My word for 2016: Consolidation

I have taken a while to come up with my new year’s resolutions this year, mostly because I DON’T WANT TO DO OR CHANGE ANYTHING.  Having said ‘good riddance to 2015’  I am welcoming 2016 with enthusiasm, open arms and gusto, but my word for 2016 is consolidation.

I must be the only person ever to say this.  If asked to sum up their ambitions for 2016 I suspect most people would chose the word ‘change’. For me, 2016 has got to be a year of minimal change and calm.

In the last two years, in no particular order, I have:

  • Moved house five times (six if you count the fortnight when I was between homes and living with my parents).
  • Moved country once
  • Renovated a house (major building works)
  • Renovated a flat (no major building works just copious amounts of waterproof wallpaper stripped).
  • Got engaged to be married
  • Arranged a wedding
  • Separated from my fiancé and therefore cancelled a wedding, but celebrated my (un-)wedding weekend nonetheless.
  • Had a baby
  • Become a single mother
  • Returned to work and to a new job after a 6 month period of maternity leave
  • Got a promotion at work
  • Dipped my toe into some very unsuccessful single mum dating (which provided blog post material but not much else)
  • Started a blog. 

In 2016, I especially want to DO NONE OF THE ABOVE! 

I do have some goals for 2016.  In 2016 I want to;

1.   Feel less guilty.

I have got over the guilt of separation.  I am fully content that separating from my ex was 100% the right decision for both me and Cygnet.  Cygnet now has a chance to have two parents who are happy and that is a great gift. 

To me, feeling less guilty is about making conscious decisions.  I often feel guilty that I don’t spend enough time with my son, but I recently made the decision to cut down my hours at work so that I spend two full days with him a week.  This is really important for me and for Cygnet.  I have taken action. I have made the positive change.  I can’t afford to cut down my hours any more, so there is no need to feel guilty.

I also feel guilty that I am not spending enough time at work.  If I worked 80 hours a week there would always be more work to do in my office, I have made a conscious decision and have a 36 hour a week contract.  This is what I will do.

2.   Make the most of our days

Cygnet and I now have two days a week together. For most people this is the same as having a weekend with their children, but for many weeks in 2015 I only spent one day a week of quality time with Cygnet and this was nowhere near enough.   

I am very conscious that I need to make the most of my two days a week with Cygnet.  This means leaving the washing until he has gone to bed.  This means not checking emails or reading blogs or just generally spending time on social media when I could and should be spending time with him.  This means going to rhyme time and singing and reading and playing with him.   

3.   Make the most of my day

My ex and I split weekends with Cygnet.  This means that I have Cynget one day and he has Cygnet the other and I get one day a week when I am neither with Cygnet nor at work. 

A few times recently I have been out with friends, drunk too much and then spent my day without Cygnet nursing a hangover. I then feel guilty at the end of day.  Not many mothers get a day to themselves each week.  I am privileged, I need to make that privilege count.

4.  Not let my ex get to me

My ex gets to me. 

He is demanding, domineering, unbending and unpredictable.  I need to find a way not to let my ex get to me.  I left him so that so that I could live my own life and not his.  I need to make sure that he doesn’t get his own way by default just because I don’t have the courage to stand up to him. 

At times in 2015 I have had a wish bone where my backbone should have been.  2016 is about having a back bone.

5.  Make co-parenting work

There will be obstacles and challenges, but I am going to try to make co-parenting work.  I owe it to Cygnet. 

6.  Read more and go to the theatre once a month

I read a lot of blogs and tweets and Facebook updates.  I don’t read many books anymore. There are endless opportunities for adventure and escapism in books and I am going to make better use of them in 2016.

I am also going to make a pact with myself to go to the theatre or the cinema once a month.  Cygnet stays with his dad two nights a week.  This is ample opportunity to go to the theatre or to the cinema. 

7.  Take a vitamin tablet everyday

Easy peasy! They are now by the kettle.


Let’s be realistic, in 2016 I will probably:

1.   Have a few too many hangovers. 

Despite my resolution to make the most of my day, I am probably still going to drink more than the recently revised alcohol guidelines recommend.

2.  Rely too heavily on coffee

Cygnet often wakes in the night, whether it be teething or just the fact that he seems to be quite a light sleeper, it means that my ‘beauty sleep’ (if only!) is often disturbed.  Coffee gets me through the work day. 

3.  Dabble in some online dating

Although I have decided that I don’t want to meet anyone until 2017;  2016 is about me and Cygnet and us alone, I will probably dabble in some online dating.  Why not? Some dates might be fun.

I’ll let you know how it all goes.   

Mami 2 Five
Single Mother Ahoy Weekend Social Share
Domesticated Momster
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. January 10, 2016 / 9:30 pm

    Happy New Year!

    It sounds like you really have had two very busy years. You’ve chosen some great goals for 2016 and I’ve got my fingers crossed for you that you’ll achieve them, which I’m sure you will. Looking forward is definitely key.

