Being a single parent at Christmas is...

(31 Posts)
ProtectiveMother Sat 30-Nov-13 17:56:54

Share with us all why you hate or love being a lone parent at Christmas!!!

I'm ambivalent... I love it because I don't have to put up with my ex. My last year was our first one just us 3 so I'm a novice. I won't pretend I want to be single forever but for now... What are your loves and hates? I'd love to hear!

.....lonely. sad

Don't get me wrong me and DS will have a relaxing day eating nibbles and playing with Lego but we will be on our own, both wishing we had a bigger family.

Minime85 Sat 30-Nov-13 18:14:59

frightening prospect. only 3 weeks in and in many regards happier but I'm just not sure how its going to be. thinking sadness for my dcs will be a big thing. and for all good ones we had as a family before. sorry to be negative. having a wobble last few days sad

rainbowfeet Sat 30-Nov-13 18:20:27

Not sure yet.... Been separated 5.5 yrs but exh has always come to my mums for dinner Christmas Day so I have generally had dd most if the day & Christmas has been kind of similar pre split. This year however I have moved away from him. & my family so this will be my 1st Christmas all alone.. Dd might be with him as he is off so might just be me & ds ... Not sure right now how I feel about that hmm

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Sat 30-Nov-13 18:29:22

I love it!

I'm totally in charge. i get so annoyed looking at the threads on relationships about some MN members feeling forced to go to other people's homes at Christmas because their partners want to. I'd hate to be in that situation.

My parents and siblings live very close by me though, so that's probably why i love it so much. I spend the morning and afternoon with dd at home, lounging around, trying to put bits of plastic together, then head to my parents at 3pm.

Without visiting my family, i'd probably find it a really horrible day.

Sidge Sat 30-Nov-13 18:41:08

Last year was my first one too. Better in some ways without exH but lonely and hard work. Whether it's a success or failure is solely down to me!!

I have no family to share it with which doesn't help, so it's a pretty long couple of days. My girls were supposed to be going to their dad's this year but his ship won't be back now so it's all down to me!

AnandaTimeIn Sat 30-Nov-13 18:54:47

Love it too.

In sole charge.

(All families abroad)..

You can do what you want, when you want, and make it the perfect day for you and yours.

No awful, with their own agenda family to put up with.

You can always make "your own family at Christmas" by inviting a few other singles over. (gay friends, other single parents and child(ren), lone ones, etc.).

Or on boxing day. Do a pot luck lunch/dinner...

Life is a lot more than just the nuclear family...

ProtectiveMother Sat 30-Nov-13 22:19:47

A mixed bag so far!

Ananda I think you're right. The right attitude is to make the most of it! So true about the nuclear family not being paramount. Last Christmas Day was one of the only days last year when I sat down and actually played with kids + toys. Usually so much housework etc to do and they mostly play together. Was nice! Haha all the gay people I know have children and most of them partners too! Will def have some gettogethers with friends and whatever lined up though! It really is the key isn't it? Book people up well in advance lol!

HappySunflower Sat 30-Nov-13 22:23:28

Last year we we with family. This year it will be just the two of us.
The idea of it is fine, I'm sure the day time will be fun; dd will have all her new toys to play with which will be fun and I will no doubt be helping her to put things together, etc.
Its the evenings I'm dreading. She goes to bed at 7pm, and I will just be sitting there on my own as per usual.....

Monetbyhimself Sat 30-Nov-13 22:33:36

Perfect smile

I always had to creep around keeping the kids quiet in the motning so we 'don't wake daddy' hmm

Now we have a lovely, relaxing stress free day. I love it!

beansmum Sat 30-Nov-13 23:34:08

I've always been single, I think that makes it easier to relax and enjoy the small family Christmas that we have. It's just me and ds, we have a quiet day doing whatever we want. We have a nice meal (roast chicken followed by pavlova) then just relax for the day. We're in NZ, it's not properly hot at xmas, but it's usually nice enough to take a glass of wine out into the garden and watch ds play.

I love not having to consult anyone else - I cook what I want, I can stick to the family traditions I like but if I feel like changing them I can. If I don't want to wash up until boxing day I don't have to, we don't have annoying in-laws to entertain. I suppose it would be different if I had something else to compare it to, but for me there isn't really a downside.

piratecat Sat 30-Nov-13 23:44:52

a bit sad in some ways, as the dream didn't turn out to be a reality.

I think if i had more family and it were busy it would help.

Yet, Xmas belongs to me and dd now, it's our tradition and we've had to make it so.
I feel a mixture of things at xmas, but nothing beats actually being a mum, and having such a lovely present-my darling girl.

piratecat Sat 30-Nov-13 23:46:40

Happysunflower, hug to you, the evening is hard. As dd has got older though it has got better as she manages to stay up longer. xxx

HerlockSholmes Sat 30-Nov-13 23:58:54

I find christmas morning and christmas night a little lonely.

it's just me and ds on christmas morning and i enjoy him opening gifts but a bit of adult company would be nice, ds is only 4.

christmas night is crap, i go over to mum's for breakfast and spend the day there, have dinner open presents but i come home to put ds to bed then it just feels like any old night. no-one ever offers to come over to mine (despite living 30 second walk away and being invited).

vole3 Sun 01-Dec-13 00:51:20

Two types of Christmas:-

Year 1 DS and I travel to have a busy family Christmas with my brothers and their families.

