Work like you don't need the money.Love like you've never been hurt.Dance like no-one's watching.Sing like no-one's listening.Live like there's no tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The A- Z of Single Parenting; O to Z

O- Organisation.This skill sums up the grass roots of successful Single Parenting. Sadly it is the thing I am least talented at. A beloved friend of mine, had it sussed within weeks of her abandonment by a AWOL husband and armed with a million lists complete with timescales; attacked the barren Northern Face of flying solo, with gusto. Nothing could be done without a very Strong cup of tea, a notepad and her diary. Organisation is key if you are to hold down a job, that is ;if you want a snowball's chance in Hell of anyone taking you seriously and also, to avoid your offspring suffering from neglect. An organised Single Parent deftly handling clashing School Performances, Business calls, dental appointments and Tesco deliveries is poetry in motion.

P - Pants. This can be used as an adjective to describe the sort of day you've had but actually is a living nightmare of the cotton variety. If you accidentally miss a whites wash, after a day of work and exhausting dramas, then the next morning the full horror of the dawning realisation that there are no clean pants, hits you like an express train. Older boys can be bribed to wear their swimming trunks (oh yes!) but nothing will coax a seven year old girl, in need of her big cotton M&S best, into a bikini bottom. Hence mid school run, a certain parent has been known to screech to a halt outside a well -known supermarket and hurl herself towards the Children's Clothing section, grabbing the nearest 5 -pack of High School Musical briefs and pelting hell for cotton to the self serve. Of course the moral of this sorry tale is, that on reaching the car she will discover she has inadvertently picked up age 12-13years.......

Q - Quality time... for whom? When??

R- Rest and relaxation; is either acquired in bed, between midnight and six am, or on a "Night Out" with the Girls. Both require strenuous planning and determination to achieve the desired outcome. The former, because you might well have permanent residents who share your bed (and have done since your Ex left!) and the latter because every conspiracy known to womankind, will psyche itself up to stop you teetering out of that front door, clutching a ridiculously small handbag and your lip gloss! But Rest and Relaxation should be taken in moderation ,for fear that some kindly soul will comment on how easy your lot is and they don't know why you make such a fuss about this single parenting lark! You've been warned!

S - Sex. Not for the faint hearted. Any newly single Parent will tell you they would rather have hot bath and a cup of tea. But as time passes and the winking lights of Internet Dating Sites begin to pop up on your home page (How do they know?? Do you have a "Dumped" label on your back??) you are drawn by the lure of and E-Harmonie. Hours are wasted fruitlessly trolling through pages of "too short", "too tall", "too stupid" and "pig ugly" and the search engine despondently tells you it has zero hits, when you type in "Kind". Anyone making a foray into this emotional bargain basement should remind themselves that there s always a reason why these men are single.... Rebound sex is apparently like running a Marathon in Clogs. Go figure.....

T- Tidy. This is the compromise that Single Parenthood forces on your house pride. It supersedes clean!

U - Unwelcome Revelations. The bug bear of many a a single parent. Some score right up there with being poked in the eye with a blunt stick. For example the Dental Nurse who asks ,as she sucks your saliva out of your mouth with the noisy plastic tube, whether you are related to the man who has the same surname as you? And without waiting for your reply, commenting that she went out with him in 2001.... approximately half-way through your marriage....

V - Violence. To be restricted to daydreams about how your Ex could get their comeuppance and occasionally against inanimate objects such as bollards (reversing to fast) saucepans (falling out of disorganised cupboards)shopping trolleys (they deserve it) and Hi Fi systems (which bounce when thrown!)

W - Willies. Nothing can prepare you as a Mother, for having to handle your adolescent son's questions and anxiety about his Willy. Your mind screams, "This is not my bloody job, where s his Father when you need him!?" So I did what any good Single Mum would do...... bought a book on how to care for your willy (yes there really is one), several copies of Nuts magazine, four boxes of Kleenex and put a lock on his bedroom door. Job done and for the first time in his Life my Son is an avid reader. Big Parental Brownie points!

X - is for Kisses XXX. The only ones you ll get are on homemade cards which suddenly become more precious than diamonds. These paper offering s will clog your underwear drawer long after your little darlings have flown the roost!

Y- Yes. I have developed a full blown case of Yes syndrome. I suspected it was a genetic flaw but it has taken on a life of it's own, leaving me completely incapacitated above and beyond anything my own Mother suffers from. I say "Yes" I will take seven children and two crazy dogs sledging in the Dark; "Yes" of course I ll take on totally unnecessary emotional responsibility for Friends, Friends' s disturbed adolescents, lost and abandoned psychopaths, drunks, drug addicts, pathological idiots etc etc. Why ? Why simply because there, but for the grace of God go I; and I know that if it was me that I would be swamped with offers of help and support from those who are themselves in the least suitable position to help, but they still offer.

Z - My addiction, widespread amongst Single Parents; Sleep (Zzzzzzzzzzz). I crave it , fantasize about it, plan for illicit liaisons with it, in snatched moments between work and the school run! Its allure is irresistible and beckons me from the furry blanket softness of the sofa when I should writing University essays or loading the dishwasher. I am helpless with desire and succumb almost every time... Just 5 mins.........
Did you know that Life could be this exciting!!!


  1. Fantastic AGAIN!! How do you do it?? You truly are to be admired Mel-are all these bits true??? (U )???

    Becky x

  2. Love it love it love it.
    When is the book deal????

    OMGosh at the dental nurse story! Talk about being stung while in a vulnerable position!!!