On Thursdays and Friday nights and every other Saturday I get a little taste of what it is like to be a single parent.
On these nights Daddy works a full day and then goes straight to his second job and doesn't come home until after midnight if everything runs to plan. If it doesn't I have known him to come home two or three hours after that. On the Saturdays that he works he is out from 8am to 8pm so he doesn't see the children or me really for three days.
It's weird when it is just me and the two children. Firstly I need to cook a meal but I can't rely on someone to look after Baby Boy. You can't expect a five year old to watch a baby whilst you aren't in the room. And of course even though Top Ender is five she still needs watching.
I don't like to rely on the TV to babysit for me, but I will put it on for them both to watch whilst I am out of the room. I leave the door open between the kitchen and the living room so that I can watch them too, but meals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are normally very simple affairs. Something that can either be cooked in ten minutes or under (pasta for example) or something that cooks without attention (anything that I can throw in the oven).
Bed time logistics are also something that needs to be carefully planned. Both children go to bed at roughly the same time. Top Ender needs to be in bed at 7:30pm so that by 8pm she is asleep. Baby Boy starts to go to sleep between 7:30 and 8:30pm, but is not able to go to sleep independently just yet, so timing is everything! Of course once the two children have gone to bed it is then time for all the chores to be done.
The dishes from dinner, watering the garden, tidying the living room, preparing for the next day and I'm all alone. Looking after the children by myself is something I do and don't complain about. Doing the chores by myself is something I do and don't complain about. Being on my own night after night, day after day is something that I don't know how I could cope with.
Every week when I get my little taste of being a single mummy I am glad that I am not.
So to all you single parents out there who do it for real day in and out, I bow to you.