I have been a single mother for three years now.  There have been times when I have felt a little insane. There have been times when I’ve let it all get on top of me and overwhelm me.  I have some tips for how to stay sane as a single parent.  My son was five months old when I left his father.  Single motherhood was never my plan; it was never my dream.  I had been with his father for…

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This isn’t the first time I have written about the advantages of being a single parent.  One of the big advantages if you are co-parenting, (and there aren’t many advantages so you do have to make the most of them) is that you get a free babysitter on a fortnightly basis.  On Friday night, primarily to do some research for you all (honest!) I went to the Victoria and Albert museum (V&A) and their themed night on the Future of…

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The most important thing about me is that I am a single mum.  I have been a single mum for three years now.  Even if I marry or find myself in a long term relationship I will still feel like a single mum.  When you’ve had children with someone with whom you are no longer coupled your separation defines everything.  Apparently, good separations do exist.  Good separations are where everything works swimmingly, payments arrive on time, your partner sticks to arrangements,…

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When I was a little girl, and indeed right through my University years, my mother used to buy us each a little present to help us to survive Valentine’s Day .  She would give us a heart shaped chocolate lollipop or a little trinket to show that she loved us.  When I was a teenager and still living at home, it felt like all of my friends had boyfriends and were desperately in love (with some guy they’d met at…

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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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I make no bones of the fact that sometimes I would quite like to have a boyfriend. Only sometimes though!  Secret single behaviours are those weird things that people do when they are alone, away from the prying eyes of the public and away from the ears of those who may condemn or criticise. My secret single behaviours include sitting on my own on the sofa eating dark Lindt chocolate and drinking wine in the evening.  I am not sure…

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Since I gave up dating, there have been few weekend evenings when I have been without my son and without a plan.  Often I am so exhausted after a week of work and single parenting that all I really feel like doing is opening a bottle of wine, finding some romance film from a decade ago and sinking into the sofa. Evenings spent like this always make me feel guilty.  Most mothers dream of being able to go out one…

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I always imagined that I’d have a girl.   I’d bring her up to be strong-willed and independent.  I’d bring her up to question everything and to stand up for what she believes in.  I bring her up to never accept second best. I’d dress her in dresses, but not pink ones.  She’d love drawing and painting.  Having a boy wasn’t really something that I ever thought would happen. I didn’t find out whether I was having a boy or a girl…

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The mother of all Feminists, Simone de Beauvoir, famously wrote “one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”.  In The Second Sex she describes how society conditions us to be become women at every stage in the journey of life.  Becoming a mother is also a journey.  We are conditioned to become mothers, but our conditioning is not just a societal one.  Becoming a mother is a physical, physiological, psychological, neurological, hormonal, emotional and societal experience. We are not…

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