I’ve been asked a few times what I do on the weekends A is at her dad’s (that’s every other weekend) and earlier I saw a post on @frolo_app on instagram about how lonely weekends when your children are at the other parent’s can be so I thought I’d tell you what I do and give some advice.
So here is a summary of what I did this weekend:
Friday 5.45PM: drop off A with her dad at St Pancras, this went badly as she was screaming that she didn’t want to go and wanted to stay with me. Her dad had to physically restrain her and carry her away screaming. People possibly thought she was being kidnapped!
Friday 7.45PM: cab to my friend’s birthday dinner. There were 4 of us and we had an interesting conversation about how much “outsourcing” of your children is OK. As a single mum if I didn’t use babysitters I would have very little freedom, she’s only at her dad’s 4 nights a month so other people than me do look after her from time to time. To be honest I feel lucky to be able to afford babysitters.
Saturday morning: annoyingly wake at 7.30 AM despite going to bed at 1AM and being childless this weekend. Somehow manage to go back to sleep for another hour between 8.30 and 9.30. 2 fried eggs on crumpets, 2 cups of tea and 2 episodes of Marie Kondo on Netflix and I’m ready to face the world and also now have an obsession with tidying up!
Saturday afternoon: I go to TkMaxx and find A a great coat for next winter and then go to one of my favourite places in the world to buy cleaning supplies: Lidl!!!
I spent the rest of the afternoon “Marie Kondoing” the flat and feel much better after filling bags with rubbish and stuff to take to the charity shop. How long it will take me to get to the charity shop is anyone’s guess…
Saturday 6PM: I get on the tube to go to my boyfriend’s, later we go out for very good sushi and my new obsession (in addition to Marie Kondo) green tea ice cream!
Sunday is spent with my boyfriend, we go to a reformer pilates class, which is hard but that I really enjoy. If I could I’d have a reformer machine in my house!
4.30PM: I leave to go back home and get ready for A to come back
5.45PM: A is back, she always gives me the biggest hug when she gets to the door and then the whole dinner, bedtime malarkey begins…
I realise I’m lucky I have a boyfriend and see him most Saturday evenings and usually at least part of Sunday when A is at her dad’s and that clearly fills up a good chunk of the weekend. I’m also lucky that I am very happy spending time alone and don’t really get lonely. Also in the past 2 years since my ex-husband moved out I haven’t given my flat as much love as I should have so always have plenty to do and now I’ve discovered Marie Kondo I’m unstoppable! Also I always do barre or pilates on my weekends without A and using your weekends without children to exercise is definitely something I’d recommend.
On Friday night I mentioned that I feel a bit awkward seeing my friends that have families at the weekend as there is this understanding that that is “family time” and it feels a bit odd meeting up alone without bringing my daughter. However my friends made it clear that I’m always welcome to come over with child or without, not that I ever doubted it. Don’t assume you’re disturbing any of your friends that aren’t single at the weekend.
So here is my advice for any single parents on the weekends you don’t have your children:
- Try and be super positive and see this time as a gift as most parents NEVER get a break
- It’s the ultimate time for “self care”
- Don’t feel bad if you do nothing, I have spent hours and hours watching the Kardashians or my ultimate favourite “Million Dollar Listing New York” and I have no shame!
- Follow the Frolo app on instagram, there are loads of interesting discussions on their stories and once it launches it will be the perfect app for meeting other parent’s in the same boat
- Try and join your local “single parents” Facebook Group or set one up if there isn’t one
- Use that time to exercice, it’s good for the soul and the body
- Marie Kondo your house!
- I’m always happy to meet new people so if you’re in London get in touch!
- When you’re ready, join a dating app, if anything it can be pretty entertaining!
- Do what makes you happy and relaxes you whatever that may be – this is your time
When I realised my husband and I were going to get divorced, one of the things that made me the saddest was the idea of not seeing A at the weekend but I’ve learnt to really appreciate these weekends and I actually even need them for my mental health because the rest of time parenting alone is INTENSE.
On that note, remember the following: