International Friendship Day is a day for celebrating those people whose love and kindness have changed our lives. Our friends are the people who understand our strangeness and love us anyway.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
“We’ll be Friends forever won’t we Pooh?” and Pooh answered,
Today is Father’s Day and I’m missing my long dead dad. Reading happy family messages on social media on a day like today is tough, especially when you’re doing double duty. I’m loving my strong male mates who are showing up and working hard and being great dads by making their children their main priority. I’m not loving the dads who show off their kids at public social functions but aren’t there for the hard graft of parenting. A part of me wishes that men in Western society would take the men who decide to be deadbeat and Disneyland dads to task. Tiger Woods can treat his wife and kids like shit but still be awarded player of the year awards. In our society it’s even easy to get away with not paying for your kids. I don’t know if it’s the role of government to chase up sperm donors who are not declaring income and crying poor then taking their new families out for dinner and getting on with a newly invented life as though the children they had first are a part of their past that they don’t need to revisit. The Child Support Agency doesn’t seem to be highly effective. I’m not advocating a return to the strict moral code of the 1950s but a few conversations along the lines of ‘mate lift your game’ and ‘real men pay child support,’ I think would help us ladies struggling with bearing the full load of child rearing. Yes we chose to have our kids, but in most cases, no we didn’t deliberately choose boys masquerading as men who have relinquished their responsibilities to their children. Real men man up.
My single mothering advice is gold, I am full of it. Don’t worry about buying expensive parenting books, for calm children administer nursery rhymes, they are cheaper than sedatives (for you and the kids).
If you see a little bunny and it’s nose is very runny
You think it’s very funny but it’s snot.
Lou Lou had a little girl, she had a bit of colic
She fed her vodka twice a day, now she’s alcoholic
If your children won’t stop crying, sing:
Roses are red, violets are blue, the smell of vomit reminds me of you.
Or what about?
My hair is alive with the bite of head lice
There were three in the bed and the little one said,
Roll over, roll over
So they all rolled over and my feet got cold
Roll over, rollover my super, walk the dog, defrost the freezer, feel guilty about the stuff you haven’t done. Roll over, play dead so you don’t have to change a nappy roll over.
Hey Diddle Diddle, my life’s in a puddle I can’t seem to get enough cash.
My kids need more food, but the rent is due so I can’t afford to splash.
I’ve spent all my dosh on school clothes and books and treated kids to some honey,
Luckily their father has a conscience, here comes my ex with lots of money
No stop me! That one is pure fantasy
Roses are red,
My teenage daughter’s bedroom smells
Not that I care,
But I could if I wanted to
Buying presents online makes me happy. I type in my order and the parcels get delivered to my house. Single mothers crave simplicity and we are happy when life is made easier. I would say we are a growing demographic but that piece of marketing speak makes me throw up in my mouth a little. What doesn’t make me happy is the growing demand for reviews from said companies. Click the link and tell us how we went, your feedback is important. No, it’s not. My daughter telling me she is pregnant or my best friend telling me she has cancer is important, filling out your online survey is not. Your product will not change my life, unless it can give me back the arse I had when I was 16 or the complexion I had on my 20th birthday.
Run away from me if you have the word ‘marketing’ in your job description, or you use the words social and innovation, or on-trend together, or you regularly describe food as ‘textural’. Marketing speak makes me retch. I don’t care about your jargon or your plans for your product. Like many modern working parents, I am overwhelmed, over worked and pressed for time, emails about how a product can enhance my life or make me happy don’t help, they clog up my inbox. I don’t want to hear from your company unless you are telling me about your discounts. Shazam-Wow marketing people can voice their opinion on stuff they have no knowledge of that doesn’t matter to anyone and I’m not going to read the emails. Newsletters are an increasing plague that cause despair. In 2014 I am deleting emails before I read them so I have time for far more important things like helping my children with their homework or looking at hot celebrity photos online.
On International Women’s Day I’m thinking that I’d love to be Emmeline Pankhurst in pearls fighting for equality for all women but I’m a little bit busy hanging out the washing and bringing home the bacon to feed three hungry mouths. So I’d like to say thank you to the ladies who are childless for maintaining the revolution so this mother of three daughters can raise them knowing that the sisterhood is striving to make our world fair. Whether you chose not to be a breeder, or you had the choice taken from you by fate or circumstance, I’m grateful for the work you’re doing. I believe childless women are desperately needed to fight for equality by us sleep deprived mothers who’ve temporarily lost our brain power because we’re helping finish homework. Thank you for organising the petitions, running the rallies, writing the articles, alerting me to them on Twitter and for keeping watch while this mother bakes. Sisters I will join you at the barricades as soon as I can find a cheap babysitter.
“Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they’re rather stupid…”
Only 10 days to go until my delinquent children go back to the maximum security prison I’ve chosen for them. Mothers, if you’re looking for something to fill the remaining days of torture, no, I mean happiness, I believe that staycations are currently popular. Or as single mothers call them, staying at home because it’s all we can bloody afford. So my kids and I are on trend. Travelling with kids and pets is just moving the chaos and mess to another more expensive location anyway. Or you could try going on a cheap holiday with another single parent; boozing, gatecrashing other people’s parties at the park for food and losing your children at an unfamiliar shopping centre are standard single mother school holiday adventures.
If, like me, the thought of camping makes you dry retch, borrow a tent from a friend and pitch it in the back yard for your kids or even the front nature strip if you live in an apartment. In summer kids can live in a tent for months at a time. Think about this: the money you save on holidays can go towards a cleaner, so you can continue to be a dirty house mother.
The long summer holidays can often look like this: extra kids, 3 broken eggs, 2 sleep ins, 7 old movies watched 100 times, 3 shopping expeditions to the two dollar shop, 3 weeks, sorry, days spent wearing pyjamas, 8 play dates, 37 cupcakes, 15 burnt offerings, dog eared books, hundreds of sighs and ‘I’m-so-bored’s’, 12 paintings that the landlord will want you to remove before you get your bond back, and one over-medicated, cranky, over-tired mother. On the last day of the school holidays, I will have a picnic to celebrate the end of summer, if you can call a bottle of riesling a picnic.