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1. Accept that you will shed a tear or two. It’s hard. All those happy nativity scenes everywhere when your memories more closely resemble a scene from EastEnders. But just remember Mary was technically a single mum and Joseph still married her so there is hope for us all yet. Or did he? Now I come to think of it you never hear about the wedding part. Crap, if Mary couldn’t find a man to marry I’m not too sure there is any hope for us lot after all. So yeah, tears – get ready for them. Doing this parenting malarkey alone day in day out is tough, doing it on Christmas day is a bitch.
2. Start saving for next Christmas already. Seriously, if you haven’t sorted this year by now then there’s no hope. But if you start putting away 50p a week for 2016, and place the odd advert on freecycle you should be able to afford/ blag at least half a stocking full of presents by next year. And if it looks really pitiful then you can always shrink the stocking in the wash and hope they don’t notice that it’s getting smaller and smaller every year. (Excuse me a minute while I just turn up the temperature on my washing machine).
3. Plan something special just for you and your little one so you can
create a new tradition that will help you form a wonderful, fuzzy, festive, family feeling. Well that’s what all the single parenting websites have been telling me to do. Not too sure what this new tradition should be. I was contemplating getting drunk and forgetting to put the Turkey on, or maybe just forgetting to get up altogether? But I’m open to suggestions.
4. Plan a night out. Or an afternoon at a spa. Hell, you could just go away for the weekend while you’re at it. Don’t ask me how, I’m not your fairy godmother! I’ve never managed it myself but if by some miracle you can do it then go for it. If no-one is biting at the bit to help you out then why not share this blog on your wall over and over until one of your friends gets the hint and offers to babysit. Not in that usual ‘oh I’ll babysit’ way, but in a real ‘I.will.babysit’ way, where they force you to put a date in your diary immediately and won’t take no for an answer. Never happened to you? Me neither but we can dream, right? Oh well, perhaps not, just go and buy yourselves a box of chocs and think yourself lucky.
5. Don’t compare yourself with others. It’s easy to think the grass is greener when you’re on your own. Pouring over peoples happy family photos on facebook is all too tempting (I do it over people I don’t even know – weirdo I know). But remember, their little one was probably ripping the tinsel down and trying to strangle the cat just seconds before. The happy mum was probably screaming at the smiling dad for not doing the dishes, and the only time they all sat down together was when the photo was taken and it took seven attempts to get it right which sparked family argument number 39 of the day. Sometimes, just sometimes, doing it alone means you make the most of it and treasure the moment even more than usual. And if not then at least you get to do it your way and don’t have to compromise with some annoying grump.
6. Have a blast. Wear the silly hat. Sing carols at the top of your voice. Do it all. You know you’re trying to fill a huge gap that being a single parent leaves you with, but you’re little one might not. And even if he does I’m pretty sure one over the top, hilarious parent is better than an unhappy couple any day of the week, even if that day happens to be Christmas.
7. Tell yourself well bloody done! If you’re anything like me and relatively new to this single motherhood game then you’ve probably had a few, how should I put it…wobbles?…through the year. So well done on getting this close to 2016. You can practically smell it now. So take it from me, you can start to relax – it looks like you might just make it through after all. And that, my friends, is more of a miracle than any virgin birth.
Happy Christmas folks!