Even though money can be tight and your children may not be with you for the whole holiday, there are plenty of ways you can create a special Christmas for your family. Here are some top tips for single parents this Christmas put together by our advice and information team.
So my daughter has entered a new stage of development which seems to involve flinging herself face down on the floor and screaming. This is sometimes accompanied by high kicks and arm flailing. It's probably hereditary. My Dad told me that I once bit down on a doorframe of a toyshop because I didn't want to leave.
I actually think I'm a good parent when I've had a couple of drinks. I laugh more. Loosen up a tad. Let my daughter eat lots of cocktail sausages. I construct creative meals out of buffet foods- piling up her plate with crisps and cake (so she has a good balance of savoury and sweet). And I have fond memories of my own Mum being pissed...
We're still puzzling out what ostentatious breastfeeding might look like - flashing bosom beacons? Blinged-up breasts? A regal wave of a tiny hand? Whatever he had in mind, the act of feeding an infant is as likely to be ostentatious as the act of feeding oneself: which is to say, very unlikely.
"Why are there never any pencils in this house? If I could have one thing from Santa, it would be a working pencil," I said to my seven-year-old as I tried to tick off her homework. She gave me a look that said "Right....you go ahead and ask for a pencil, I'm sticking with the Anna Sleigh," and went back to her spellings.
As a parent of children who are fortunate to live in comfortable circumstances, I don't want to have to cancel Christmas or deprive them of the things they want. I don't want to make them feel guilty for having a better life than the many less fortunate children in the world. At the same time, I do want them to know that not everyone in the world enjoys the same level of comfort and security as they do.
All this puritanical, embarrassed, shaming behaviour towards subtly feeding a human infant now, is a head-banging hangover from those days - days when piano legs were covered up, lest anyone find them too scandalous. Crikey.
Keeping the many facets of our lives going is a great and progressively more common achievement that we have little choice but to challenge ourselves with. However, if you are not paying attention to the areas of your life that matter the most then in the end the success is found to be hollow because we dropped the ball that matters the most...
Many people will look at today's Page 3 - described by the Official Page 3 on Twitter as 'seriously sexy' - and feel uncomfortable about the inclusion of a picture of an innocent baby. It is the Sun newspaper which needs to be held to account for being the first to include a picture of a newborn in a sexualised soft porn image. A new line has been crossed and it represents a disturbing new low for the British press.
On my 43rd birthday I gave myself an unusual birthday present. I decided to freeze my eggs. İn the weeks leading up to this I'd been talking to people including doctors and women who'd frozen their eggs to help me make up my mind...
The problems occur when children come home, bloodstreams pumping with sugar overload. When those sugar levels rapidly drop the tantrums and meltdowns begin, and mum and dad suffer through the fallout. This is what irks parents most: the fallout.
It's been suggested to me that appropriate, discrete places to feed my baby while out in public are my car and a public toilet. Neither place is comfortable and the latter is certainly far from hygienic. Few adults like eating meals in cars or toilets, and I wonder why they think babies should.
I don't mean don't actually buy anything. But choose something that doesn't take up vast parental energy and room or involve marathon opening/building sessions. When storage is an issue, you need to maximise every millimetre.
The professionals, the midwives and the health visitors - the first port of call for mothers and fathers after a birth - are in agreement that PND does exist in fathers. They acknowledge it and are trained to ask about it, and this is a significant step in the right direction towards getting fathers the help they need.
I can't tell you what happens to everyone but I can tell you what happened to me. And I can offer some reassurances too. It does bring you together. Probably in the same way as two people being held hostage are brought together. But that wasn't how it worked from the start.
For many, the initial months following a separation or divorce are some of the most painful and difficult they will experience. When you add children to the equation, it can be difficult to cope with day-to-day life, let alone the enormous task of orchestrating shared childcare arrangements...