I want you to know that, no matter what, things will be different this time next year. You'll never, ever have to go through the first time again, your children will be older and a lot of water will have passed under many a bridge by the time another New Year's Eve comes around.
You will be braver, stronger and more at peace than you can ever imagine, even though things might not be perfect. No-one's got it perfect, even if they look like they have and it's important to remember that.
No matter which way your life goes - and it may not stray too far from where you're presently at - if your kids are happy and healthy then you're doing a great job and have much to be proud of.
This time will go quickly and it will be special, just you and them. Your friends might be out partying while you're stuck at home 'baby'sitting, but you get used to it and, frankly, you need all the rest you can get, so it's not necessarily a bad thing.
|My boys, now 10 1/2 and 6 1/2.|
And here's another little message some of us more seasoned ones received kind of from arguably the most famously successful single parent ever -
I don't want to stay a single parent for ever and I'm sure you don't, but it's necessary to have breathing space before moving on. Kid yourself not that the fall-out from your ex-relationship won't affect a new one. It needs to be well dead in the water before you can begin again.
And I don't mean any offence to those who have lost partners. That's a whole other grieving process for which you have my sincere condolences and hearfelt hope for healing.
Lots of lone parents don't want to move on and meet anyone else, even if only for a while. That's mostly women. We pick up the pieces of so many emotions for so many people you wouldn't believe it unless you'd experienced it first hand.
Friends and family are affected by any split or divorce and the changes that can occur there can be just as painful as those between partners and the effects on the children.
So cut yourselves some slack. Enjoy yourselves as far as possible and please stay postive as you see in 2016.
Happy New Year to my single parent friends, new and old and to you, my lovely, mainly happily married readers. Thank you for your company these last few years. I hope we can spend many more together and I really look forward to seeing how far we've all come when we're toasting 2017!
Chin Chin and Lots of Love,