    I’ve not really come up with many goals for 2016, but I like your goal of trying to feel less guilty. I feel guilty all the time even though there’s nothing really to be guilty about. I feel guilty if I do one thing rather than something else, etc, etc.

    Laura x #KCACOLS
    Mummy Lala (Laura) recently posted…The Stay at Home Crowd #5My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 10, 2016 / 9:39 pm


      Thanks for your super speedy comment. I think many of us would like to feel less guilty. I think that’s what motherhood means sometimes: to feel a little bit guilty about what you are not doing. We’ll see how 2016 goes.

      Loads of love

      Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      January 11, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      thank you. I’ll let you know. x

  2. January 10, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    I love your blog, Pen and your plan for 2016 is spot on. I wish you and Cygnet all the best xx
    Loula recently posted…New Theme: CanapéMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 11, 2016 / 7:39 pm

      thank you. x

  3. January 10, 2016 / 11:00 pm

    Not a comment, but just to say I have no idea how I got the name of my blog wrong… Can I still claim baby brain when my kid’s now two?!

    • thesingleswan
      January 11, 2016 / 7:39 pm

      Of course you can. x

  4. January 11, 2016 / 5:36 am

    going to the theatre sounds like a great idea! Have you considered writing theatre reviews in return for tickets at no cost? I do this regular and love it!

    Angela at

    • thesingleswan
      January 11, 2016 / 7:39 pm

      Ooooh, what a good idea… Thanks

  5. January 11, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    I’m so glad you made the decision to cut your work hours – I always feel so sad for you knowing how little time you get with your little one and I’m happy that you will have a chance to do some of those things that so many of the rest of us have done too. You have had a manic sounding five years – hope 2016 is your chance to really have some fun with and without Cygnet Xx
    Sam recently posted…More bedroom decorating ideasMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 11, 2016 / 9:19 pm

      Thank you Sam. I worked my first four day week last week. I was wonderful. Thanks for your comment and I will see you tomorrow at #TheTruthAbout.

  6. January 12, 2016 / 6:15 am

    I’d say that consolidation is a great word to choose for 2016 and your goals aren’t outrageous. Online dating is fun but I understand you wanting to take it slow. Thanks so much for linking with #momsterslink. 💌Trista
    Trista, Domesticated Momster recently posted…Monday’s Music Mantra ~ Jan 11, 2016My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 13, 2016 / 12:01 am

      Thanks Trista for continuing to host #momsterslink

  7. January 12, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    Love the word consolidation to describe what you are going to do next year. Sound s like you’ve had a lot to deal with last year but that this year you are going to make it work for you and your little one. Onwards and upwards. Here’s to you both. Thanks for linking up to the first #sundaystars of 2016. Hope to see you next week.
    Mini Travellers/Mini Ventures recently posted…Time to Run My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 12, 2016 / 11:57 pm

      Hi, thanks very much for your comment. Yes, we went through a tough year last year, but hey, this one can only be better. Thanks again, and I will be back at #sundaystars soon. Pen x

  8. January 15, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    I think your goals are PERFECT. And…lady, if you can do all of that first list within just 2 years (!), this little lot is going to be a piece of cake. Here’s to more calmness and less guilt. Good luck x

    Kate / Pouting In Heels recently posted…LIFE AND STUFF! (AN UPDATE)My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 18, 2016 / 7:59 pm

      Ahhh, thank you. Take care. x

  9. January 15, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    You have had a lot going on in the last two years! Good luck with your 2016 plans -I think consolidation is a perfect thing to be looking for. Hopefully the tide will now be turning and you will much more settled in all area. Enjoy your time with Cygnet 🙂 #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      January 18, 2016 / 7:58 pm

      thank you! xx

  10. January 16, 2016 / 2:37 pm

    It looks that you really had 2 tough years lovely!! I can’t even imagine how would I feel if I experience the same. You have the right to feel like that. I’m happy to hear that you are hoping for a calmer 2016 and no more changes as you mentioned is definitely what you need. And of course just enjoy life. I think you should get the most of the days that you have it for yourself. Enjoy your time. Have a me time. This is something that I’m dying to have. Hopefully soon that Sienna starts nursery. I really hope you get all what you want this year. All the best for 2016!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x
    A Moment with Franca recently posted…Bella’s Top Xmas PresentsMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 18, 2016 / 7:58 pm

      Hi, You are right, me time is really important too. Sometimes with our list of things to do we for get to spend time on ourselves. I am pleased to report that my resolution to go to the theatre once a month is most definitely on track. thanks again for your comment. I will be back on Sunday, or at least I plan to be. thanks for hosting #KCACOLS. Loads of love.

  11. January 16, 2016 / 10:18 pm

    Gosh what a hectic couple of years you have had. I haven’t even moved that many times in my entire life! I wish you a lovely, calm and guilt free year ahead. Thanks for linking up with #sundaystars x
    Katie recently posted…Sunday Stars 10/01/16My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 18, 2016 / 7:56 pm

      Thank you! Pen x

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