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.


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