Christmas should be a time for joy and fun, unless you are a single parent, with two small children, no job, no prospects and little or no sleep.
Worrying about Christmas is keeping me awake at the moment, even on the rare occasions the children are actually sleeping.
I try to avoid thinking about it, hoping that if I ignore the festive season, it might just go away. But the days keep ticking past and the dreaded day is looming, like a spectre. I panic every time I consider the amount I have to do. I can’t afford presents for the children; I can barely afford to buy enough food for us all. My parents disowned me when I became pregnant, at the age of 16 with my first child, so I can’t even rely on them to help me.
I don’t really have any friends anymore, most people of my age are out enjoying themselves, not at home caring for two children. I would really like to talk to someone, but I don’t know who to turn to. My Doctor says, it’s the lack of sleep that makes me so depressed, but I’m not sure that’s right.
Sometimes, ending it, all seems the only way out, but what about my beautiful babies? Who will care for them, or maybe I should take them with me, to end all our suffering?
I will sleep now and see what tomorrow brings.
Feeling slightly better this morning, having had about six hours sleep. So, I am going to try and solve at least one of my problems today. I feel determined and positive, unusual for me.
I retrieve the decorations from the cupboard under the stairs and the children are excited and full of expectations helping me put up the tree, I inherited from my Aunt. I got some cardboard; silver foil and paper and the children helped my make decorations to hang on the branches. It cheers me up and bit and I just wish I could put some presents under the tree for my little angels.
Went to bed and slept quite well again, one less problem to worry about.
So today, I got the children dressed and took them to the food bank. I had avoided going before because it was so demeaning. But the people there were really nice, they made me a cup of tea and the children played with the toys while I chatted to a friendly lady. She gave me three carrier bags full of food, I struggled to put them under the pushchair to take them home. When the children were in bed, I put the shopping away, making plans to cook from scratch every day, giving the children healthier food. No more turkey dinosaurs or takeaways for them. I felt much better and slept like the proverbial log.
The food bank has promised me a special Christmas delivery, which will hopefully give us enough goodies to last the season. They said it would include either a small turkey or a chicken with fresh vegetables and lots of treats. I am really looking forward to the special delivery arriving. Maybe Christmas Day won’t be as awful as I thought.
Woke up this morning, feeling refreshed, children seem to be behaving better or is it that I can cope better? Found a letter on the doormat, it was a card from my neighbours, Pat and Ron, inviting me and the children round to their house on Christmas evening. I quickly wrote a card out for them, accepting the invitation gratefully. Things are really looking brighter.
But still got that one problem that I can’t do anything about, putting those gifts under the tree for my babies. I have managed a couple of £1 shop toys, just, but nothing else, hopefully they are too young to realise what they are missing.
So, the food bank parcel arrived today, in it was a bottle of Baileys. So, we all carefully poured out a glass with some rich tea biscuits and carrots for Santa and his reindeer. The children were beyond excited, which was contagious, or maybe I had a couple of shots of Baileys myself.
Slept like a baby and when the children jumped on my bed in the morning to wake me up, they were like little coiled springs, waiting to burst into life. We all went through to the lounge and I staggered back in amazement, because underneath my pathetic little tree was the biggest pile of presents, all beautifully wrapped and signed by Santa himself.
‘Tis the season to be jolly!
767 Words Sandy Bryson
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