I woke up the day after my birthday in a reflective mood, and I am deeply moved by the home made cards my children created on a very low budget. So very inspired that I have created some quotes that I think may help other single mothers cope with the day-to-day madness of parenting on our own.
“A single mother is a person who, seeing there are only three pieces of pie left for her and her three kids, hides the pie from the kids so she can eat it while they’re visiting their father in jail.”
“The child standing in front of the microwave gets the most baked beans.”
“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to pay their mother.”
“Nothing I’ve ever done has given me as much pain and heartburn as parenting teenagers.”
“It doesn’t matter who my mother is, it matters that she doesn’t turn up at the school gate looking like a tramp.”
“Being a good mother is the most important role I’ll ever play and if I don’t do it well, my kids won’t be able to pay for my champagne when they’re older.”
I love these quotes (some of my best work), they’re so beautiful and so true. I think Louise Hay may include them in her next book.
I seem to be the only person in the western world who doesn’t want to become a brilliant chef. Cooking is a chore. I don’t want to become a better cook, I want to find someone who’ll do it all for me. Don’t tell me about your red wine jus, your incredible sorbet or your herbed fish, serve it up for me and shut up. Meanwhile I make the same boring old dishes for my kids. I’m a monster of the mash, a demon of the Deb, a shaman of the sauce bottle, a goddess of the grilled chop, a soothsayer of stir fry, a magician with mince. The only thing I have in common with Nigella is that my ex husband tried to choke me too. Where’s a good looking chef when you need one?
Is borrowing herbs and vegies from your neighbour’s garden to feed your kids helping your neighbour harvest?
Is going out with a friend’s ex a step too far, or simply husband recycling?
Is dressing like a dishevelled, slutty cougar a fashion felony or merely community service? It pays to advertise after all.
Is leaving your fighting children in the car at the shopping centre for 15 minutes while you dash into the shops wrong or the best thing to stop you shouting at them?
Is turning a blind eye in the supermarket fruit and veg section while your children gobble up the grapes and berries considered stealing or simply an affordable way to help your kids eat their five serves a day?
Will your toddler turn into a delinquent if you let them carry out their own eat what you find Easter egg hunt in your local shop 10 minutes before closing time on Easter Saturday? Or only if your child catches you hiding the foil wrappers from the security cameras?
Teenagers are expensive and cat food is cheap. Is telling your children that you make a ‘special meatloaf’ wrong?
Is it a crime to send your obviously underage 16 year old to the local RSL to win the meat tray raffle even though the slab of dead animal will feed your family for a week?
It’s not quite a Jaguar.
Ancient Chinese proverb: Those without a car may have to walk
Call me a freak but when I tell people I’ve got three kids and I don’t own a car they gasp. Australians adore their cars and are very reluctant to give up the idea that city dwelling means not driving all the time. The citizens of London and Tokyo know that living in big cities and driving are not compatible. I love driving, I just don’t love visiting mechanics or car dealers or changing tyres or anything that involves engine parts. So I share cars. I belong to GoGet and Green Car Share. I also have truly lovely friends who have let me borrow their cars when they’re away. Car share is pay as you go, so as a single mum on a tight budget there’s a lot of merit in paying as you use a service. I’m not racking up huge debts to a bank or a finance company. I walk more than I used to and catch buses, and I hardly ever pay for parking (I’m allergic to it).
The only problem I have with car sharing is the owner’s poor taste in radio stations. I have to remember if I book a car to turn off the radio before I start the engine, so I don’t hear rednecks moaning to right wing chauvinistic talkback shock jocks at full volume. Luckily Go Get put CDs in their cars for borrowers to listen to.
Car sharing is good for the planet with so many cars sitting idly on the street not being used. You may have seen me on Today Tonight talking about car sharing but Channel 7 axed the show before my story went to air. Beep, beep.
Other people have mongrel children, not me. My children will behave like angels throughout the long holidays, while I tut-tut at the whining monsters of my neighbours.
Children with brushed hair happily eating five course dinner. Happy Mother
Ten hours of Monopoly. In pyjamas until 4pm.
Five hours at Build A Bear Workshop
Seven hours of Lego
Don’t hit your sister
Don’t hit your sister
Baked beans are fine for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Don’t back chat your mother
Stop farting at the table
“This family have taken a vow of silence.”
Don’t hit your sister
“Shut up we are supposed to be having a spiritual experience!”
“Don’t hit your sister”
“Eat your frozen peas”
“Your grandmother would really love it if you went to her house for lunch, then dinner, then breakfast. Sorry I can’t come I have to alphabetise my recipe books.”
“Mum you’ve never used a cookbook.”
DAY TWENTY THREE
“Kids we have run out of money. You will have to get a job.”
“But I’m only nine.”
“100 years ago I could have sent you down a coal mine to support me.”
DAY THIRTY THREE
Mother sitting on couch chewing finger nails down to the knuckle, tearing split ends out and other I-am-at-a fashionable-day-spa behaviour. Television explodes, so mother reads gossip magazines stolen from neighbours’ recycling bins. Happy, happy, most mags were new. Kids locked out in garden, can barely hear their fighting.