Empty house, empty heart
Single mom Cath struggles with the weekend silences.
When you’re the full-time go-to-for-everything single parent, that noise of a kid growing up is your life. And when they’re gone for their split-time with the other parent, that noise you know so well goes too.

I’m a fast-talking, workaholic single mama. Everything I do - deadlines, meetings and go-betweens, is always done with one ideal in mind – to come home every day and be with my little person. The noise of my workday is replicated when I get home – it just changes voice – from the ringing telephone to a constant MOOOOOOOOOOOM call.

But, I’m also a woman who needs some time to herself - time to play my cheesy 80s tunes, and sleep in until midday.

As a mother, you never, ever get that. If you’re reading this, I know I’m already preaching to the converted.

When was the last time you had a hot bath, uninterrupted? Yes, I thought so.

So, when it’s “Daddy’s weekend”, and that hallowed Friday creeps closer, I well up with enthusiasm. Finally - a quiet time, just for me. No blaring Barbie twirling around on the television, no toys to trip over and no demanding of everything-right-now-mom-or-else-I-will-yell-so-much-the-neighbours-will-question-your-parenting.

So, why is it then, the moment you’re packed up, strapped into your car seat, waving goodbye, and my mommy hat is removed, all I want is to put it back on again?

I walk back inside, to the little home made just for me and you, and it rattles with emptiness. That silence I’ve been yearning for is just a broken shell full of nothing. Suddenly, I have unfettered access to the television, to run hot baths and sit in them reading a book from cover to cover and now, now I don’t want it. This house is too quiet – I can hear the fish swimming around in the tank and every whirr from the appliances.

I fill this silence up with music and my haphazard typing on this keyboard. The bliss of writing a sentence without having to answer yet another “mommy, what is this” question holds none of the joy I expected.

When you’re here, I think to myself, “When will I ever get to just sit down?” And when you’re gone, for those sunny days with your dad, I think to myself, “When is she coming home?”

You’re noisy, you’re wonderful. You’re everywhere, you get in my way and you’re the most stubborn person I have ever met. You’re also the most loving child anyone could ever wish for. You are missed more than you know when you’re not underfoot and I’m trying to fill up the silence you left behind.

Come home soon, little person. 

How do you handle the times when your children are away from home? Do you enjoy the silence, or is it too much?

Read more by Cqth Jenkin

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