Saturday, 08 May 2021
IT’S not easy being a Single Mum — in the countryside or anywhere else. Then again, it’s not easy being a mum full stop.
At least, though, when you’re part of a parenting couple, you have someone else to blame when your kids have a massive meltdown in Waitrose, someone else who can order the pizza when you’re too knackered to even make the call — and someone else who’s as interested as you are in your beautiful offspring.
Because, let’s face it, your own kids are fascinating and hilarious. Everyone else’s kids? Meh.
They say there are millions of Single Mums in the world today — and most of them are married. I don’t have the exact figures to hand, but I do know that I felt like I was winging it on my own many times when I was married.
So much so, I thought I knew what it would be like to officially be a Single Mum. But I was wrong.
For instance, I thought that:
• Other married mums would want to keep their kids away from mine and be super-judgey and sneery about my situation.
Well, one or two are, I suppose, but I don’t really notice them, to be honest — I’m too busy trying to stop my feral kids setting fire to the school.
• My kids would be devastated by having to leave the city and start a new life in the country.
In fact they were cool about it. It helped that I sold it to them as the beginning of a fantastic adventure, full of Bambis and Thumpers — and sweetened the pill with the wildly optimistic promise of a puppy.
• Getting a puppy would ease the transition and we’d have him in Dubarry dog boots within six months.
Cookie, 35kg of couch-eating, carpet-staining terror, was one of my more questionable decisions since the divorce, merely adding to the already crippling stress and exhaustion we suffered in the first six months.
But now, a year and a bit on, he’s calming down and we love him beyond all reason. He still won’t put the boots on, though.
• No one would invite me to dinner parties because I didn’t have a husband to drag along with me.
I don’t get invited to dinner parties, that much is true, but it’s probably more to do with my well-known preference for a cup of Horlick’s and an early night than the fact I have no bloke in tow. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
• Other mums would think of me as a very real threat to their own marriages, desperately wanting to race off their husbands.
As far as I know, not one mum in their right mind (or even any of the crazy ones) has ever even remotely considered this a possibility.
Maybe this has something to do with my decidedly non-designer ripped and torn clothes (thanks, Cooks), general daggy demeanour and, when talk turns to dishy dads over coffee after school drop-off, I can only relate by confessing my raging crush on all the guys in Horrible Histories. Yep, even the chubby one.
I was wrong about millions of other things, too. But there’s no need to bang on about them — the kids tell me often enough as it is.
Even Cookie gets in on the act, pointing out the error of my ways and putting me straight by stealing and scoffing that Halloumi I was saving for my lunch.
But that’s another story…
15 September 2017
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