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The one where I feel sorry for myself

For the most part, single parenting is okay with me. I’m not one of those advocates who thinks it better than the alternative, but I don’t think it’s any worse, either.

But today…ugh.

I woke up this morning feeling a bit ropy. Nothing major, but not tip top. The chap was leaving to go off to work for the week, and I told him not to worry, we’d be fine. Then I stepped into the kitchen.

The smell of last night’s dinner brought me out in a cold sweat, my legs went wobbly, my stomach turned. I tried to take Flea to the local park for the morning, but we had to turn around and come home before we got there, I felt so wretched.

I spent the rest of the day crashed on the sofa while Flea played quietly, periodically stopping to stroke my arms, or face, or tummy. “Does this feel better Mummy? Do you like it when I do that?”

I couldn’t bring myself to make her any food until gone 7pm, and then I managed to fall asleep while it was cooking, leading my daughter to say, “Mummy, sometimes pasta and pesto has crunchy bits in it, and Zara says that means it’s burnt. Do I have to eat that bit?”

Fortunately, I’m rarely ill, but on days that this, single parenting really sucks. I can’t tell you what I’d give right now to be able to hand someone over to Flea for the day, or just to play with her for a few hours, while I have a long shower and collapse into bed. Oh, for someone to bring me glasses of Lucozade and glossy magazines. Except it's the weekend, when married people are off doing married things. And except I'm self-employed so I'm not even in bed, I'm on the sofa, sending out invoices and trying to answer emails. 

Fellow single parents – any top tips for getting through illnesses?

[nb, the Tots100 might not be up for a couple more days]


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.

About The Author


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.


  1. A Twitter User

    Feel better! It stinks when you have everything on your own head!
    But your daughter is precious stroking you like that. Bet that cheered you up at least a bit!

  2. Susie

    BTW-don’t know how I ended up just as a twitter use…???

  3. Gappy

    I usually just rest on the sofa while they watch back to back dvd’s.
    For dinner I break out the frozen pizza.
    Like you say, it’s really not very often, so no harm done eh. Needs must and all that.

  4. notSupermum

    Sorry you’re not feeling well, being a sick single parent is probably the worst time of all, but it does get easier as the children get older if that’s any help. Nowadays they can bring me drinks, make their own lunch and take care of themselves. They don’t do it when I’m feeling okay though funnily enough.

  5. Modern Dilemma

    Whilst I do have the Alpha Male still in residence I did a good impression of being a single mum for a number of years when he worked away Monday to Friday and then arrived home to a hero’s welcome on the weekend (yeah right).
    During those years it was sofa, DVDs and pizzas/pasta for tea whenever mummy was poorly. Worst time was the extreme vomiting in pregnancy (30 times a day anyone) with number 2. Number 1 seemed to eat a lot of Rich Tea biscuits during that period and she turned out fine.
    Do what gets you through.
    MD x

  6. SandyCalico

    Today’s the day I should have invited myself round for that coffee. We didn’t do anything of importance. Get well soon x

  7. Carly

    aaaw hope you feel better soon, how cute is Flea…what a sweetie pie trying to help you like that 🙂 Get well soon xxx

  8. The Mad House

    Sorry no advice, but just wanted to say Bah

  9. Liz (LivingwithKids)

    Bless you (I mean that in a non patronising way, take it as meant). Being ill sucks. Having to look after yourself sucks. But at least you had little Nurse Flea to take care of you. Hope you’re feeling much better today xxx
    P.S Burnt pasta and pesto? What would Annabel say?

  10. Josie

    Ah boo 🙁
    So sorry you’re not well matey. I’d come and burn some pasta for you and mess up your house if I lived a bit nearer. Sometimes it sucks being so far away from my friends.
    Really hope you’ve woken up feeling better today xx

  11. Vic

    That’s the point where I’d lower myself to the level of microwave meals. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  12. MrsW

    Having been a single parent for several years… and not one now, all I can say is – it aint no different!

