Writing in the run up to Christmas, Ayesha shared with the Daily Telegraph her memories of her own divorce and her reflections on the impact it can have on the holiday period.
Reflecting on that Christmas, she said “Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews were singing But Baby It’s Cold Outside and in the video I was dancing in my pyjamas with my two little boys, then four and two, around our Christmas tree, laughing, unwrapping presents, looking the picture of happiness. But the reality was, it was one of the most sorrowful times of my life because I was in the middle of a divorce.” She added “that Christmas, our marriage was truly over. The lawyers were flexing their muscles, and I didn’t even know if the kids and I could stay in our home.”
Sharing this deeply personal story, Ayesha wrote that “A s the only child of a divorced single mother, I had desperately longed for a stable, conventional home. When my husband and I met we fell so madly in love that we got engaged five weeks from our first date. It was a dream come true. He was handsome and clever and funny, we were successful together and we had two beautiful sons. But it didn’t work out and I was so stuck on my desire to live out that dream of a lifelong love, of a two-parent family, that I hung onto it all long after I should have let it go.”
In the face of this Christmas, Ayesha resolved to make this holiday work for herself and her sons. “I’d toddle the boys up the road to help me drag back a tree,” she recalled “I’d go out and buy us traditional food and cook it, we’d curl up on the sofa and watch the Teletubbies and Some Like it Hot. I would prove to the boys and to myself that we were a family, the three of us; that we could have fun and be happy together even without anyone else.” She added “That was the watershed for me – that was when I knew I was going to make it through the dark times.”
She concluded by saying “I’m not going to tell you how to do it, if you’re going it alone for the first time. It might be a morning in the pub with friends, cocktails on a beach or hiking through the rainforest. You find the things that will work for you and yours. What matters is to grab that first Christmas on your own, don’t just get through it - really make it something you feel proud of.”