Dear corona peppers, welcome to the world of living on a very tight budget AKA single motherhood.
Even though I’m busy preparing burnt offerings and microwave friendly salads, I’m offering you my FREE tips on feeding your family on a VERY limited budget.
1. Take it or leave it
2. ‘Imaginative’ recipes from ‘ cook book
3. Repetition is king; 16 year olds love the same boring dishes; I’m a monster of the mash, a shaman of the sauce bottle, a magician with mince.
4. Tell your kids your family has been invited onto a reality TV cooking show, then vote yourself out of the kitchen. Hide.
5. Now is a good time for your kids to learn to cook
7. Like it or lump it
9. Remember the child standing in front of the microwave gets the most.
10. It is not a crime to send your 16 year old to the local RSL with a fake ID to win the meat tray because the slab of dead animal will feed your family for a week. Do it tonight before the government closes all clubs.
Vive le revolution
Laugh with best girlfriends
Verify your identity
Embrace single motherhood
Pay all the bills
Find all the thrills
Bring home the bacon
Find app to block people in real life not just social media
Eat fruity wine and fruity fruits
Rage against the pale stale males in government
Stand up for girls
Find someone to collect my emotional baggage
Dance like instagram is watching
Drink tap water
Pat the cat
Thank your knees
Eat all the cheese
Hunt and gather
Educate people on the difference between your and you’re and he is and his
Sing like I’ve got 45 million YouTube followers
In 2019 I am transforming into an alert single mother because my child will be alarmed. No more teen tantrums to endure! I’ve decided to send my wandering youngest child to school in China, where she can wear a lovely new uniform. Even thousands of miles away I can easily track her whereabouts. I need to find a translator so I can read her school reports.
Big mother will find you #beyondtheschoolgrounds
I don’t mean to boast but, my 13-year-old daughter is currently studying really hard for her Higher School Certificate (end of school exams for overseas friends). She’s so young but I know she’s going to smash it by the time she graduates. Which will be really soon the way she’s going. I don’t like to make other parents feel bad by bragging about my child’s high achieving ways, but I really think I need to celebrate the fact that she’s currently devoting hours of her time and attention to:
4 unit Instagram
3 unit yelling at her mother
3 unit serving looks
4 unit YouTube make up tutorials
I’m loving the extra attention she’s getting from her school teachers, there’s at least three emails a day with a list of all the homework and assignments she has neglected. But boy those videos she posts are marvellous. She has never going to be a kid who thrived in the over-crowded, one-size-fits-all school system, but she could not be less interested in her school curriculum if she tried.
In the 1990s, the cartoonist Gary Larson published a cartoon showing a teenager playing video games in his bedroom and a concerned parent looking on, with a thought bubble over their head dreaming of the day their child could get paid a lot of money to play computer games. I am that parent.
Before I send my kids back to jail, I want to make sure I’ve achieved most of my school holiday goals. Checking my list while lying on the couch under a blanket, I’m very happy to report that I’ve managed to attain most of my school hols KPIs:
Cat eating leftovers
Too much sleep
Vegemite toast for dinner
Excessive social media posting
Leg hair I can plait
Water bill low from lack of bathing
Fights with teenagers
Experimental cooking failures
100s of pyjama couture selfies
Growing list of forgotten dreams
Hours wasted talking to cat
Dry winter skin from sitting on top of heater
Kids undereating because of overuse of technology
Washing piled high
Life lived through my children
I know I sound smug, but school can now resume with my brilliant mothering skill set intact
Aside from prescription medications, a home and a large cask of fruity leg-opener, here is your essential guide to the seven must-own style items for single mothers:
- A leopard cougar dress adds class to any event, including school canteen duties or my kid doesn’t deserve another detention meetings in the principal’s office
- A large slobbering pit bull wearing a choke collar is mandatory for surviving early weekend morning netball games courtside with only happily married power couples for company
- A timeless, barely-there I can’t pay the rent ripped t-shirt emblazoned with I am the patron saint of deadbeat males goes with just about anything and is perfect for last minute call ups to the school father’s day breakfast
- Flannie shirt and work boots, for that crucial menswear-inspired look to confuse the hell out of the parents who can’t guess which side of the sexual fence you’re sitting on at the school fete
- Add polish to your 3pm pick up look by combining a no-brainer plunging neckline with the quintessential single mother chunky snakeskin stiletto
- Sneakers found on the street outside charity shops lengthen your pay packet and mean you can run from your children when they embarrass you at the shops
- A basic toy boy dressed in suede or leather is the ultimate go-to handbag for school parent-teacher meetings, he will add instant sophistication
Today I’m thankful that I still have a mother, but if we’re going to have a day to celebrate mothers, please don’t ask me to:
Bake a cake for a fundraiser
Select a nanna scarf for me before I’m a grandmother
Volunteer for any initiative to improve the lives of already well-off people
Mend garments or
Clean up after babies
Also please don’t:
Buy me ugly socks
Make me a ceramic thingy that I’ll smash
Give me any more craft
Advise me to take vitamins, colonics, miracle cures or go for a run
Rescue another animal for me
Suggest helpful ways to brighten my floors
Today I don’t want to grow, inspire, achieve, strive or nurture, I’m cranky and I’m having a day off. Please quickly bring me a bottle of gin, tonic, lemons and an obedient bar man, then close the door on your way out. Your best present for Mumma is obedience and a big dose of shush.
There comes a weekend in every mother’s life when we have to put on bad music, trample on the walk on wardrobe AKA floor-drobe, cough our way through crusty bits of rubbish and throw out the last remaining bits and bobs of our offsprings’ childhood. That weekend has come for me. There will be no more Hello Kitty pencils, no more craft that comes home saying I luv u mummmy and no more genuine joy at seeing me at the school gate.
I am emptying the unfinished projects into the bin and opening old One Direction pencil cases and finding handwritten notes from their friends. These painstakingly produced jottings were all written at the age when my kids were discovering the magic of writing a heartfelt letter to a beautiful new friend:
Dear Senny, I thik youre really specil and I reallly lik your shoos. I had funn wen we went to the pak and i now we wil be freinds forever. lov you
I’ve been a single mum for 10 years, so there are many jobs in my house that are being tackled well past their use by date. Despite our multiple moves, some special stuff was placed in boxes and carted from new address to new address. The perfectly unused birthday present textas from the seven-year old’s best friend in the hole world that were saved in the back of the cupboard for special occasions have been dug out, the lolly wrappers that she didn’t want mummy to see, beside the half-dressed dolls with real nail polish on their hands. I put together a box of nostalgia, thinking that my last teenager would be remotely interested in the lost cuteness and innocence of her childhood. She came home from a day out at the hideous local shopping trauma centre and said,
“That’s my stuff, what are you doing?”
“We need to chuck out.”
“No, I’m too busy.”
A few short weeks ago she sobbed because the Easter Bunny hadn’t left her an elaborate trail of eggs in our shared yard on Easter Sunday. But now she’s watching make up tutorials on how to copy the subtle facial contouring of the Kardashians on Youtube. She actually wants to look like a Jenner. I’ve failed as a mother. What the hell will I keep from this phase?