I can finally feel the joy of being a single parent. Becoming a single parent when my son was five months old felt like trekking off alone into the dark wilderness where the wind was biting and howling and I had this precious little baby to protect and to shelter.  I didn’t know whether I could do it.  None of my friends were single parents.  Not all of them were married but all were happily coupled.  On my single parent…

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Today CBeebies did most of the parenting.  Tonight will be white wine and self-loathing served in front of some inane rubbish on the TV – Made in Chelsea should do the trick.  It’s okay to be a crap parent sometimes.  Tomorrow will be a better day.  This is not how parenting is supposed to go.  Super-Nanny would have condemned me for finally giving into the tantrum and for buying The Octonauts magazine.  I condemn myself for my inconsistency.  If I…

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Our co-parenting relationship is currently on an even keel.  My ex is sticking to the schedule.  The constant requests to change plans have abated.  The barrage of angry emails and text messages has finished.  Our handovers are amicable and efficient.  We will never be best friends, but we are able to present a united and respectful front when Cygnet is around.  It has taken a long time to get here.  These are my tips for communicating with an ex when…

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There are times when single parenting is really tough.  Sometimes co-parenting is really tough.  Don’t get me wrong, some single parents would do anything for the other parent to be involved in their child’s upbringing, for an evening off every once in a while, to have an uninterrupted night’s sleep a couple of nights a week.  This is how to cope without your child through co-parenting milestones. No one ever said that co-parenting was going to be easy, but this…

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Cygnet had spent the day with his father and I was due to collect him from his father’s house at 6pm.  I arrived at 6pm on the dot and I knocked on the door.  There was no answer.  I knocked again. Still no answer.  I called his mobile phone.  There was no answer.  I called again.  Still no answer.  I called a third time and left a message.  I was starting to panic.  I was starting to think that he…

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There is an abundance of co-parenting guides out there.  I have a fair few lined up on my bookshelf.  I have even read a couple of them.  The advice is similar.  Co-parenting success is when you put the child first.  Co-parenting success is when you are respectful to your co-parent. Co-parenting success is when you communicate effectively. All of this sounds sensible in principle, but what does co-parenting success actually look like in practice? I have a friend who invites…

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“People are too complicated to have simple labels” wrote Philip Pullman in The Amber Spyglass.  This isn’t the first time that an author has managed, quite succinctly, to summarise my exact feelings. Children are too complicated to have simple labels. My ex is worried.  He is worried about our son, Cygnet, because Cygnet is “quiet”. Cygnet is “shy”.  What I think my ex is really worried about is that Cygnet is inheriting what my ex perceives to be his parents’…

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A single, and guilty mum.  That’s me. I juggle a lot.  Before I go on about how busy I am I should say that this is my choice.  Okay, the options aren’t vast.  I have to work to pay the mortgage, the bills and to feed and clothe us.  You could also argue that I chose to become a single mum.  I was the one who left.  Again the alternative wasn’t great.  Spend the rest of your life in a…

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I haven’t written about co-parenting recently.  I’d like to be able to report that all is going swimmingly, that we are working well together and that we are doing what is best for our child.  That’s the goal obviously, but then this is real life, and as we all know, real life doesn’t like to follow a smooth path. Real life seems to object to a plan. It’s been nearly two years since we separated and we have been living…

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Something happened to my son last weekend when he was with his dad.  I don’t know exactly what happened, but I do know that my son has been more reserved, hesitant, nervous and clingy ever since. My son is just over two and hasn’t got the language to tell me.  My ex hasn’t got the courage to tell me.  I could tell straight away that something had happened.  My ex delivered my son home as usual.  I gave my son…

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