I’ve been a parent now for 13.5 years. If you’d told me a decade and a half ago what I would now consider to be a ‘treat’ I would have laughed hysterically – but here goes!
Going to the toilet on your own.
Sounds simple – but happens rarely when your children are in the same house. It’s like as soon as your bum hits the seat there is something that needs opening / closing / refereeing / discussing in great detail.
This Rosie Made A Thing card sums it up perfectly (she has some other EXCELLENT cards too, ideal for Mothers’ Day or my birthday next month!)
Sleeping in your own bed with just your husband.
I drafted a large chunk of this blog post in my head last night whilst sharing a bed with a wriggly 5 year old who was really unsettled (last night before returning to school after half term probably being the main reason.) In the last 13 years it’s been pretty rare to have an uninterrupted nights sleep where both the husband and I stay in the same bed ALL NIGHT. On the rare occasion this does happen – it’s pretty much guaranteed that you won’t get 2 consecutive nights…
Wearing clean clothes.
Thankfully I’m pretty much past the vomit / snot / breast milk on clothes stage – but it was around for a long time. I remember being asked in the hairdressers which was my coat – and I pointed out ‘the one with baby sick on the shoulder’. #classy
Going to the supermarket on your own.
Most of the time the weekly shop is conducted online – sometimes even from on the loo if you get a spare 5 minutes to yourself in there (see above!). But on the odd occasion I get to wander around now it feels like I’ve been let out! And supermarkets now sell EVERYTHING – so you can pick up a nice, longline ‘Mum’ top with the kale and blueberries (ok, nuggets and oven chips!!)
Driving on your own
If we’re going on a family drive there has to be negotiations about whether we’re watching a DVD (Trolls is the incumbent at the moment) or listening to the radio. Then there’s negotiations about what radio station it has to be. None of this matters to the 12 year old who will be pretending he’s Stormzy listening to his phone and rapping along in the back anyway. The 5 year old will have a melt down if anyone starts singing as she hates loud noise – and there will undoubtedly be a breakdown because a toy / snack / drink has been dropped and can not be retrieved. If the phone or Sat Nav dares interrupt a critical scene in the film or the chorus of a favourite track – then there is also likely to be stroppage.
So the BLISS of driving along alone with your favourite music blaring (generally Heart – don’t judge me!!) and the windows down is just fabulous.
[ETA – I was driving the big 2 home from the station tonight when Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey came on the aforementioned Heart – and the 3 of us sang along at the tops of our voices. It was one of those real #winningatparenting moments – and better than being on my own most definitely.]
Not having to share your food
It doesn’t seem to matter what my kids order – they then decide what I’ve ordered looks way better. The current case in point being chicken and cheese rolls from our local Chinese takeaway. They are LUSH – so I ordered myself some as a treat. The children had been asked what they wanted and at no point had mentioned chicken and cheese rolls – but of course, when they arrived they wanted them! And being a good Mum (sometimes anyway) I let them have them. So on the occasions I get to eat what I’ve ordered, it does feel like a treat (especially if I can actually savour it and if I’m not hiding in the utility room stuffing my face before anyone spots the food !!)
Watching an adult film at the cinema
And by ‘adult film’ I’m not meaning anything risque (hey, I’ve not even seen a Fifty Shades film!) – but anything that isn’t animated! A girls’ night out to see Bridget Jones was great – as I didn’t have to referee my friends as to who sat next to whom, there was no fighting over snacks, no wanting to swap seats or sit on my lap – and I didn’t have to take anyone out to the toilet half way through. Perfect!
Packing for one
Usually my packing is for a family of 6. The 13 year old will need to take at least 2 pairs of shoes per day. The 12 year old will want to take his most recent remote controlled purchase. Whilst the 6 and 5 year olds suddenly *NEED* every cuddly toy they’ve ever owned to come away with us. And the husband always packs loads of toiletries and belts (why anyone needs to take as many belts as him on holiday I do not know!) Therefore I’m left with a corner of the case for my own things. So packing for just me and the husband (and his belts) is great – but just for me is so decadent (and pretty rare!).
Reading a book
I remember ‘holidays past’ where half of my case would be taken up with books. Obviously this is now a no-no (see above re packing!) and thank goodness for a Kindle which is a much more efficient use of space. But many times the Kindle will return from a holiday fully charged due to lack of time to actually sit and read! The odd stolen afternoon with a mug of tea (or glass of wine) and a book or Kindle is just AMAZING!
I reckon most parents are pretty cheap dates now – with ‘treats’ not needing to be being wined and dined somewhere exotic, or splashing the cash wildly. In fact based on the above I’d be happy in the Sainsbury’s cafe with my book for an hour, maybe stopping for a peaceful wee before heading home with the tunes cranked up in the car!!
Any ‘treats’ you’d like to ‘fess up to??