Wednesday, 27 November 2013


The realisation has hit me that Christmas is just round the corner! I think I have actually gone into panic mode! I have done absolutely nothing, not one single present bought for anyone, I have not even wrote a single Christmas card. This I feel guilty about, as I love to send cards to the people who mean a lot to me, especially the ones who I don't get to see or stay in touch with as much as I should. I am now going to make it my mission to make these people know how much they mean to me this festive period. I feel that we all lead such busy and hectic lifestyles that sometimes we don't show our friends how much they mean to us, so I am taking Christmas as the opportunity to do may be receiving love from me ;)

So Christmas as a single parent, what does it mean to you? How do you spend the festive holiday? Do you look forward to It or do you dread it due to circumstances or financial worry? It is such a magical time for not only children but adults too yet through years of increasing commercialisation we seem to have lost the meaning of what Christmas is really about, which is the birth of Jesus.

It seems the focus is completely on decorations, food, drink, and an expensive list of presents! Whilst I am not disputing that I myself are amongst the people who think of Christmas in this way i still fear that we are to blame in the way this celebration period is changing and what views our children are starting to adopt.

I really want that magical feeling back, I want to go carol singing and I want my daughter to grow up appreciating Christmas and not expecting the latest IPad or other techno gimmick. This should be a chance to celebrate with love and feeling and spend it with the people we care about. For me I feel this is a great time to also reflect on the past years events and give gratitude for all you have.

With the increasing commercialisation of Christmas, single parents and parents in general are feeling the pressure and stress of fulfilling the "idea" of what Christmas is today, which is presents, presents and more presents! I was walking with Isla-Mae the other day and two boys were stood chatting, I could hear they were talking about what they wanted for Christmas, what upset me the most was the fact they were then comparing how many presents they each got and the value of each present! How upsetting that our children today see this as a competition and not only is this a bad view to have but this also places parents under pressure too.

I for one will not be stretching my budget to accommodate the commercialised Christmas that we have today! I will be gifting my friends and family with what my budget allows for. The gift in my eyes is about thought not price tag. Isla Mae gave me a leaf the other day and with it came the words "I love you mummy" to me this means more than any gift money could buy and if my budget buys this kind of response from my child then I am one happy mummy.

Single parents have a hard time through out the whole year struggling financially, feeling the stigma and trying to fit in. There is no shame in not being able to afford and company is all you need! I have come up with a few ideas for Christmas gifts on a budget that I hope will help some of you who are feeling the struggle this year and these are as follows:

  • Pound, pound and more pound stores! You will be surprised what gifts can be found in the pound store.
  • Charity shops/boot sales/selling groups online- are great sources for gifts, second hand is not to be knocked and you will be surprised at the quality of gifts that can be found today.
  • Shop early- prepare for Christmas 2014 by grabbing reduced and sale items in January! Keeping a box of gifts in your wardrobe and topping it up gradually through the year, spreads the cost and eases the stress.
  • Special offers- keep your eyes open in stores at the special offers

Remember Christmas is to be enjoyed not feared! If you are feeling stressed or are going to be spending Christmas alone and feel very lonely and lost then PLEASE message me as I would love to chat to you. Let's make this Christmas a magical one for our children.

Love to you all

Tara and Dream Bear xxx

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Beginning

With a glass of red in one hand and a cigaret in the other, I have, after a few turbulent weeks finally found my bloggers mojo! It has taken me an evening of copious amounts of alcohol and close friends to reach my next blog.....the beginning!!

I guess in times when you are feeling so low that only yourself can describe as lost! Is the time when you have feelings such as being engulfed in a black cloud, where you feel you have no where to run but then realise that you have everything, everything you ever wanted or needed around you! My friends :) At times it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to see where your future lies, but then suddenly it's like a light switch flickers on and you see that your destiny is a future from the current journey you are riding.

My journey started with that Teddy bear known as Dream Bear, the bear that has not only brought my daughter such happiness and comfort but also brought me a vast amount of love and reassurance! To some this may seem silly or even ridiculous however this Teddy Bear has become the glue and missing jigsaw puzzle to so many things in our life.

He is our guidance, our support, our friend, our family, our neighbour, our counsellor, best friend and soul mate. Dream Bear is our passion and he will continue to help us grow as a family and hopefully help other single parents.

From the the day I got my new bed from Dreams bed store, the teddy that was given to us free with that bed has given my daughter the extra support structure that she needed and lacked from another parent......her biological father.

Being a single mother I have always been passionate about the rights, advice, support and information that is available in such a crucial and hard role. It is my passion and aim to help other single parents in such positions to succeed, feel happy, loved and parent their child in the best way possible with the use of my wing man Dream Bear. I genuinely feel that there is a shortage in help for single parents as there is so much that goes with this label, such as depression, financial worry, social acceptance, emotional support, physical support such as funded childcare, abuse, relationship advice etc, my list could go on and on. Sometimes and not just single parents, go through such pain and will feel completely overwhelmed by certain circumstances, I want to open that communication channel where when in these situations a person can come to Dream Bear and feel like they have a friend :)

Dream Bear is a support network I have set up to help do just that. I have been overwhelmed by the feedback and messages I receive across the UK from single parents in similar situations, which each day gives me the acknowledgement and reassurance in knowing that I am doing the right job! It started with me writing (blogging) about my thoughts, feelings, behaviours and fears and has now travelled into the social media world with myself being made an official blogger for mumsnet and I am also having a website created where there will be a forum for single parents to chat, along with lots of information, advice, offers and lifestyle content. Dream bear is on a journey, we have a clear direction but with day to day life experiences and feedback from the public, we continue to evolve, heading in many directions. We have celebrity backing which helps us immensely and also confirms our worth.
Our beginning began the day I fell pregnant and continues to grow 4 years on!

If you would be interested in volunteering in anyway then please contact myself (Tara) on the Dream Bear Facebook page :) We would love your help! A special thanks here goes to all those who have helped me make this dream a reality! I love you all long time, you know who you are :)

Good evening guys and dolls
Tara & Dream Bear xxxxxxx