For many of us, the weekend means a chance to chill out, catch up with friends and family, have a lie in…but spare a thought, dear readers, for the single mum – because weekends can be difficult. Her married friends tend to be busy with their own families and her childless single friends having a lie-in after a night on the tiles or just generally pleasing themselves – meeting up for a coffee, going shopping or catching a film. But as sole carer of small children, lie-ins and pleasing oneself may be a distant memory. Going to see a film is fine, as long as it’s by Disney and rated U. The days can seem awfully long if you are not only Chief Cook and Bottle-washer but also Cleaner, Chief Entertainment Officer and Referee of the inevitable squabbles. Merely going out for a coffee can entail lengthy preparation and packing for every eventuality which -depending on the age of your children – could mean anything from bottles of formula, nappies and a change of clothing to colouring books or electronic gadgets. I can certainly remember weekends where I longed for Monday morning!
But what of your ex’s access weekends?Here’s an extract from my book which describes that dilemma:
At first, when I had to give my children to my ex for his access weekends I felt completely bereft…When the children had been collected I used to wander through the eerily quiet and empty house and into their bedrooms, usually in floods of tears…But don’t fall into the trap of moping all weekend just because you’re single now and feeling sad. I made it a rule to always organise at least one nice outing per childless weekend and I still do to this day. This could mean going to a party, out with friends, or having someone over for coffee, lunch or supper. It could mean going to see that new film, trying out a new bar or having a drink at your local pub, having a massage, walking round an exhibition, sight-seeing -anything you like as long as you are going to have company and have some fun. Even if it feels like an effort, do it and I promise you that nine times out of ten it will give you a much-needed boost to your morale. You deserve it.
“THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How to Pick Up the Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available now on Amazon as an eBook and will be released as a paperback on 1st July.