School holidays can be a difficult time for all parents, but particularly for single mothers and fathers who are raising children alone. Read the article for practical advice about sharing childcare and improve your language skills as you complete the activities.
Holidays for separated parents
During the school holidays, it can be helpful to make a list of all the school holiday dates and how much childcare is needed so that your ex and extended family can understand the situation, especially if you work and are trying to juggle your own annual leave. Spread out your days together over the school holidays so both parents have a chance to spend quality time with children. Plan ahead for all the costs of childcare so that all parties can come to an agreement together, avoiding any misunderstandings or resentment later down the line.
When your children do go off with your ex, you may feel a mixture of emotions from loneliness to relief. And you shouldn't feel guilty for feeling relieved when the children go off for the weekend - it’s tough bringing up children alone and you deserve a break. When the children go, your home will seem exceptionally quiet so try to make the most of the time by catching up with friends or doing something for yourself.
You may feel resentful and hurt about your child spending time with the other parent, particularly at first, but it's important to share those feelings with another adult, not the child. Children can pick up on our feelings and can be torn between parents, feel guilty and confused and may react by avoiding one parent or lashing out at the other.
Where possible, it is good for children to have continuing contact with grandparents, aunts and uncles from both sides of their birth family, for the stability they offer and the continuing link with their own origins. Keeping in touch can also offer practical help as they can help with childcare.
Family Lives is a charity which aims to support families living in the UK. You can read the full article on their website http://www.familylives.org.uk.