I have never had any trouble leaving my children. From a very young age they have gone on sleepovers for one, sometimes two nights at a time. I loved the break and I loved the chance I got to miss them. I think it plays a big part in rearing children that are independent when they can comfortably leave their mother. The opportunity would make me realise that I wouldn’t be without them.
Usually when you leave your kids it’s for an event of some sort, so you are out of your house and you are busy, and with the help of God having a great time. When you are a single parent this changes. If you are lucky the other parent takes the children from time to time.
This means you are left at home. Childless. Alone. And this time, it’s for a full week.
Now I’m not about to complain. I know there are many mothers who are frazzled and would give a kidney to have an hour at home. Childless. Alone. Admittedly it is pretty frickin fantastic……….at first. Even though the children are not here they still occupy all my head space.
First point of call is catching up on all the housework that I don’t get around to when they are here. I hate housework so I spend more time thinking about it than actually doing it, and I never seem to learn. Every time I see something they’d like on the T.V. I record it. Then it’s coming to that back to school time so I’m planning uniforms and school bags and lunch boxes. There’s forms to be filled in and registrations to be made.
Ideally I’d head off to Spain for the week they are away, but all my money is focused on getting them what they need, and leisurely activities for Mammy is way down that list.
So I’m really just left living normal life without the beings that make everything in my life worth doing.
I complain about parenting a lot. ‘Overwhelmed’ is my general state of mind. So I feel like I could do with a week off. My father often says… ‘well, this is what you signed up for,’ The point is, I didn’t sign up to do it alone. I thought I’d have a partner to share the load with. I don’t. All that being said, when they leave you for a week everything becomes very clear.
Yes it’s great to get a break. Yes I plan on enjoying every minute of it. I can eat junk food before 6 pm and I don’t have to watch Toy Story every evening. I only have to dress myself and the laundry basket is almost empty. I can get dressed after my shower without the children laughing at my wobbly arse, and I don’t have to share my bed. They are all trivial in the grand scheme of things.
Once you are a mother, you are always a mother. My children may not be in my company but they are never out of my mind.
I wonder what they did with their day and what they are wearing. Did they brush their teeth and how many fights have they had in the last hour? Mostly I’ll spend the week missing them despite counting down the weeks since their week away this time last year. I spend a good portion of the time fearful that they are not missing me at all. I can only hope that they’ll look forward to coming home as much as I’m looking forward having them back!