A second post! A great start. (I have never written a blog before – is it the kind of thing you are supposed to acknowledge, or is that terribly uncool? Should it be like a shy, new relationship, where you just sort of do it, without anybody mentioning what is actually happening?)

So…

With only 18 days left of the year and a shiny new blog to exploit (I mention it directly at the risk of breaking the Rules of Blogging), it seems like a good time for some reflection. 2009 has been an interesting year in lots of ways. I’ve left two jobs, launched myself into the scary world of self-employment and been on a string of dates – most notable only for their blandness. Friends call me fussy, but frankly it takes more than a bag of yogurt to impress me. But that’s a story for another time.

So as the end of the year approaches, I am feeling the urge to capture some of its highlights. Partly just so that I don’t forget them – I have an appalling memory – but also to celebrate my achievements, learn from my mistakes and hopefully make some plans for the year to come.

To do this properly, I am going to need to be honest, both about the things that happen to me and my feelings about them. I understand that this may not always show me in the best light, but surely that is part of the process? Sometimes I make stupid decisions and behave badly, put that is a part of me, and I will have to accept that. I could write a flattering version of events, pretend I have never said or done anything hurtful, but that wouldn’t teach me anything about myself. Plus it would be terribly dull to read…

This is me.

My name is Jo. I am a single mother to two daughters, aged seven and 14, and I work at home in a variety of different hats – mostly at the moment a wooly one, as I am too tight environmentally aware to put the heating on during the day for just me.

My life is a weird combination of hectic and dull, complicated yet often boring. It’s a hard mix to bear sometimes and without another adult in the house to sound off at, I often find by bedtime that my mind is a swirling swamp of concerns, tasks for the next day and random thoughts about life, parenthood and the plot details of Flash Forward.

This blog is going to be my silent partner, the husband I have never had, the substitute for the man who would undoubtedly be subject to my daily musings and rantings, were he here to listen to them. This will also be the place I go to ask myself for advice. As a single parent, you have no one to consult – no one to share the responsibilities of decision-making. I am only young, I haven’t had any training for this, and sometimes I’m not sure of the right thing to do. When is it ok for a girl to have her ears pierced? I randomly settled on nine as a suitable age, based on absolutely nothing at all, but it would have been nice to have a second opinion. At what age is it ok for my teenager to have boys at her sleepovers? I really didn’t know the answer to this one and it feels wrong that I am expected to come up with sensible solutions to these kind of things all by myself.

I find the act a writing a cathartic one – it helps to clear my mind and work through problems. Perhaps by sharing any questions with my blog I will become the wise and sensible mother I have always wanted to be, rather than stumbling blindly from one issue to another.

Entwined with the day-to-day tedium that is parenting, I am searching for The One. My rational side knows he doesn’t exist, which does make the search frustrating and disappointing sometimes, but my supressed romantic side won’t let it go. Not surprisingly, as a work at home single mum my opportunities for meeting eligible bachelors are limited. It could be a long search…