Christmas as a single parent

It sucks… let’s just get it out of the way. Christmas as a single parent really, really sucks.

This is the first year where bridges have been burned, the end of the road has been reached etc etc. Things are going to be awkward. There will be tears. There already has been, even whilst writing this…

No-one will be happy all of the time. Not me, not mum, not even the most important person in all of this, Heidi. Unfortunately, with her being 3 years old, she probably won’t know what she wants until it is too late. Regardless of all the plans, unless they are perfect/lucky, they won’t please her. Maybe in a couple of years time, she will be able to say exactly what she wants, and mean it, but not at the moment sadly. That is the worse thing about all of this, the poor little thing is going to be really confused and upset and there is nothing I can do.

It sucks.

I am already dreading the time it will be to say goodbye on the big day. Mind you, I dread it every single time, be it summer, winter, weekday, weekend. It is an emotion that you can never escape as a single parent.

It sucks.

The last couple of years, we have managed to spend the day as a notional family so we all spent the day with her and made it as “normal” as possible. Sadly, despite best efforts, that doesn’t seem to be on the agenda so even 2 weeks before Christmas, I have no idea what is actually going to happen.

It sucks.

However, in the days leading up to and after Christmas, I am going to treat every day like it is Christmas Day. Ok, there won’t be any presents or crackers or big dinner, but there will be fun times, laughter, adventures and love.

That is the best that I can do for myself and Heidi. That is the only way I can do Christmas as a single parent.

Yes, it will suck on Christmas Day, regardless. Christmas as a single parent s rubbish. But I’ll have the memories of the days before and the planning of the days after to think about.

At least that’s the plan…

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Cinderella’s Christmas Wish – Review (7/12/2016)

Firstly, there is a special preview post for the show here so feel free to give that a read first, prior to reading the review post, especially if you have never been to or heard of the Rainbow Factory.

Secondly, there are no spoilers whatsoever, so even by reading this, you won’t know what is going to happen, or how it is going to happen – the magic for young and old will certainly be there still!!

Writing a review for anything to do with the Rainbow Factory is so difficult because no matter how creative or spectacular the blog post is, it pales into insignificance compared to the magic they produce, and that magic was in full force for this show!!


The first part of the show is what you would expect from Cinderella, setting the scene, introducing the ugly sisters (with a difference!!) and Cinderella. However, after 15 minutes, the story turns from a traditional fairy-tale to a unique Rainbow Factory creation, thanks to the mystery character, played by Lydia Toumazou.

Once this character enters, the audience interaction jumps up a notch, children start to feel the need to shout to help the characters and there is laughter filling the room. This is because the groundwork has been set, and the characters play off each other wonderfully to get to this stage.

The ending is somewhat traditional, but this underlines the fact that you are watching a performance based on Cinderella, but a completely unique performance nonetheless.


Think of it like a Rainbow Factory sandwich (bear with me…!) Between the start and end of the show, which are based around tradition and fairy tale, there is a middle jam packed with creativity, magic, and laughter – everything that the Rainbow Factory is famous for. Getting this mix right is difficult, but they managed to do it perfectly.

Just a couple of notes to be aware of, given that the performance lasts 40 minutes and there are only two performers, shortcuts have to be taken in the story, but you are in no doubt that you are watching a Cinderella performance. Also, be prepared for slight audience participation if you are (un) lucky to be chosen – thanks Lydia!!!! Nothing to worry about at all, but just thought that I would mention it!!

Look at the children mesmerised!

The quality of the performance is of the highest standard, Lydia is the Education Director of the Rainbow Factory and wrote the show and has a First Class degree from Cambridge, as well as 25 years of working in the arts and education industry (which meant that she started when she was 3 I think!). Rachel Abigail Smith is Cinderella and has performed on some of the nation’s biggest stages – this is not an amateur production by any stretch of the imagination.

Speaking of imagination – the performance pushes your imagination, relates to your child’s imagination and as such, develops them further in ways that perhaps no other Christmas show will. The show entertains as well as stimulates and develops them.


As a footnote, we got to meet the cast for photos afterwards and I’m sure that this will be a regular thing throughout the show-run, so hang around for pictures and look at the set (hint: look above the fireplace!) However, I mention this because the person to sort this out wasn’t the Communications Manager or one of the other members of staff, it was the Managing Director. This attention to detail and customer care (and child friendly attitude) from everyone involved in the Rainbow Factory makes it one of our favourite places to visit, but also means that this show will be enjoyed by so many people throughout the Christmas period.

Shows are selling out quickly so go to to get some tickets! Tickets are £6 each (bargain!) and there are a whole host of FAQ’s on their website.

FULL DISCLOSURE: We received 2 complementary tickets to attend the show. However, the thoughts are my own.

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