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
I read an article this week called 14 things that successful people do before breakfast it annoyed me a bit it includes things like drink water, exercise, work on a priority project network over coffee (!) and write down everything your grateful for. So far so worthy, I give “props” ( proper respect” to the amazingly successful people who manage to do all of these things before breakfast, while thinking about all the amazing single parents who don’t manage to all of those things but are keeping it all together. So with a nod to all you single parents out there here is what @singlemumdawn (follow me on twitter) actually did before breakfast this Monday.
- Hit the snooze button on the alarm clock.
- Try to remember what day it is.
- Hit the snooze button again
- Realise it’s a week day which means I have to get up.
- Hit the snooze button one last time.
- Try to remember what’s in the diary for everyone as I grab just a few minutes more shut eye.
- Remember that this is the day I wanted to get in early because you have a lot to do.
- Get up
- Work out how long it it’s before I have before I have to get kids up when the peace will be shattered
- Get in shower.
- Decide what to wear, go for what’s clean and doesn’t need ironing.
- Find socks (Top tip I only buy black socks so I don’t waste time looking for pairs)
- Get kids up ( they ignore me and go back to sleep)
- Go downstairs. despair at state of lounge and kitchen.
- Ask the kids to get up again.
- Do a quick wash up tidy up in the kitchen and put a clothes wash on.
- Look at clock and realise it’s later than I think
- Ask the kids to get up again!
- My best friend rings . She is in her car on her way to work and in the mood to chat so I try to conduct a sensible conversation with her while gathering my bag and…
- Decide which shoes are easy to find in a pair and quick to put on.
- Decide against boots go for comfortable shoes!
- Finish talking to my friend look at the clock, do a quick analysis, do I eat breakfast or run to get the train.
- Decide to go for the train.
- Teen girl decides now is the time to ask for money to buy tickets for a concert that goes on sale at 9.00!
- Sort out teen girl it quicker than arguing
- Leave house
- Walk/run to train station ( this why I comfortable shoes!)
- Swerve the man asking for any spare change
- Feel guilty
- Arrive at station just in time see my train leaving the platform
- Wait 20 mins for another train while silently cursing my luck
- Miss the connecting train -really fed up now
- Get the connecting train its packed
- Play a passive aggressive game with the other passengers on the train of “who is getting the next available seat” . I win. I am good at the game.
- Finally sit down on a train fully intending to look at my work emails on my IPad but instead decide to play my music and stare vacantly into space.
- Finally get to work, no earlier than usual and start my work day.
Guess what I didn’t get a chance to have my breakfast! There are variations on the theme each morning, like which child will ask me for money just before I am leaving the house and sometimes I will leave the house in shoes that look very pretty but hurt my feed and I go back home and get my comfortable shoes on. I usually miss the train or decide that I am going to miss it anyway and have my breakfast. I never network over coffee ever.
Yet I am successful, I hold down a full time job, I write a blog, run a house while bringing up children on my own. If that’s not successful I don’t know what is.
I love those articles though they are motivational and inspirational. I share them and I even give advice myself but I refuse to let them think badly about myself, we are all have different circumstances and for me getting up and out there makes you amazing.
What do you get done before breakfast. Is anyone networking before coffee? Let me know I would love to hear from you
Until the next time
It’s been a busy week. I am back at work full time after being off work ill. The teens are at their new schools and colleges and life is settling into an Autumn rhythm.
I have been rushing around, fitting in my daily commute, doctors appointments, hair appointments and an evening seminar along the way. In addition there is all the usual washing cooking and cleaning etc!
How do I do it? The answer is I usually don’t and some appointments get missed (hair and hospital) and the pile of ironing gets higher and higher. In truth I have good days and bad days.
So I have decided to turn over a new leaf and get organised using some of the strategies that have worked well for me in the past plus some new ones I have read about and would like to try.
So here they are my Single Mummy Life strategies for getting through the week.
- Begin each day knowing what you would like to achieve, be it geting out of bed on time or calling your hairdresser to make an an appointment, write it down if it helps.
- Review your diary before you go to bed. Know what appointments you have, where you need to be and what travel arrangements you need to make. This will make getting to sleep easier.
- Try to get eight hours of sleep, a difficult one this and something I struggle with, the best I can usually do is to be in my bedroom eight hours before I get up but it’s a work in progress
- Decide what you are going to wear tomorrow the night before, again I struggle with this but it does save a lot of time. My decisions are based on who I am going to see that day and how much walking I have to do.
- Know where your vital bits of equipment are, for me this is my keys my phone and my purse In an emergency I can manage as long as I have these things
- Make sure the kids know what their schedule for the next day iand encourage them to follow tips 1-5! Every morning Teen boy and Teen girl are looking for something they should have prepared for the night before and every morning I remind them off it . It is boring for all of us.
- Set the alarm for 30 minutes before you need to get up. Enjoy the peace and preview your day and congratulate yourself in advance for a job well done.
- Get up at least 20 minutes before the kids if they see you up and raring to go it helps them to get with the programme.
- Have something to look forward to, this could be coffee with a friend or a luxurious bath having something to look forward to will help you to get through the day
- Make a plan for the housework wether it’s doing a bit each day or having a blitz on Saturday morning ( that’s what I do) having a plan means not worrying about it.
- Decide what you and your kids are going to eat each day. There is nothing worse then coming in from a long day and not knowing what the family is going to eat. I have decided to have a meal plan for the week , my next objective is to have as much prepared in advance as I can ( I will let you know how it goes! )
- Read your post! I missed a hospital appointment this week because I hadn’t opened a letter! Don’t let this happen to you.
- Get some excercise even if it’s a 10 minute walk to the shop in your lunch hour. I count my walk to and from the station in the morning as excercise my next objective is to do some excercise at the weekend as well
- Drink! Make sure you hydrated drinking helps you with your concentration when you are feeling sluggish
- Utilise your commuting time, I have an at least 2.5 hr commute every day I have decided to use that time productively to read or write for my blog, listen to a podcast or to just rest, I am finding that I am now enjoying the time as an opportunity rather than a chore
- Include a hobby, there is more to life than work , housework and the kids (however lovely they are) my new hobby is photography which I can do on the go and during my commute hopefully it will eventually save me money on photos for the blog!
Well that’s the plan to get through the working week . Saturday’s my shopping cooking and cleaning day and Sunday’s all being well are for me!
What do think? Is it a good plan? Do you have any additional ideas that work for you? I would love to hear them so do get in touch and let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you
Until the next time 😊
Single Mum Dawn
I remember the date of her birth very well we were so excited, my brother and I had a 50p bet (big money those days) on whether we would have a new brother or a new sister …. I won (I always win)
My sister loved playing music and was a talented singer. She sang professionally in choirs, bands, TV and with recording artists, won talent competitions and travelled the world. She used the talents that she was given to best effect.
My sister was a single parent who had her daughter at 19, she was an inspirational single mother who worked hard to own her own home and started a career in social care to support her family while still pursuing her dreams in music.
Her breast cancer diagnosis in October 2000 came as a shock , I am still shocked. She was so young and the cancer was so aggressive. I am a nurse by trade and you see another side to the NHS when a family member is ill. The Macmillan and hospice nurses made me proud of my profession.
My sister was courageous during her illness. Postive , brave, never giving up hope, despite her terminal prognosis , living what remained of her life with courage and optimism which continues be an inspiration to me today
Amanda sadly passed away on the 24th of August 2003 at Hayward house Nottingham City hospital. She was 26yrs old. I miss her every day.
My memories of my sister are that she enjoyed every moment of her life and grabbed every opportunity it gave to her with both hands.
She was ambitious and entrepreneurial and also generous kind and caring. She loved to travel and enjoyed new experiences. She worked hard and was able to buy a house in Beeston which she loved. She adored the latest fashions and never left the house without looking on point.
We liked to laugh together and we shared a sense of the ridiculous a love of comedy and comedy clubs, she loved the Simpsons, Family Guy which are still going strong. She loved gadgets and reality shows. She would have loved what they have done with Big Brother.
