Singlemummylife on International Womens Day 2017

It’s International Women’s  Day and this years themes is asking us to #BeBoldForChange. The theme has made me reflect on the challenges and opportunities that (mainly) single mothers face how far we have come and far we still have to go in the quest for equality and inclusivity. 

 The website I have linked you to asks you to specify an area where you will be bold for change. The choices are challenging bias and inequality, campaigning against violence, forging women’s advancement, celebrating women’s achievements, and champion inking women’s education. I have pledge to celebrate woman’s achievement with an eye on all of the others. I hope you can  join me in making a commitment. 

My suggestion is that we also use this day to celebrate our achievements to question what still needs to done and to be bold in our ambitions and dreams for ourselves and for our children. 

Always happy to hear what you think D x

Single Mummy Life on Valentines Day 

Hello  hope Valentines Day is treating you well.
I was obviously overwhelmed with cards from secret admirers ( not). On a serious note valentine can be a bittersweet time for single parents especially if you are;

  • Single
  • Just finished a relationship
  • Contemplating or are in the middle of divorce 
  • or are just not with the right person for what ever reason.

I have been in all of those situations more often then not so if that’s your story today Happy Valentine’s Day I salute and celebrate you take care of yourself and remember what Oscar Wilde said “to love one self is the beginning of a life long romance” 😊❤️

Love to hear how you are spending you day

D

Single Mummy Life – A year In review -How  was 2015 for you?-

So you did it! You  made it through  Christmas and now its just New Years Eve to navigate and we are done for another year!  I am still on holiday from work  and its taken till now to finally decompress and relax.

So what shall we do now I hear you say? As 2015  draws to a close it’s time to reflect on the year that has passed and look forward to the new one.

2015 was was a  roller coaster  of a year for me  with  big highs and some  very  lows days  for me. I am not sure whether I am glad to see the back of it to be honest but I guess I have to be thankful for the highs and I need to reflect and learn from the lows.

So here is my Single Mummy Life  2015  review with both good and bad bits included.

The best thing that happened to me all year  was starting this blog  (and it is doing great) I have found a rich vein of creativity that has inspired me to do new things with my life,  develop new skills. connect with new people and  start a business it has been amazing , transformational and has definitely changed my life for the better.

Another wonderful thing that happened  was that I had a piece published  in a national newspaper.  The article was about my experiences of being the single mother of mixed race children and how  black and mixed people are represented in the media. It was also a lesson for me in grabbing opportunities as they are presented to you, a journalist asked to write something following a post in social media and although I was scared I didn’t  hesitate.and the results were fantastic foe me.

The children  are a massive part of my life and we have been through a lot together this year. Teen Boy finished school and started university and  is now getting paid to play rugby part time  which is a massive achievement and  a culmination of years of dedication and hard  work. Teen girl  got into the performing arts school of her dreams  which was like a  reality TV fairy tale  and she  has been so much happier ever since.   Don’t get me wrong  we still have our  challenges but its wonderful to see your children go through tough times and come out the other side smiling

Coming to terms with the end of my  marriage and feeling a failure because of it was one of the recurring lows of this year. I had busied my myself with work education and the children in years since my divorce, never really dealing with the emotional side of a very difficult time, my ex remarrying and moving abroad has allowed to time to heal time to grieve and time to move on

I moved to London 30 years ago so 2015 was a time to celebrate my  career and all the friends I met along the way. I had a blast at two Nursing  reunions and realised that I have had a fantastic life so far one that has been filled with love laughter and happiness .

So that was my 2015  full of highs and lows but mostly highs to be honest and with 2016 just round the corner I am looking forward to more adventures, more friends more opportunities and loads of fun

How was 2015 for you?  I would love to hear from you and how it was for you.  you can tweet me  or message me on my Facebook page or leave a comment below. I would be really pleased to hear from you and always reply to comments about my posts.  I want to take this opportunity to thank you reading my blog for your support,thoughts and comments it is much valued and appreciated.

