I didn’t spend my pregnancy reading pregnancy, labour and motherhood manuals.  In fact I mainly spent my pregnancy working, moving house (which included moving to a different country at 30 weeks) and supervising some fairly serious renovations to a house we were due to move into.  I did do a bit of research on labour.  Google petrified me  –  never type ‘episiotomy’ into Google and then hit images!  I also went to NCT classes (for those of you not familiar…

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Most single parents don’t get much me-time . They are on parenting duty 24/7.  There is no time to indulge in a book, or to go for a run, to have a quiet cup of tea whilst reading the paper.  Single parenting isn’t that much different to coupled parenting really.  I know many of my friends would say they don’t get any time for running, tea and reading either.  Other single parents, like me, operate a co-parenting schedule.  Co-parenting schedules…

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I want to begin by confessing that I never really thought much about parenting before I became a parent, but I do know that parenting has changed in the last 50 years.  I wasn’t one of those women who dreamt of being a mother as soon as I hit puberty.  I wasn’t one of those women who read every single parenting book on the shelf when I was pregnant –  in fact I don’t think I read any parenting books…

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Our co-parenting arrangements have changed. Cygnet used to spend one day each weekend with me and one day each weekend with his Daddy.  We had been operating this arrangement since we separated when Cygnet was 5 months old.  We have recently switched to alternate weekends whereby Cygnet spends one weekend with me and then the next weekend with his Daddy. Really young children have short memories. When Cygnet was really young it was important to me that our co-parenting arrangements…

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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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