A few weeks ago, I was gettin’ my hairs did at my hairdresser Lisa’s when the subject of housecleaning came up. Lisa was lamenting the fact that, with two young kids, she feels like she’s cleaning steady – toys, crumbs, fingerprints on everything. I commented that I guess that’s one good thing about being single and living alone – I don’t have to clean all that often (thank God, because it’s one job that I detest and usually put off far too long!)
Lisa said, “Oh, Jill, enjoy it. When you find a man and have kids, everything changes. In a good way, but there’s a lot of stuff you can’t do anymore. If I were you I’d just soak up the great things about being single while you can.”
So, we’ve established lately that there are many reasons why I need a husband. (Mainly for the nights when I decided to flip head-first off the end of the bed and almost break my neck, naturally.)
But today, I thought I’d try to make myself feel better about my current lot in life by listing the top 10 reasons why I’m OK with being single and childless (for now).
Here we go:
10. Freedom to work out when it suits me. I hate getting up super early in the morning, and I seem to have more energy when I work out later in the afternoon – right after work seems to suit me best. I often wonder how people with families are able to balance it all while keeping up with workouts. I know for many, getting up really early before the kids is the only time that it works, and I suppose that someday, that might be an adjustment I’ll have to make. I mean, you can’t very well make little kids wait for supper while you go for a run, right? So I’ll just enjoy that I CAN do it now!
9. Getting to watch Disney movies in bed. Yes. Weird. But lately, I’ve really been digging the ol’ Disney classics from my childhood, and since I have a VCR in my bedroom, it’s pretty much the only place I can watch those old tapes. I’m assuming a boy would find this super not-cool. Whatever.
8. Learning to be more self-sufficient. I used to whine and complain over the fact that I can’t do boy jobs!!! But somewhere along the way, I decided to buy myself some tools and learn to do some of those boy jobs myself. It sucks having to ask your brother or brother-in-law or male friends or uncles or co-workers to do the boy jobs for you. There’s still some things I won’t tackle on my own, but for the most part, being single has taught me to be more self-sufficient. And that’s pretty rad when you think about it.
7. Getting to crank whatever tunes you like and sing at the top of your lungs while you work in the kitchen. Ah, yes. One of my favourite things to do. Get a big pot o’ something simmering on the stove, or get my bake on, and while doing so, blast the Bruce Springsteen or Counting Crows or Adele or Pink and just siiiing. I know I could still do this with a man and kids around, but they might laugh at me. Nobody laughs at me right now.
6. Not having to share the chocolate or cookies or ice cream. I hate sharing. I’m not good at it. And I KNOW that once you have little people around, they.take.everything. But… JILLY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD!!!! I can so see myself being that bad mom who hides her chocolate bar in a secret location to keep it away from the greedy little paws of her children…
5. Not having to clean/do chores every single damn day. That’s right, the point Lisa made that started this whole thought process. With kids, you’re constantly cleaning and doing laundry and picking up toys and doing dishes. Constantly. I mean, I have to do those things frequently enough, but if I decide to leave the supper dishes for a day, it’s not the end of the world. I do laundry once a week. I run the dishwasher once every couple of days. And I usually have to see evidence of dust bunnies giving birth in the corners before I force myself to do a good house-cleaning. And I’m good with that.
4. Getting to sleep in. I like my sleep. I always say that when I DO have children, I need them to be magic babies that sleep 12 hours a night. And who don’t get up until at least 7 AM. By “sleeping in”, I don’t mean noon – I rarely sleep any later than 7:30-8:00 anymore – but I don’t function properly before 7 AM. I need a good hour to “wake up” without anybody talking to me after my alarm goes off in the morning. I have no idea what I’d do if I had little people to attend to.
3. The freedom to eat weird things for supper. When you have kids, you have to make sure you’re making food that’s semi-healthy, and yet also stuff that they like and will eat. That can often take some thinking and creativity. I usually throw something together haphazardly at the last minute that kids would probably not eat. For instance, last night was a grilled avocado, scrambled egg, and cheese panini with a spinach salad on the side. Delicious, by the way, yet I assume the little monsters would curl up their noses.
2. Just… freedom in general. I can do what I want, when I want. I don’t have to work around a boy’s schedule. I don’t have to worry about getting kids off to school or daycare or sporting events or dance classes. I mean, sure, I have commitments – work, volunteering in the community, etc. I’m not completely footloose and fancy-free. But for the most part, I’m flexible. And I like it that way.
1. Peanut Butter & Honey. I can hover over the jars of PB & honey standing at my kitchen counter with two spoons, and there’s nobody around to judge me.
So, yes… of course I still want the man and the babies. More than anything.
But every now and then, I have to remind myself that there’s an upside to being single and childless, too. I’m a creature of habit, and I like my routine. Might as well embrace it all now, while I can!