Fab post-Let''s get negatives out of the way
Lonely when kids are in bed.
Wrapping christmas presents on own.
Having to try and balance good cop and bad cop.
Having to make decisions on your own about your childrens welfare and hope that it''s gonna work out ok!
OK enough negative
Feeling so proud of all their acheivements knowing that you are so instrumental in those.
Going to all their assembly''s, plays, sports days etc, and ALWAYS being there-that positive rock.
Getting bed to yourself.
Letting them sneak in for a cuddle.
Watching them grow into well balanced young men and women.
God, I''m welling up now...
Gave up smoking, discovered charity shops, never used credit, learned how to budget, always bought Clarks shoes! So much better in the long run.
Shopped throughout year for christmas and hid things in christmas cupboard.
Worked as much as I could.
Mistakes to avoid
Depending on others too much.
Letting children hear you argue.
Not teaching the children that they need to do chores.
My main support... God - my faith has kept me strong.
*Being organised and planning ahead for holiday periods and weekends helps, the longer periods can be difficult when doing everything by yourself. Christmas needs to be planned try and organise to be with friends and family.
*Having a good friendship/family support network helps and don''t say no when people offer to help. My family don''t live locally but friends have been great.
*Emotionally especially at the beginning its very hard, trying to get the day to day things done for the children when your head is in turmoil, all I can advise is take a day at a time, and try to eat properly so you can cope as best you can.
* It may take the children a while to adjust to the fact that you only have one pair of hands and can''t do everything at once. Try and be patient and explain this to them.
* practicially try and get things done early. Set out school uniform the night before. Prepare sandwiches etc in advance and keep in fridge. This prevents the pre school rush and creates a more relaxed environment before school.
* make sure the children understand house rules and why they are there, amazing how mine seem to so often forget why we have a bin!!
* make sometime for yourself it can be lonely without and adult conversation even if its on the phone once the children are in bed.
*prioritise chores - sometimes things will have to wait!
Bearing in mind my circumstance the positive thing about bringing up children on my own has been over time the ability they have had to express their own view (hard for me to hear at times but really important for the children involved).
No ex bashing is a very important point of bringing up children post divorce in my view. Possibly one of the mistakes I made regarding the son who how lives with his Dad was ONCE saying that he was not a nice person - I have paid for that one comment ever since as son now tells everyone that he does not want to have any contact with me.
On a more positive note I now understand why when my ex left my daughter she said "I couldn''t care less what has he ever done for me" - I still remember her saying that when I broke the news that he had gone and was expecting her to be horribly upset.
For me the good thing about being a responsible parent was encouraging her to have a relationship with her Dad (she didn''t have one really at all whilst he was living with us).
She also has some sort of decent relationship with his new wife and seems to get on well (I know they went on holiday recently and I think spent a lot of time together reading between the lines).
Well the new wife was my ex best friend and I have to say she is a master of fun, so from my point of view I cannot fault my daughter from wanting to be around someone who has an ability to create a merry circumstance and appear to rise above any negative vibes or aggravation.
It is my eldest son who suffers the most, having had councelling and therapy now for nearly 3 years. He tells me more and more by the day and constantly tells me it is important to talk things through. Although he has a significant learning disabiltiy and is assessed at a mental age between 6 and 8 it constantly amazes me how the "young" are capable of very complex thoughts and how sensitive they are to the complexities not only of divorce but why the divorce has to happen.
Tiredness having to do it all yourself
Potential for losing the fun & being a nagging parent re h/w, revision etc
Christmas & sorting out contact for special days
Time with children to talk, do things, sit & watch tv
A full lively house, allowing kids friends to come in the house, watch tv, parties, sleepovers
Being there for parents evenings, the good and the bad times & kids knowing that you are constant / can be relied upon
Calm, lovely house where everyone can express views and discuss things thus helping them grow
Watching them grow into young adults
Take time for yourself / to do things for yourself
Don''t try and act finical as you did before the split (to my distress I have a bit lately & have spent too much:dry: )
Plan for Chirstmas / birthdays even a small savings plan helps
Get yourself finical sorted, budget & know your weaknesses
Get the kids to do chores (not my strong point unfortunately)
Try your best and as long as you know you have know this & remind yourself of it (ESP on bad days)
Make sure your independent of all, yet accept as much help as you can but always have a fall back position for everything
Pick your arguments, with teenagers sometimes its worth forging on some things
Think that''s it oh always look in on them when they are asleep ... Reminds you how wonderful they are & they cannot answer you back
Financially, I have managed by planning, planning, planning. Clothes are all bought in sales, without exception, a year ahead. School uniform is purchased throughout the year (most stores have a small stock in most of the time, you just have to look for it and/or it comes out every school holiday). Only thing I pay full price for is shoes. The children no longer have enough clothes, toys and bits and bobs to last an entire nuclear winter (and then some) but just enough to wear on the weekends with small variation. Toys, clothes, games (particularly of the PS, wii, ds variety) are purchased on ebay or at car boots (always a risk, however, although mainly works out OK). I work very hard at being grateful for what we do have rather than lamenting what we don''t.
My mum has been my biggest support practically and my best friend emotionally.
Biggest pitfall is trying to make life the same as it was. It isn''t. Once I accepted that, it was easier to move forwards and create new routines, new ''traditions'', and just generally enjoy things.
My personal sticking point is wondering how on earth I got involved with someone like my ex but I guess if I knew what, I would be worth a small fortune!!!