Single Parenting without the Kids

Single parenting – not to put too fine a point on it – can be a bugger, sometimes.

For starters, only a fellow single parent knows the sinking feeling of realising there’s no food in the house at 8pm – and you can’t go to the shop because your child is in bed.

This week, Flea has been away on a holiday with her Dad. Judging by the Twitter updates, she’s been having a fine time doing all the things I don’t let her do, which is actually fine by me.

And me? I’ve been remembering what it’s like to be a grown-up without responsibilities. The kittens don’t count, naturally. As servants of Satan, I have very little influence over them.

Things you can do when your child is away include:

  • Going to the shop at 9pm. Just because you CAN.
  • Putting the iPad down in full confidence it will still be in the same place when you go back to it.
  • Cooking a dinner that contains herbs. Flea declines to eat herbs as she is convinced all herbs are onions, in disguise.
  • Clearing out unwanted toys without facing hours of puppy eyes and panicked cries of “But I still play with that, Mummy”
  • Drinking alcohol in the evening. As a single parent, I’m usually too terrified to drink in case there’s an emergency requiring me to drive somewhere.
  • Play music LOUD.
  • Having grown-up sleepovers.
  • Not picking stuff up. When you have children, you have to pick up stuff because if you don’t, you lose all authority when asking THEM to pick up after themselves. While Flea is on holiday, therefore, I take advantage of the opportunity to not pick ANYTHING up.
  • Watch a video on a blog without a constant commentary of, “What’s that?” “Who’s that?” “Can I see?”
  • Take a day off. Take the phone off the hook, and stay in bed, watching movies and playing video games. Perfect. It’s like being a student, without the essays.

Having said all of this, I can’t wait for Flea to come home. I’m not one of those Mums that wishes away the holidays – I’m going to miss having my little friend to take on the world with. But for tonight, I’ll be making the most of my little window into child-free life.

Heck, I might even add chilli to the meatballs we’re having for dinner tonight.



Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 1st September 2012 / 2:07 pm

    I’m not a single mum, I’m a step mum. My 18 year old step son is away this week, it’s very much like the iPad, things being as you left them!!
    Emma recently posted..Pink and Slate gradientMy Profile

    • 2nd September 2012 / 9:14 pm

      Yes, it’s a strange sensation, isn’t it?

  2. Emma
    1st September 2012 / 2:12 pm

    My grown up sleepover invite is in the post right?

    I’m rather jealous I can’t remember the last time I peed without a small child watching me or attended a google hangout without having a child shouting that ‘he’s pooed’ in the background!

    • 2nd September 2012 / 9:15 pm

      I think Oli adds something special to your Hangouts!

  3. 1st September 2012 / 4:12 pm

    Ohh I love being able to nip out to the shops without the kids… it’s blissful! Just dress, grab wallet and keys, and out the door. You forget just how easy everything used to be. *sigh*
    I always look forward to the, admittedly very *very* few times, the boys go to their dad’s. Like you said – it’s like being a student again! On the other hand, once they’re away? I always miss them like crazy. Not enough to not enjoy myself mind you! 😉
    Marylin recently posted..An EpiphanyMy Profile

    • 2nd September 2012 / 9:15 pm

      I do miss her and I’m so happy she’s home – but there’s no point moping while she’s away so I fully indulge my inner student!

  4. 1st September 2012 / 4:58 pm

    I haven’t had a whole night like that for nearly four years! I would add: being able to continue reading the novel that has you gripped through the night instead of making yourself put it down and go to sleep because you’re on parent duty at 7.30am. Enjoy your evening!
    Midlife Singlemum recently posted..Back To School – Hooray!My Profile

    • 2nd September 2012 / 9:16 pm

      Oh yes, reading late is definitely one of the perks!

    • 2nd September 2012 / 9:16 pm

      I’m always happy 🙂

    • 2nd September 2012 / 9:16 pm

      My lips are sealed.

  5. 2nd September 2012 / 11:52 am

    I’m assuming grown-up sleepover means you pulled. Nice one.

    • 2nd September 2012 / 9:16 pm

      Well, not at the same time, one hopes!

  6. 4th October 2012 / 6:06 pm

    I think grown up sleepovers sounds like a lot of fun! Do they usually happen as a result of the drinking alcohol? (or is that just my bad self reminiscing my single days?) 😉

    My daughter is the same on the video thing – or any photos, she demands to know who they are and why she doesn’t know them and everything down to what they had for breakfast!

    This post really made me smile 🙂 xx