Today I am on my own. Yep, on my own. No kids, no husband. I love it, it’s such a rare treat, and I am going to enjoy it! Will I be clubbing, partying, going out with my friends? No, I will be SITTING DOWN.
When I was younger I hated being on my own. Growing up with a brother and a sister, friends always in and out and a mum who didn’t work for large chunks of my childhood, I was used to being surrounded by people. And when I wasn’t, I found it hard. When I went to university and when I moved away for work I hated it. I cried my own bodyweight in tears. Sometimes in just a day.
But 10 years of hardcore parenting have changed that. Now I like nothing better than my own company, to relax, to be ME, not just Mummy. And what does ME like to do? Reading, running, dancing and arsing about on the internet, mainly.
It’s probably a good job I’m not on my own too often as I think I would quickly go a bit mental. I talk to myself out loud, I swear even more than usual, out loud because there’s no-one to hear me, and my head is full to bursting with Facebook status updates (sorry, people) and blogs.
I must admit I hate the idea of my husband taking the kids out for the day. I have to pack up for them, check that every eventuality is prepared for. I feel a pang of something – sadness, fear maybe – as they drive off, then it’s like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Freedom!
Normally at that point the music would go on and I would start to dance. Yep, full-on street dancing. When I dance I’m not 37, I am young and cool. I’m pretty certain it’s not the mum equivalent of Dad dancing, well, I delude myself it isn’t at any rate. I’ve given up having music on when the kids are around because it leads to arguments about what song to play, kids dancing when they should be getting ready and kids under my feet when I’m trying to get ready, so even the music is a luxury.
But no music or dancing today, oh no. I had bigger fish to fry. Today I kicked off my day of freedom with a run. Not a poxy couple of miles. Twelve whole miles (there’s a whole other blog to come there).
Then to my favourite coffee shop for lunch. With only me there, my secret is out. Yes, it IS me that eats the chocolate muffin, not the kids. So what, I’ve run 12 miles, I could eat a (Quorn) horse and it wouldn’t even touch the sides today.
Then shops. Old habits die hard and I still found myself in the Disney Store. But today I was able to leave after two minutes rather than 15 minutes and no-one had to be chased around the shop or dragged forcibly out. Then Next to look at kids clothes (There’s a theme here – the kids are gone, but they’re not forgotten) without one boy and one girl constantly asking for things and the other boy constantly asking to leave. I was even able to start birthday shopping for B2. He hasn’t quite confirmed yet which box of Lego or which DS game he wants for his birthday, but I can buy him a couple of Tshirts in the meantime. There’s another birthday before that one – mine! So I looked in Superdry – for my cool, urban chick side – and Cath Kidston – for my yummy mummy side – to get some inspiration for my own presents.
And now I’m home and it’s time to READ! When my daughter started school I promised myself that I would devote a couple of hours of my free time every week to reading. Then I realised I don’t have free time, I have housework time, chores time and school governor time. I am going to read and read and read, watch a bit of telly, and then read some more. I am going to eat my tea in the lounge because I won’t spill it on the carpet. I am going to leave stuff lying round the house, safe in the knowledge that the culprit will, for once, pick it up and that it ain’t going to get any untidier.
And when my angels get home this evening, I am going to be the happiest woman in the world to see them again.