Guest Post ~ Christmas as a Single Parent

Assorted wrapped Christmas presents

I’m delighted to welcome Rebecca from Solo Mama Mayhem for this beautiful guest post:

It’s November and the ‘C’ is word is being sprinkled everywhere like icing on that booze filled, fruit stuffed Christmas cake. Some people shudder at the fact it gets mentioned earlier and earlier with cries of ‘We haven’t even had Halloween yet!’ But I don’t mind, I bloody love Christmas. Thoughts of wrapping gifts whilst bopping away to Wizzard and decorating the tree with my children fills me with utter delight. It can’t come quick enough. It’s certainly time for family fun, but what if you’re a single parent and that perfect nuclear family you’re supposed to have at Christmas doesn’t exist?

Our society is built around the standard family, especially at Christmas. Family tickets for two adults and two children to see Father Christmas or sets of matching pyjamas for, you guessed it, two adults and two children. Guess my luck has run out on that side of things and I won’t be saving any money as my family is one adult and two children, we aren’t really accounted for. That’s OK, I can live with that just fine but where it gets tricky is sharing the festive period with their dad. I’m lucky that my ex-husband and I have a very amicable relationship and we understand the give and take nature of co-parenting but Christmas is a very special time of year, how do you split it up?

My children are one and six so still very young and this Christmas is going to be the first one where we split Christmas day. It is an emotional one for me as I find Christmas Day, as I’m sure many do, sacred and to be apart from my children breaks my heart. But we have agreed and we have to put our children first as they will want to spend time with both their parents on this ever so special day. So, this year at exactly 3pm I will be dropping off my little darlings and going home alone. I know that I will be leaving them in safe and loving hands where fun and Christmas cheer will be in abundance and I take comfort in this fact. The kids are sorted, they are having practically two Christmases and are happy little bunnies but what about me? I don’t like to think of myself too much when it comes to the children as it’s what’s best for them and my feelings go on the wayside, naturally.

But, as a single parent it’s important to consider yourself too and I know exactly what I;m going to do. I know that I will come home and cry. It sounds so sad and self pitying to put this down on paper, but it’s the truth. I know myself and the minute I close the front door and look at the living room still covered with wrapping paper and the sight of new toys not being played with I will cry and you know what? That’s OK. I am allowed to cry, I need to remind myself of this. I am allowed to feel sad about the situation but what I won’t do is keep crying. After I dry my eyes and blow my nose (I’m a gross crier) I will get up and tidy the living room maybe light some candles, pour myself an amaretto and coke and start to scoff some of the Christmas chocolate without having to share. I will enjoy the peace and take stock of my life knowing how lucky I am to have what I do have. Besides Christmas isn’t just all about the one day, it’s about the festive season and the build up to it. I have created some wonderful traditions with my children that only I do with them including Christmas crafting, gingerbread making and having a meal at a restaurant together.

So, when I do inevitably scroll through my phone at social media on Christmas evening and see my married friends cosying up in their matching pyjama sets ready to watch Elf I know that I will be happy enough sitting on my own in a chocolate coma watching Gavin and Stacey. There are so many variations of family out there enjoying Christmas in their own way, you can have your own rules for celebrating and that’s a wonderful thing.

You can find out more about Rebecca on Instagram.

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