I asked a group of single mums about the one thing a friend of family member could do for them, or gift them this year to make the holiday season a bit easier. Here’s a few ideas inspired by their answers.
1. Me- time
A morning off, a chance to sleep in, laze in bed with coffee and read a physical newspaper, do brunch and a shower without interruptions. Unlike a lot of single parents I don’t get that every second weekend off to have some “me” time that is not work related.
Babysitting vouchers or give me one day on my own to practice some self-care.
2. Help with cleaning
Offer to help out with some of the cleaning. Picking up after the kids, on top of all the washing, cooking, parenting and study is quite exhausting and sadly it doesn’t get done every week for that reason.
3. Help with odd jobs
A car wash, some lawn mowing or cleaning out the wheelie bins properly. Things that in a very traditional household that the husband normally does. Or painting a room in my house or cleaning the oven.
4. A home cooked meal
A home cooked meal would be lovely, it gets tiring always being the adult and provider, so having one less thing to do and someone ‘taking care of you’ is always appreciated.
Family and friends could offer to have us over for a meal to cut grocery costs and focus on gifting to our kids at the most magical time of the year.
5. Little luxuries
For material things it would be those little luxuries that some Mums have to/choose to go without to provide for their kids – a coffee voucher, movie or massage voucher.
6. Someone to play Santa
This sounds extremely selfish, but I’ll be honest. I would love a friend or family member to have a secret chat with my son and ask him what he asked Santa to bring me, then go and make sure it’s bought. The Santa time only lasts for so many years in childhood and I do everything I can to make sure that Santa brings a gift for my son and one for me – just to keep up the pretence. It would be great if someone acted as Santa for my gift.
7. Time for shopping
An offer to mind the children to get some Christmas shopping done, especially if you are working full time or have little ones full time.
8. Coffee with a friend
Top of my list would be an hour for a coffee with a friend, kid free. Most of my friends are busy with life and families and they don’t realise how lonely it can be as a single parent, and how much we crave that interaction as the ‘centre of attention’ without feeling needy.