As we look forward to the New Year. I wish you peace,prosperity and all good things

Take care of you

Dawnie  x

 

 

Singlemummylife -Top 10 tips for managing Christmas as a single parent 

I love Christmas always have but the holidays can be a lonely and stressful time for single parents  and I  know that I feel a bit lost in having to manage the day on my own. So here are my  top 10 tips for managing at Christmas

  1. Decide where you will be. Make a decision as soon as you can.  Factor in your  co parent if they are  around and your network of support. If someone invites you for Christmas bite their hand off and go.
  2. Plan some time off  to do your shopping, every year Christmas comes as a surprise to me so I need a day or two to get myself sorted.
  3. The internet is fabulous,  use it well. I am saving a lot of time doing some of my shopping online ( what did we do before?)
  4. Make a plan for who you are going to see and when over the holidays.  At Christmas I try to see as many friends and family as I can and as we live all over the country this requires a lot of strategic time tabling.
  5. Plan some time when you don’t go anywhere  or do anything treat it as a date with yourself.
  6. Ask the kids what they would like and specify a budget. My kids are too old for Santa so I ask them what they would like and try to fit in as much as I can. It’s also useful to have if friends and family ask what the kids would like for Christmas.
  7. If anyone asks you what you would like for Christmas ask for stuff that you would like but wouldn’t buy for yourself. Make up, earrings, fancy bubble bath that sort of thing.
  8. If you can, buy yourself one thing that you wouldn’t dream of buying during the rest of the year. Wrap it up like you would for a loved one, then open it on Christmas Day and keep everyone guessing as to who bought it.
  9. Create  family traditions that make  Christmas time special one of ours is playing intergerational  (and very competitive ) games of scrabble and Monopoly.
  10. If you do have to spend some time on your own at Christmas make the time into a massive treat. Stay in your pyjamas, wrap up warm and binge watch your favourite films/ Tv series. Eat nice food, drink wine and congratulate yourself on  the great job you have done all year.

So there you have it,  my tips for  managing Christmas as a single parent. I have probably missed loads out and you  guys will have your own tips. If you have let me know.

Have a good one and take care of you.

Dawnie x

40 Life Hacks for Single Mummy Life

Frippery Jar

I have been a single Mummy for eight years and loads of things have happened in that time. Some good things and some bad things.

I got divorced and I have fallen in and out of love (to) many times.

My children have grown into beautiful teenagers who are a joy and a challenge to live with.

I have had highs and lows in my career being made redundant 3 times and promoted twice.

I have struggled with my weight, losing 3 stone and gaining half of it back.

I have made friends, kept friends and unfortunately lost some friends.

I have also a started a couple of blogs and I am currently trying to make my writing hobby  a career.

I have also learnt a lot about myself about live, love and my career, so I thought I would take stock and share some of the lessons I have learned with you in the hope that it will help  you in some way.

So here goes

  1. Do not chase any man, the right man will find you, when you are ready
  2. If a man tells you something you don’t want to hear e.g. “I don’t want a relationship” listen and act accordingly (I have learnt this the hard way)
  3. Make time for your family they are a constant and will always be there for you
  4. Get some sleep, sometimes you will be so tired you will pray for unconsciousness
  5. Know where all your documents are driving licence, house insurance etc. you will never know where they are when you need them
  6. Don’t bad mouth you ex ( even when he has driven you to distraction ) to you kids, they are part of him and will see that as a criticism of themselves
  7. Find time to do something for yourself even if it’s watching Big Brother for  an hour, make this time sacred.
  8. Time is your precious resource use it well once it’s gone it gone
  9. Enjoy every moment of you kids childhood it goes so quickly
  10. Don’t be a slave to your job nobody lay on their deathbed and said “I wish I could have worked more”
  11. Take lots of photos of everything, your kids , your friends, everywhere you go and everything you do, its lovely looking back at good times
  12. Make memories with your children they will remember them with fondness as they grow up
  13. Have private jokes with your children,  catchphrases that only you know about, it will bond you as a family
  14. Take out one of those policies that covers the plumbing drains etc trust me  when you are ankle deep in sewage, they are worth there weight in gold
  15. When your kids tell you there dreams, encourage them  and support them 100% it motivates them to succeed
  16. Teach your children to cook as soon as they are old enough, this will help no end when you come home from work.
  17. Encourage your children to tidy up after themselves ( I didn’t) and it causes a lot of stress and arguments
  18. Save up and buy yourself something you don’t need. I put my spare change into a piggy bank I can’t open I call it my “Frippery Jar”
  19. At Christmas and Birthdays tell you kids how much you are going to spend and let them decide what they want within your budget
  20. If you have your own place keep it at all costs it’s your investment for the future.
  21. Make a will , if anything happens you would want to spare your children the worry of sorting out your estate when they are grieving
  22. Have a film that you watch when you are feeling down mine is “Moonstruck”  Cher is in it and it’s wonderful!
  23. Try and sort your child support payments amicably if that can’t be done work towards not needing them
  24. Know that your children love you unconditionally even when it feels that they don’t
  25. Be aware of your moods, and know you can sometime difficult to live with, my kids and I are slaves to my hormones.
  26. Say no to your kids sometimes. Practice it does get easier
  27. Beware of married men who want you to make them feel better about their lives don’t let it be at your cost
  28. Whatever you are aiming for you can get it,   be it  a job, a man, or a new skill it’s there for the taking. Go for it
  29. Look after your health, being sick as a single mummy is no fun, have a contingency plan for when you literally can’t get out of bed
  30. Watch or read the news every day you need to know what’s going on in the world ( and it helps with your general knowledge
  31. Laugh with someone everyday it keeps you young makes it all worth it
  32. Keep in touch with your friends their network of support is worth millions.
  33. Don’t be scared, you can do anything and achieve everything you set out to do.
  34. Have something to look forward to, it makes life easier when times are hard.
  35. Stay in touch with your friends who don’t have children be sensitive of their feelings and support there choices
  36. Don’t take work home, when you are at work, work hard, when you are home, be whatever you want to be
  37. Have some life insurance be reassured that your mortgage will be paid off. If the worst happens
  38. Make any tradesmen who come to your home  a cup of tea. They love it and it makes then nice to you
  39. Have one outfit that makes you feel really special, if you haven’t got one get one,
  40. Enjoy yourself  you are amazing , you only have one life so  live it, love it and laugh!

