I love being a parent. That's sort of a given. But equally there are times when I just want to hide away with a large pile of trashy magazines, a box of Quality Street and an intravenous drip of tea (or gin, I'm not fussed).
Well that particular dream (minus the IV) is about to come true, as I'm going to be home alone later this week, with no children, and just as importantly, no husband.
Think of the possibilities
Of course I have been on my own before for a night, but never in the house. I've been on business trips, where the only thing you have to look forward to is a stopover at a Premier Inn, which despite Lenny Henry's promises, never ever gives me a good night's sleep.
So this is unchartered waters for me which means I've been mulling over in my head the possibilities:
- A girl's night out on the town. Hmmm, that could be tricky down here. You can either join the geriatrics for a tea dance at the Grand, or get down and dirty on the dance floor with the pregnant teenagers. There are not a lot of options in between
- Trip to the cinema. But do I go alone (surely too sad) or with a friend? And then what do we watch? Do we go for the fun of American Hustle, or the brilliance but deep despair of 12 Years a Slave? And how does popcorn and sweets fit into my January detox diet?
- Up to London. Great if I don't have to be back at home for 9am the next day. I've done that before and opted to get the last train home, and ended up in a carriage full of vomiting students. Not to be repeated.
Time to phone a friend
I can't believe that I have this one amazing opportunity and I can't decide what to do. So I thought I would call on some help.
I phoned my sister to see what she would do. My sister is 4 years older than me (a fact I love repeating to her) and has 4 children. She was no help, though, as she has NEVER had a night away from her children. Even when she was giving birth to numbers 2, 3 and 4, she always made it back from the hospital in time to tuck the others up in bed. How has she stayed sane?
I then asked my husband for some suggestions. He had no difficulties in saying what he would do, but as some of those activities are probably not even legal, I won't repeat them here.
His suggestions for me were:
- Going for a run (what's he trying to say?)
- Clean out the storage cupboard (that is quite tempting); or
- Go and visit his mum (no comment).
Which all means I'm back to square one!
I will probably end up reading a pile of trashy magazines with a box of Quality Street... well, you probably get the picture.
Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director