24 hours.  Without a husband.  Without kids.  What would you do?  Think Jack Bauer.  With a bit more washing.

24 hours to go.

I have been abandoned.  Yes.  Daddy Pig has left me.  

The girls have gone too.  I am having 24 hours to myself.  24 HOURS.  I almost didn’t go to sleep just so I could relish every single one.

It’s not a permanent situation.

They’re coming back.  I think.

Losing a limb (or two).

When they first drove off yesterday, with ‘I love yous’ flying out the car windows, I felt a pang.  I did.  And when I went back indoors I could hear them everywhere.  Footsteps.  Doors banging.  It was a bit like when people lose a limb and they say they can still feel it there.  Then came the silence.  The deafening silence.

When you’re suddenly faced with time on your own, it’s hard to know how to spend it.  And it’s fair to say it hasn’t been a particularly exciting 24 hours.  Put it this way, Jack Bauer, could have done a lot more with it than I’ve managed.

I never once saw him change the beds or wash the towels.

I know how to party.

But it has been MY 24 hours.  To spend entirely how I wish.  Without having to fetch a biscuit, mop up a spilled juice or answer ANY questions.  And for that reason, it has been thrilling.

Plus, it hasn’t been all chores.  Oh no.  I’ve done some pretty wild stuff like eat ice cream in the rain.  A WHOLE ice cream, without anyone else asking for a lick.

In that respect, I have partied HARD.

Going to the shops in 25 seconds.

I’ve also been to the shops.  Twice.

The first time I needed stuff.  The second time I went just because I could.  This is what I thought.  ‘Ooh, I’ll go to the shops.’  Then approximately 25 seconds later, I went.  Just like that.  I put on my shoes and hey presto, I was out the door.

Without having to remind anyone to go the toilet, have a debate about sandals over trainers or raise my voice.

I just.  Went.  Out.  The.  Door.     

Goodnight bedtime hour.

When bedtime hour came, I wanted to do something radical.  Like down a bottle of vodka.  Or streak naked down our street.  Whilst holding a banner with ‘I’M NOT DOING BEDTIME TONIGHT.  WOOHOO!’

Unfortunately, being 37 weeks pregnant put paid to both those ambitions.

So I had a San Pellegrino instead.  And watched Home and Away.

But the thought was there.  And that’s what counts.

‘Don’t rush back.’

This morning, Daddy Pig text me to ask me what the plan was.  Bearing in mind it is Father’s Day (not Mother’s Day, apparently).  But he’s with his kids.  What more does he want?  You can’t exactly be a father without kids.  That’s the whole point of Father’s Day, right?

I found myself texting back something non-committal.  ‘No real plans.  Don’t rush back.  I’m happy enough here.’

And I am happy enough here.  I am.  Yes, I know they’re coming back.  I know in several short hours the roof will come crashing down on my peacefulness.  I know that this has to end.

I also know I will be really pleased to see them.  For at least 90 seconds anyway.

Until one of them wants a biscuit.  Spills a juice.  Or asks me a blooming question.

So I send Daddy Pig another text.  Just to be clear.

‘Don’t rush back.’

So, tell me.  What would you do with 24 hours alone?  Pack the day full or appreciate the peace?  Come and see us at Surviving Life and Motherhood and let me know.  Join in on Twitter with hashtag #24hourswithoutkids.

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