Bedtime is a precious time for us, a time for cuddles, a chance to express any worries from the day. Every bedtime my children fall asleep with a kiss upon their cheek. My favourite bedtime of all is Christmas Eve bedtime, I love how the children excitedly jump into bed and clasp their eyes shut, eagerly anticipating what they will find when they wake. But this year as I kissed their little heads and tucked them in, I silently wished the coming days away.
I’d wanted to be a mother for as long as I could remember, I couldn’t wait to have it all. I imagined Christmases and birthdays full of joy, a family united. Of course I was young, and naive to think that once you had it all, that was it. So much can change, and those idyllic Christmases become a thing of the past.
This year we became a household of three instead of four. I’d been silently dreading Christmas for weeks, worrying that I’d let the children down, that they’d be disappointed in me, that Christmas at Mummy’s house just wouldn’t be enough. I’m thankful that as parents, we have maintained a healthy friendship, Christmas Eve activities and the magic of Christmas morning were spent as a family. The children squealed and laughed. They were overjoyed at their gifts, not a glimmer of disappointment was shown. We exchanged grins as we watched our children embrace all there is to love about Christmas Day.
And that is when I realised, those idyllic Christmases don’t have to be the sugar-coated glossy images of blissfully happy families that we become surrounded by over the last few months of the year. Just because we weren’t spending it all as a complete family, doesn’t mean that I’d let them down.
Happiness is all that matters. Happiness is idyllic.
Of course, when they left to enjoy Christmas with Daddy, it broke my heart a little bit more. Those idyllic images don’t go away completely. Co-parenting at Christmas is NEVER going to be easy. But if relations are positive, it needn’t be a time you look back on with sorrow.
Christmas has taught me a lot, finally my perfectionist standard has been broken down. Smiles on faces and a stress free day is perfection to me. Two houses to celebrate at, two sets of presents to open, two dinners, what child wouldn’t love to do it all twice?!
We made new traditions and embraced the moments shared as a family.
If you spent Christmas as a single parent this year how did you manage? If like me you were dreading it, were you pleasantly surprised? Comment below!#