Year 2 DS will be with his dad and I will be working a long day shift so my colleagues can be with their families. Although next year I plan instead to volunteer at my local YMCA for the morning and then work a late shift. Either way, I keep myself busy and we celebrate again on Boxing Day.

ProtectiveMother Sun 01-Dec-13 01:06:54

Wow the idea that my ex might have my kids on Christmas some year makes me feel SO appreciative of what I have!!

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 01-Dec-13 09:36:30

I am also a 2 types of Christmas person:
1. DD is with her dad and I work. Then I have her for new year and we do our presents then.
2. DD is with me, my Mum and Dad come we have a very relaxed day with a slightly bigger than normal roast and dog walking.

Meglet Sun 01-Dec-13 10:20:06

Really not that bad. Like monet says, we're not creeping around trying not to wake daddy or being grumped at for daring to ask for help with anything.

Christmas is rare downtime for us, no work, school or activities. I will see my family at some point, and I'll use that as a chance to get out for a run, but mostly we'll mooch around, eat well and rest.

I think it's wonderful!

My X expected us to all be up and dressed at the usual time, and was very controlling about the whole day. We had to go and see his cantankerous git of a father, who is so rude he won't even offer anyone a cup of tea, then when we got home we got dragged out for a 2-3 hour muddy slog walk around. I hated every minute of it. Dinner had to be planned to the minute.

Christmas day is now so completely different, firstly DS and I don't even get out of our pyjamas if we don't want to, we have croissants and hot chocolate (or in my case Bucks Fizz) for breakfast, and we spend the day opening presents, watching Xmas DVDs and playing together. We go out in the afternoon for half an hour, or a bit longer if it's snowed, but if we don't feel like it we don't. Dinner is whenever we feel like it, and everything is done in 2 roasting trays in the oven. Easy. My DB and his wife know we may pop in to see them or we may not (same village) and don't hassle us if we don't.

I love, love, love being a single parent, especially at this time of the year. The lack of trying to please another adult is very liberating tchsmile

Umpire Sun 01-Dec-13 10:52:52

I'm perfectly happy now, but I'm nearly a decade in now! I was more lonely with the x for sure.

We will have croissants, orange juice etc for breakfast, church, then off to relatives for lunch! Looking forward to it. When I get home, I'll watch what I want on tv. Turn the central heating up full blast. Drink Baileys!

I did have a phase of feeling very self-pitying though, which I hope I hid, but probably didn't. I just accept it now.

I often feel sorry for married people, they seem to be working so hard to please people and they have lots of balls in the air, meeting everybody else's needs, shopping for their husband's relatives etc. I think now my default is to pity married women now! confused Have about three friends with good marriages, the rest I think

comingintomyown Sun 01-Dec-13 13:38:00

This will be my fourth one and it's XHs turn to have the DC but DD doesn't want to wake up at his so this will be the first time my DC will be separated on Christmas morning which makes me a bit sad.

We were splitting up over the festive season four years ago and it was a truly awful time and I think unfortunately it has spoilt Christmas for me. Also my DC are now 17 and 14 so the magic has gone

I agree with those saying how liberating it is to do as you please and I don't feel the need to buy into the whole thing the way I did when I was married.

17leftfeet Sun 01-Dec-13 13:58:44

I love Christmas as a single parent

I spent 13 years in tears at some point of the day for one reason or another
The dcs had to wait until daddy got up and had an hour soak in the bath and everyone had got dressed before they could open any presents
He wouldn't help set up toys so I would have 2 children waving boxes at me that needed wire wraps etc taking off while I was trying to cook a dinner that HAD to be served at 2pm
The dcs weren't allowed anything to eat between breakfast and a very late lunch
I used to dread it

Now we get up when we like, open presents when we like, don't bother getting dressed, both dcs help with the cooking and it's ready when its ready
It's the chilled out family day I always wanted it to be

rainbowfeet Sun 01-Dec-13 14:24:18

I'm kind of beginning to see the pro's of being lone adult this Christmas... I'm thinking obscene amounts of food without feeling judged for being a bit piggy... Lots of alcohol & full command of the remote control!!! Plus money I'd spend on a partner I shall spend on myself!!!gringringrin

17leftfeet- XH sounds very like yours!
No-one allowed downstairs until he'd had a lie in, a long shower, got dressed and done his hair.

Except he did dinner. Which involved him crashing around in the kitchen while I set toys up, batteries in etc. Banning anyone from coming into the kitchen (no breakfast, cups of tea/fruit juice or snacks) no being spoken to or disturbed. Everything dumped on the plate, and a huge mess and masses of dishes which were my job to do as he'd cooked.

Then off to the sofa for him and his beer for the afternoon as he'd done dinner.

I love it on my own, it's such a different atmosphere.
Opening presents with kids in pjs. Breakfast! Easy dinner, with a choice of what we'd like on our plates. And just to make things even better, I've recently bought a dishwasher tchgrin

There are less presents these days, and less fancy food, but, pah! Who cares?!

justtoomessy Sun 01-Dec-13 15:09:21

I have worked the last few years and my son has been with my mum. This year I am just working the nightshift so will probably spend christmas with my sister etc.

I am going to do a special Christmas Eve present for DS because it is then that I feel lonely. Having no-one to witness DS excitement makes me sad, not that I want a relationship at all.

I am looking forward to my friends christmas dinner on the 21st as the kids all be making a noise and me and my 2 friends will be drinking too much and having a dance around the lounge no doubt. They are both married by expect one DH will be working and the other will be too scared LOL.

Maybe try something like that xx

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