Did it help? Do you have any Life Hacks for single mums  ( and dads) you would be willing to share I would love to hear from you

Till the next time

Single mum Dawn

Single Mummy Life- Tackling the Man Drawer

 

Picture the scene- I was having some beds delivered for Teen Boy and Teen Girl and needed to dismantle their existing beds.

This proved to be perplexing job about which I have no clue. My ex used to do this sort of stuff, you know change lightbulbs blown fuses, put together flat pack furniture and deal with tradesman. He used to cut the grass, deal with plumbing and drains and manage the garage. This arrangement was fine until he left and then he wasn’t so keen on helping out.

My ex had assembled Teen girls bed and Teen boy’s had been put together by an ex-boyfriend, I remember both events happening while I was busy elsewhere (probably eating) and I also remembered something called an Allen key ( I had to google how to spell it) being mentioned and knew it might be useful.

I tasked a reluctant Teen Boy with dismantling the beds (he had never heard of an Allen key) so this is why I had to venture into the man drawer.

Michael McIntyre does a very funny sketch about the Man drawer which can be defined as the where men put miscellaneous stuff that might come in handy one day. To do things that men do.

This is where I have to come clean and say I haven’t ventured into the Man drawer since my ex left! It was his territory and his responsibility and as long as I stayed out of it meant that I didn’t have to deal with the stuff he used to do.

The reality of my single mummy life is that I have to pay people to do stuff my ex used to do, I am ashamed of this but it is true, there was man coming to put the beds together that evening so time was off the essence.

The Man drawer was so jam packed it took me several goes to get it open

Here is a list of some the delights I found in the man drawer

  • Batteries various sizes (could be alive could be dead no one knows)
  • At least 3 pedometers (unused) there could be more
  • Teen Girls 1st Holy Communion candle!
  • String (because you never know when you will need to tie something or someone up)
  • Masking Tape (for kidnapping?)
  • A very old mobile phone it’s a Motorola
  • A telephone charger (not for the same phone that would useful and therefore silly)
  • Screws and nails various sizes
  • A membership card for a club that has since burned down ( the club where we met)
  • Glycerine suppositories (!!!) the mind boggles and at some point bowels were loosened
  • A napkin holder
  • A pair of secateurs
  • A few euros
  • Radiator bleeding key that’s not long enough so therefore useless
  • Never sent birthday cards that might one day become useful (is anyone eight this year?)
  • Ink for a printer that we don’t have
  • Instruction manuals for long since discarded gardening appliances

The man drawer is like a memory of things I used to own, the things my ex-husband used to do for me and things we did together, it’s also an accusation about all the things I haven’t done for myself.

No Allen key!! I took everything out of the man drawer and put it into a box and decided that I was going to have a sort out.

The house is now in the kind of chaos that only comes when you are desperately trying to tidy up before someone comes round (the bed assembly man) and you want to prove to the world that your life isn’t a disorganised mess and you really have got your shit together but realise you really haven’t, I noticed that the house needs painting, we need new doors, new windows and I really need to sort out the garage.

I found the Allen Key eventually, Teen Boy did dismantle the beds (it took hours) and the new beds are now assembled (£ 25 well spent).

The house however is in disarray, it’s like an upended dolls house, and everything has fallen out. My task today is regain some kind of order. This may take some time. I will get there though.

The man drawer is no more- Long live the Single Mum drawer!

If I need a dead battery or an Allen Key I will know where to find it!