I love my kids. I want to make that abundantly clear. They have changed my world for the better, and if I could have them all the time I would rather than only seeing them 50%. Being a full-time parent is what I signed up for, after all.
Since moving to 50/50 childcare arrangements with my ex I have discovered something wonderful; what it is like for people without children to live on a day to day basis. Whether it’s big things or small, there are loads of things that I’ve come to know and love about those five days when my kids are spending time with their mother.
I’m sure all people without kids out there will look at this list and say “what’s so special about all that?!” But parents out there will look at this list and find a beatific look falling over their face as they imagine all the wonders that these moments can bring.
So here are just some of the things that make me treasure those five days when I’m on my own.
- Being able to have a poo in peace
- The house can be tidy
- You always know where the remote controls are
- Not finding three outfits per person in the washing per day
- No music gets described as “boring”
- Dinner can be made for when you’re hungry rather than at a set time
- No need for a 30-minute nighttime routine
- Drinking a third glass of wine without worrying about how you’ll drive to the hospital in an emergency
- No shouts through the bathroom door mid-shower
- Spicy food and seafood are both on the menu
- Not worrying about getting stuck in traffic on the drive home
- “Fancy a drink after work?” “Yeah, alright then?”
- Watching a 7.45pm kickoff without pausing for the bedtime routine
- Turning the sound up on sweary action movies
- Watching porn without fear of kids wandering downstairs
- Not answering a single question. All morning. All day. All night.
- No need to get up early to make four lunches and chase to make sure teeth are cleaned
- No need to go out on the school run in bad weather
- Eating food you bought for yourself to eat and not sharing it
- Not having to remember how to do long division when homework help is needed
- Leaving a plate on the table overnight and not being called a hypocrite
- Waking up on a weekend at whatever time you want to wake up, not whatever time your kids wake up
- Being able to sit and listen to a completely silent house
- Deciding to leave the house, and then leaving within ten seconds
- Never having to turn off lights, tvs, stereos and more in rooms no-one has entered for hours
Most of these are things that I’d gladly give up, of course, and I do with a smile on my face, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy not needing to do them at all. It’s simply the best way to get through the days without them; to focus on the silver-lining of a shitty cloud and appreciate every moment of lie-in and question-free poo.
And yes, that is another thing I never thought I’d be appreciative of.