Tag Archives: shared parenting

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 years and though I won’t this year 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 or dissecting the Christmas Doctor Who special (especially that one) 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!!


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Rhyming with Wine


Not Just the 3 of Us


Today, small girl, I miss you 

Dear Small Girl,

Today is a daddy day for you. Nothing unusual in that. You’ve split your time between the pair of us since you were teeny tiny, you don’t know any other way. So you’ve been  at your lovely daddy’s past couple days.

Usually when you’re there, the elder 3 and I take advantage and do all the things that we can’t do when you’re here.

We binge watch How I Met Your Mother instead of The Next Step.

We have curry for tea as you don’t like spicy foods.

We’ll play the Pointless board game instead of Frustration.

It’s not that we’re glad to see the back of you or anything like that. It’s just that you’ve been spending some of your time at daddy’s house forever so it’s become a routine we all slip into.

Today is a bit different though.

Today I miss you.

How silly is that? ? (very I know!) You’re at school as I write this so I’d not have the pleasure of your company regardless.

Today though, I miss that I don’t get to be the one that picks up your smiley little face up from school.

That I don’t get to tut and say how you must think I’m an octopus as you load me up with PE bags and book bags and the fleece you end up taking off everyday.

I miss that we don’t get to hold hands on our walk down to the train station chatting about our days.

I read earlier that to celebrate Winnie the Pooh’s 90th birthday he’s getting a new friend. Guess who it is going to be? A PENGUIN!! Your most favourite animal, the one you wrote me a book about such is your encyclopaedic knowledge on them! ! As soon as I read that  I just wanted to tell you all about it! I miss that I can’t.

I miss that I’m not bedtime story person tonight, that I’ll not get the call 5 minutes after I’ve turned out your light to ask “fancy a cuddle?”

I just miss you today.

I know I’ve probably not even entered your head today (and that’s ok I don’t want you missing me) You’ve been busy at school then going back to daddy’s house for a yummy dinner. You always tell me his cooking is superior! (“he uses nutmeg in the mash mummy, it gives it taste”) You’ll snuggle on the sofa with him and watch some cooking show then he’ll read you Paddington before bed.

Dividing your time between us works for you. You’re a happy, content, confident little girl. It’s only me that gets daft from time to time. I’m sure daddy feels the same when you’re here.

So here’s to tomorrow.
I can’t wait to open the car door and have you bound out full of tales of your time away.

I look forward to starting on the tortoise costume you so desperately want to make for dressing up day at school.

I can’t wait for us to have our secret special tea we have when the elder ones are at their grandparents.

I can’t wait to carry on reading Harry Potter together.

I’ll tell you the penguin news tomorrow small girl. I’ll read your bedtime story tomorrow.

Just now, for today though,  I miss you

Love Mummy xxx

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