Living the single life

AFTER two weeks playing “single mum”, I bow down to all those women raising children single-handedly.

I don’t know how you do it.  I rang my husband in tears on more than one occasion bereft that I wasn’t coping At All.

You see, my son had a tonsilectomy (and adnoid-ectomy?!) and surgeons had previously recommended I stay close to a hospital with an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist in case of “secondary haemmoraghing” for two weeks. “But that probably won’t happen,” he quickly adds… small comfort really.

But two weeks seemed to work out well since, on the last day of my stay, the bridal expo was being held. Now, I’m already married but the lovely bunch of women at Queensland Brides have agreed to launch my book at their expo next year, and so they sent me tickets to this year’s event so I could get a sense of what they do (and to quadruple the number of butterflies that inhabit my insides at the mere mention of “centre stage”).

So, I saw this two weeks, sans husband, as a chance to write an article or two, get some book reviewing done and check out an expo. And, of course, care for my poor little boy. (I don’t mean to sound quite so self-involved!)

What I didn’t calculate was the “little things”. Like the distance from shops to our unit and the distance from the carpark to the bedroom. For example, the trip home was long enough to ensure the kids would fall asleep in the car. However the distance from said car to comfy bed (downhill on rocky gravel) meant that “transfering” was impossible.

After two days of no naps, I conceded defeat and took to sitting in the car for an hour each day while the kids had a sleep. My son’s magna-doodle was testament to just how boooring this time was. Stupidly, it took me a full week to remember to pack the book I was meant to be reviewing!

Little thing #2: Writing a simple article. A “seasoned journalist” ought to know there’s no such thing, especially where advertising is concerned. A courtesy call to an interviewee subject (whom the editor wanted left out on account of not advertising – their policy, not mine) ended in gritted teeth (mine, probably his too, I suppose) and an implied legal threat (his, because I’m too nice!).

Thankfully, it didn’t end how it was going in my head. Something along the lines of “Listen, I’m living in a one-bedroom unit with two children under three, one of which is teething and currently trying to climb down a sheer rock-face, the other is post-surgery and REFUSES to take his medecine so I have to forcibly restrain him and simultaneously keep the hysteria out of my own voice. So if you think mentioning your friend is a lawyer is going to keep me up tonight – I’ll ALREADY BE AWAKE!”

Little Thing #3: No laptop or computer of my own and my friends’ was still on dial-up. And Oh My God It’s Slow. So I took to using those dinky little public computers found in food courts across the country. Hard to keep your professional speak up when you’ve only got 20 minuntes to compose a sundry of emails to magazine publishers who are bound to trash my SPAM (on account of the illegibility). I could have had 40 minutes but the other two dollars in my purse had been promised to go in the Bob The Builder ride afterwards – “if you promise to be quiet and let mummy concentrate”.

Little Thing #4: The book you’re reviewing, while amazing, has you speaking like a Jamaican woman from a Revivalist church: “yessah, me sir. They’s a storm a coming. AAAAYYYYEEEE!” which in turn has your son saying “sir” (though thankfully not as I’m about to border on child abuse with a syringe of painkillers).

Little Thing #5: A bedroom looking over a bush gully. Nice during the day. A little bit Wolf Creek at night. And… deep breathe as I admit it out loud…  I actually took a knife to bed with me one time.

And on the last day of our stay, before the expo and a four-hour drive home, one child was struck with diarrhoea and we spent much of the day in the parent’s room. And much of the expo in the parent’s room. And, when one of them threw up all the free cake samples on their shoes, I decided it was time to go.

Time to find the missing part of our equation. Their daddy, my husband. The hand that holds the other hand of the hand that rocks the cradle.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. marketingtomilk
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 07:29:19

    The hand that holds the other hand of the hand that rocks the cradle.
    Brilliant. And so true. Hats off to single mums and dads everywhere.


  2. petajo
    Oct 15, 2010 @ 00:39:26

    Ooh, I’m glad you liked it. It was a “fly by the seat of your pants” blog, and wasn’t sure if that sentence quite made sense! And of course, it conjurs all sorts of other Rebecca DeMornay-esque images!


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