Fair to say that it’s been a few drinks between articles. But as you’d imagine, I have been somewhat busy. Christmas… Urgh.
That amazing time of year that all things warm, fuzzy and Christmassy, tug at your heartstrings, encouraging you to act out of love and devotion in the desperate bid to please every single person you know. Which of course never happens. Because that is impossible.
It is literally impossible to ensure that those nearest and dearest can live out their fantasy of what Christmas means to them. Because life just doesn’t work like that. Because if we all had symbiotic Yuletide fanatasies, the magic and memories of Christmas, by way of frustration, pressure and expectations, would never come to fruition.
Yes, Christmas is a time to immerse in the nourishment of family. Yes, it is a time to celebrate the joy of lifelong friendships. Yes, this one time of the year is made available for us all to strive for relaxation, love and laughter. But alas, does this ever truly occur?
For a large part no.
Now before you jump down my throat and rave of the wonderful time your have had this holidays, bare with me!
How was your lead up to Xmas? How was your travel to your final destination? No fights? Arguments? Wishes of escape? Threats of turning the car around? How low-key have your stress levels been throughout? Can you, in all honesty, say that these blissful days you imagine the entirety of your time off to be, outnumber the bad? 🤔 Well I hope they do. But I also understand if they don’t.
I / we actually had a great holiday break. 3 weeks back in the old hood spending time with friends and family alike. Plenty of laughs, plenty of late nights, arm bending and ensuing good times. It really was awesome. Yet not without its trials and tribulations.
Overtired and subsequently sick kids, a constant diet reminiscent of pagan royalty, different beds, routines and family dynamics. Throw in copious amounts of alcohol and overstimulation, travel and suitcase living, and well..
I am fucked.
Mentally, emotionally and physically knackered.
I don’t know if this is a scourge of the solo parent (because I don’t remember it being this way before Renee passed) or just the current social climate we live in; but as fun and enjoyable as our time was, I am totally drained. Shattered would actually be an accurate description.
I don’t really understand precisely why, but I am, for the purpose of this article, going to assume (please take note of that word any potential keyboard warriors) that my subsequent emptiness is in direct correlation to my single-parentdom.
Why? Because it’s my blog and I fucking said so. 🤣🤣
Seriously though, I found this year that I was uber conscious of being the solo parent of our family. Naturally this time of year draws a focus on family and what we as a society, subconsciously or otherwise, deem that to mean. Events, tickets, meals, shit even most casual questions and conversations, involve the two parent + children combo.
Which is not an issue in itself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking to add another letter or two to the LGBTQIA community, I just really felt the assumption this year. And I was very aware when spending time with two parent families of how the load is shared.
And this is where the wear and tear comes in. Not because of the actual situation. Not because of the frequent need to explain my family status. But partly due to the unrelenting physical demands of holidaying solo with children, and partly, as you probably have guessed already, from the constant reminder of what it is not.
This is a wonderful time of year for family and friendship. It is a time of global reflection and solidarity. It is unifying, collaborative, embracing.
But it is also a reminder of what’s missing.
Now I’m not going to get all sooky and woe-is-me right now. I just wanted to draw attention to the paradox of these celebratory times. Not everyone finds this time magical. Not everyone enjoys the atypical Christmas break.
I actually did, as fucked as I am now. Because to me, this is a time to celebrate what is, what was and what could be, and not to lament what is missing.
But to those that this is still a far reach; I get it. I understand. I know. And I truly hope this year brings you a little closer to what you wish for.
Here’s to a happier new year.