my seat at the table. There’s a call of “where’s the pigs in blankets?”

I can’t even say ‘shit!’ silently in my head what with it being Christmas so I rescue the pork products from the oven JUST before they burn and return to the table. I should confess here that dinner is always at least an hour later than I say it’ll be. It’s become a tradition.

Soooo.. dinner late, close call with the pigs in blankets but it’s OK. We’re still on for ad perfect Christmas dinner. Let’s pull the crackers.

Chaos ensues – cracker pulling elbows knock over drinks. I still can’t say ‘shit!’ silently in my head what with it being Christmas. I chirp ‘It’s fine’ clean up mess and yet again return to the table.
“mummy my gravy tastes of lemonade”
For jingle bellsy ho ho ho sakes!!

Ad scene: Huge family Christmas
Loads of kids, mum and dad, aunts and uncles, grandparents. Everyone smiling and dozing and having fun.

Real Scene : Loads of kids, that I can do.
Other than the kids though, there’s just me! Lots of smiles though… well until the early start and excitement catches up with everyone and there’s a bickerfest around 5ish!

Ad scene :
The bit at the end where mum sits on the sofa, sighs a huge sigh and curls up with a much deserved glass of wine.

Real scene :
There’s a brief sit down post dinner before tackling the washing up. Glass of wine that was poured with lunch remains largely untouched but slurps are stolen as operation clean up begins. Then time to prepare supper buffet. Doctor Who is sit down time though. That’s the rules.

So our Christmas isn’t ad picture perfect.

Our tree decs are wonky. Dinner will almost certainly be late and missing a vital ingredient. There are only the kids and I and no rest until Doctor Who. You know what though?? That’s our perfectly, unperfect Christmas.

I love it.

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Shared parenting at Christmas (sucks!) 

Once upon a time small girl’s daddy and I rocked shared parenting, and my we were smug about it. Check us out not having to split Christmases or argue over who’s turn it was to have birthdays. We spent most our free time together with all four kids, holidaying and sharing days out and birthdays.

Wow aren’t we mature we’d think.

We’d spend Christmases together all 6 of us,small girl’s daddy coming over first thing Christmas morning, having dinner then staying the night so he could have a festive glass or two.  Our unconventional, yet workable family unit served us well for a good few years.

Pride, as they say though, comes before a fall.

We fell.

Mr and Ms Smuggington are no more.

The point came where it just didn’t work anymore, there was way too much bickering and sniping and it all just stopped feeling nice. It’s a shame but it happened and the last few years have been very different.
Christmas is somewhat of a battleground now.

Who gets Christmas eve?

How do we share small girl’s time on Christmas day?

Can we agree not to make gift giving a competition?

Who gets to do panto?

What about New Year?

It’s an exhausting exercise in compromise and putting small girl first but oh it’s hard and stressful and fraught with resentment in all honesty.

Turns out I’m not great at sharing. As I always say, I dislike the term Shared Parenting (Co-parenting doesn’t feel right either!) We don’t ‘share’ small girl like she’s an object, we do though share her time. At Christmas time more than any other I have to rein in wanting to have it all.

All her time.

I want to do Christmas markets and ice skating and panto.

I want to do Christmas eve baking and crafting and I want to do our Christmas eve hamper.

I want to watch Christmas movies in brand new pj’s with hot chocolate on Christmas Eve with ALL my children.

I want to read small girl’s Christmas bedtime story.

I desperately want her to wake here Christmas day, to open presents before breakfast.

I want her at OUR table for Christmas dinner then to play with her new toys before all of us snuggling to watch Doctor Who before bed. ..

I’m sure daddy would like the same, he’s a brilliant daddy and that little girl of ours is very lucky. The elder 3 are stuck with just me!

However I know I can’t have it all. I know I have to give a little, I know small girl loves her time with her daddy as much as with us. It’s not easy though, doesn’t get any easier with time.

Grown up, mature ‘small girl’s needs come first’ me will make an appearance once Christmas negotiations kick in.

Responsible parent me will make compromises and sacrifices and tell herself it’s just one day.

Rational, semi sane me will bite her tongue and take deep breaths.

Then, when negotiations are done and plans are made I’ll pour myself a large glass of wine, swear a bit, maybe throw something and likely have a little cry.

It’s OK though because Christmas will be great. Small girl and indeed my elder 3 will all have a fun time. They always do.

Small girl is comfy, cosy and happy and settled at either house because (say through gritted teeth if necessary but. ..) shared parenting works for her.

She has different, fun traditions at each house. She does declare daddy’s Christmas dinner the best though which makes me want to serve roast daddy for Christmas dinner,  but she always enjoys her Christmas. She’s always happy and declares every year to be ‘the best Christmas ever!’ and really, grumpy mummy aside, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it??

 

 

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