11 February 2011

Single mum's Saturday survival guide

It's Friday afternoon and you can't wait for the weekend to begin, right? Not so, says a single mum of two.


Somehow on my way home on a Friday afternoon, when every single and happily married person is looking forward to a great weekend, I’m filled with the dreaded question – how am I going to get through the weekend?

Weekdays are structured things – breakfast, nanny, school, supper, bath, and bedtime. Weekends are a blank canvas waiting to be filled with the neighbors’ kids overrunning my house, tantrums in Pick’n Pay, late nights and too early mornings.

So I say good-bye to the nanny, phone for pizza, feed the dog and the cats and tear my one-year-old's sticky hands from the blonde tresses of the neighbours’ two-year-old and brace myself for the chaos to follow.

Later Friday night when the kids are actually asleep by their normal time, I’m sitting on the couch with the rest of the pizza and contemplating my weekend plans. I plan only one thing per day per weekend, more than that is just asking for trouble. Groceries on Saturday, family outing on Sunday.

Saturday morning 6:30 arrives with one very sleepy mother, two wide-awake kids, two lazy cats and one friendly great dane all in one room ready to rise and shine. If I get downstairs semi-dressed, baby with new nappy not falling down the stairs and boy with underpants, then half the battle is won.

Shopping trolley challenge
After the “breakfast challenge” involving at least two types of breakfast cereal, K-tv really loud and strong coffee for me, we move on to the “getting-kids-ready-for-shopping challenge”. No problem really – just pack clothes, make up bottles, nappies, dress children (and yourself – easy to forget), load everybody and pram and bag in car, forget shopping list and move right along to the “shopping trolley challenge”.

The “shopping trolley challenge” warrants a column of it’s own, all I‘ll mention at this time is: little boy in Spiderman suit who needs bathroom makes more noise than big angry mama pushing trolley.

After surviving the supermarket I’m brave enough to face the Wimpy and two ice creams later the kids are sleeping in the back of the car, sticky all over. The weekend suddenly seems filled with infinite possibilities. "Just call me super mum," I think as I turn into the driveway almost running over the neighbours’ daughter in her fairy costume chasing my cat with her water gun….

(Mariette van Wyk, Health24)

Read more:

Beating single-parent burnout

Divorce support group



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