She was the first person I knew to have a laptop. So I know that she would have been very into Facebook , Twitter, X Factor and IPhones if she were with us today so my personal interest in those things is obviously on her behalf, well that’s what I tell people I believe it is what she would have wanted.
My sister. was a kind and honest person, ( sometimes to the point of rudeness) a gifted singer and songwriter, choir director and leader, a loving daughter, mother and sister. She was a loyal and supportive friend.
I know that my sisters death gave me the to leave my marriage , get divorced and pursue my dreams in the knowledge that life is short and that its best to do what you have to do and live you life with no regrets.
Twelve year.seems like a long time yet not a day goes past without me thinking of her.
I remember her not with sadness but with love, admiration, affection and joy and give thanks for the gifts she left to me , aspiration, inspiration, motivation and hope.
Till the next time
My Ex husband got remarried a couple of weeks ago
Was I bothered no… did it rock me yes
I got divorced 8 years ago after a difficult marriage which probably should have ended a long time before it did
My ex was hurt so it wasn’t amicable and he moved about a mile away from our house and maintained his relationship with the kids up, they stayed with him every other weekend and on Tuesdays. This continued until he met the lady who know is his wife and deteriorated further when they had a child together.
There has been lots of “renegotiating” of the boundaries and expectations of blended families so to say I had mixed feelings when I heard about their impending wedding and planned move to the Middle East is a bit of an understatement.
It was weird making sure they had smart clothes to wear so that they didn’t shame me, teen boy went with his girlfriend and teen girl invited a friend from school. They looked lovely and I took lots of photo’s (weird), the allotted hour came and kids being the lazy things they are asked me for a lift.
It was a beautiful sunny day, I couldn’t help but think of my own wedding day it had been muggy and hot, and there had been a thunderstorms the night before, maybe that was a sign.
We arrived, the first person I saw was my brother in law, he had been the best man at our wedding, he seemed pleased to see me and so did his wife, it was great to see them despite the bizarre circumstances.
I saw my ex…. he wasn’t pleased to see me… I don’t suppose I can blame him. I think the bride was due any second. So I made my excuses and quickly left with a lump in my throat mixed thoughts running through my head. One of them being why wasn’t I the one getting remarried. I had always intended to get married again and have another baby,things didn’t work out that way.. was it too late?
What did I do with myself, I went on a shopping spree and I ate doughnuts. I spent the day with a friend who made lots of tea, fed me and let me binge watch loads of television. It’s what I needed.
Apparently the day was a huge success, I was desperate to hear all the details, who came,what did they look like, had they been guests at my wedding? The photos were great. Teen boy made a speech that made everyone cry,the photos were great and a good time was had by all.
Me, I was shocked by the feelings that my ex’s wedding invoked in me, the regret sadness the emotions of loss and bereavement.
I was determined not to cry- and didn’t for 3 days but when it came it was heartbreaking and desolate.
I am writing this not as a woe is me piece but as a reflection that in spite of the passage of time and new partners coming and going (in my case), It is always a shock when your ex-spouse moves on to a new life with a new wife. It leaves you wondering where you are in your life, considering why your relationship ended in the first place and if you did the right thing. I have to admit lots of strange feelings played on my mind for a while.
On the positive side though I also felt it was time to move on, a time for new beginnings, a time to review my life and career, decide what I want and go forward. I have decided to start a blog, to do something different something for me.
Now that one door is now firmly closed there are lots of windows open – the future is mine and my children’s and its looking bright.
Till the next time
In the beginning….. I met a man, we bought a flat together got married (fairytale wedding) and had two beautiful children. Our intention was that we would live happily ever after and grow old together.
Real life intervened and despite surviving the death of close family members, multiple redundancies, debt and health problems we sadly sadly separated and divorced nearly eight years ago.
So now I am a single mother working full time healthcare with a house (no cleaner) and two very lively, funny and beautiful teenagers who I shall call Teen Boy and Teen Girl who enrich my life immensely.
I will be blogging about and my thoughts on life,laughter and work in the the melting pot of London and asking can you have it all ,happy kids, a clean house while staying sane and solvent!
I am looking forward to you accompanying me on my journey…
Until the next time Dawn