  13. PippaD @ A Mothers Ramblings

    I know I am not a single parent and only pretend to be three days out of seven, but if I am feeling rotten I find it best to serve quick meals that I don’t have to think about (either frozen batched cooked ones, frozen left-overs or a take-away and sod the expense) or lots of sandwiches.
    Try and keep your fluids up and catch a snooze or two whilst Flea is watching a DVD or similar… and keep warm… and eat soup.
    And Get well soon!

  14. A Modern Mother

    Hope you are better soon. Do you think maybe you’re pregnant? 😉

  15. angelsandurchinsblog

    I’m not a single parent, but on the weekends when the other half is working I sometimes feel like one. It’s so horrible being ill when you can’t just be ‘ill’. Early nights are the only way forward, that and getting a friend to come over for an hour. But it’s hard to ask. Totally sympathise, hope you feel better soon, and hope you get a good night’s sleep.

  16. Noble Savage

    So sorry you’re not well. You can feel sorry for yourself all you want, you’re so allowed. Being a single mum and self-employed has got to take 30 different kinds of toughness so the fact that every once in awhile you need to be self-pitying is more than understandable. In fact, I’d say it’s healthy! Here’s hoping you’re on the mend soon. xx

  17. zooarchaeologist

    Its horrid feeling ill whether you are single or not, but you have my absolute totally utter and complete sympathy. I don’t know how you do it. Stock up on ready meals, tins of soup and frozen bread…
    Hope you feel tons better soon and if I could afford to send over a nanny/ PA I would…

  18. Rosie Scribble

    I was about to say something but the got distracted by Susanna’s comment. LOL!
    There’s not much you can do really. If I’m ill my daughter usually enjoys looking after me. That doesn’t always helps. Thankfully she is old enough to understand when I’m not feeling very well and lets me have a rest as long, as it’s a brief one.

  19. Mummy Mania

    I’m at home all day wtih the girls and beng early pregnant and sick and exhausted is no joke – I am literally counting the seconds until I hear the front door. So I really feel for you at the moment. I second a few voices above – TV and frozen food – and lots of sofa clinging! hope you get better soon

  20. Tattie Weasle

    Hope you are feeling a bit better now – I do the single parent thingy during the week and on those occasions when I’m ill: DVDs, naps, and beans on toast, lot and lots of toast…the boys never seem to mind and always know its going to be OK. When Flea goes to school and you can manage it take a day out or even half a day and get those magazines and have a wonderful lazy soak in the bath or whatever. Chill it will do the world of good.

  21. elizabethm

    Nothing much in the way of advice that hasn’t already been offered, just wanting to say how well I remember the feeling and how much it sucks! At least you have Flea, not some demanding, whiny type! Hope you are on the mend.

  22. magic mummy

    At least Flea hasn’t got the toy stethoscope out yet to try and make you better – that’s what my two do!
    Hope ur much better when you get up in the morning x

  23. Barbara

    Hope you’re feeling better now. You should be it’s taken me so blooming long to get here!
    I am lucky that the husband can work from home sometimes if I’m poorly. However, he usually chooses not to! On my poorly days I pretty much follow what everyone else has said – wall to wall dvd’s and pizza for tea. Once in a while it won’t kill them.

  24. Sally

    Thanks to everyone who has commented, it’s nice to get lots of sympathy!
    Feeling a bit more human today – enough to get Flea to school and stock up with oven-ready pizzas and cartons of juice for Flea while I take it easy.
    No, I’m not pregnant Susanna, although a sincere thanks for the inevitable twenty second panic while I mentally calculated dates. Just a bug.

  25. Mummy's Little Monkey

    Urgh, you’ve reminded me of a few months ago when I had this horrendous stomach bug and my partner was away for work. All my family live in NZ so I was totally and utterly on my own. I was in such a state that my partner ended up having to get his boss to drop around some medicine for me, which would have been really embarrassing, if I hadn’t been so grateful! Thank goodness my little one was unbelievably well behaved on that day. I can’t even remember how I fed her that day – it must have just been Alphabetti or something else from a packet or can, because I certainly wasn’t capable of preparing her usual meal!!


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