I saw a meme recently that went along the lines of ‘you’re a real parent when you crave alone time then miss them when they’re gone’. Another popped up this morning that said ‘a mother thinks about her children every minute of the day. Even when they’re not with her’.
Well. I am admitting to clearly not being a ‘real’ mother then. Hand me the title of fake parent. Because I do NOT miss my children when they’re away. And I certainly don’t spend every minute of every day thinking about them. Shockingly enough, my brain is filled with other things beside the little dictators.
Now don’t get me wrong, I adore my kids (mostly – I mean #1 is 8. Her attitude stinks). But I am only one half of their parenting team. And I am not ‘just’ their Mum. My titles range from Mummy, to friend, to student, to PT, to daughter, sister, occasional dater, and full time badass. I am capable of more than just bringing up my children, and that’s ok.
I said goodbye to my children this morning and I won’t see them again until Sunday at 4pm. Obviously the toddler is different but in regards to the other two, I haven’t even thought about them since this morning. They are with their Dad, they are safe, and I have some time to do whatever I want. Which ironically today included going to parents evening BUT aside from that, I’m going to clean my house, I’m going to go to the cinema tomorrow with my other ‘fake Mum’ pal, on Sunday I have an event and then a jewellery party with other Mums’ who don’t miss their kids. I can’t wait. I relish time on my own. I need time on my own to be Sarah. Yes, that’s my name, I wasn’t christened Mummy.
I didn’t anticipate being a single parent and in some respects it is very very hard. But in other respects I am also very lucky. Some people live hundreds of miles away from their families, they literally don’t ever get time away from their kids. Currently my girls are away every other Thurs-Sun. They go on a Monday night for their tea. I get a fair bit of time without #1 and #2. And I’m extremely lucky to have a Mum who will take #3 if I have plans. I didn’t have my babies and automatically give up my right to enjoy things that don’t include them. I enjoy things that aren’t focused around my children and I’m not going to apologize for that. I am not just a mother, I am so much more than that and by being so much more than that I am a better mother.
Because funnily enough, I enjoy the time I do spend with my girls. It might not be as much as the stay-at-home mum around the corner, it might not be as much time as I was home this time last year, but I enjoy it all the same. I get to be an adult, a badass who climbs mountains in the dark, and also a semi embarrassing drunk every other Friday night when I stumble home to my Mums (she has #3) and wake up on the Saturday full of snap chat regret. And then come Sunday at 4pm I get to revert back to being a Mum again. Refreshed, de-stressed, and forgetful of #1’s stinking attitude.
As a society we need to stop making people feel guilty for enjoying some alone time. For focussing on ourselves sometimes. It’s ok to do that, hell we would all go insane if we didn’t.
Why don’t I miss my children? Because by not missing them, I get to enjoy them so much more.