Lifestyle

Backyard blitz a battle for solo mum

HELLO: Meet our new modern mum and her children Andrew and Imogen.
HELLO: Meet our new modern mum and her children Andrew and Imogen. Sawan Hunt

BEING a parent on my own . . . Wow. What a steep learning curve.

But it wasn't so much the solo parenting I had to get used to.

It was everything else on top of it. I never thought I would have to unclog a toilet, climb the roof to rescue the family cat in the middle of the night, tend to the yard or buy my own home.

But I have . . . and it's quite liberating.

For me taking care of the yard and gardens was an interesting learning experience.

Of course I wanted my kiddos to have somewhere fun, safe and tidy to play, but without a mower my yard became somewhat of a jungle.

In fact there was one such section of the yard that my son aptly named . . . "The Jungle".

When my kid's were at school and kindy I would scrub patios and tidy gardens.

I even learnt how to maintain the pool, thanks to a very patient pool shop owner.

But my lawn still resembled overgrown grassland.

At one point, the generous lady across the road volunteered her husband to cut my grass (for want of a better term).

I was completely grateful, but while he did a better job than I could ever do, I couldn't let him do it forever.

My dad gave me an old mower he had fixed up and I was ready to take on the mowing by myself.

I've been doing the lawns since.

As a result, a plethora of lost garden stones have been found.

One day, as I rubbed my sore and unsuspecting legs, I wondered how the heck they even got there in the first place.

Of course for a brief moment I had forgotten that my children have a habit of "collecting things".

Miss 7 came home from school distraught seeing that her "fairy ring" had been destroyed.

Unfazed by the bruises on my legs, she commenced building a new one.

Of course I helped her collect some new stones and we moved them to a more user- friendly section of the backyard, complete with glitter and flowers.

In time the yard started to look grim once more.

The lawn was cut, albeit a bit crooked, but the edges were out of control.

My rusty old edger was useless, so I borrowed a whipper snipper.

My friend dropped it off and briefly showed me how to use it.

Easy . . . I thought.

The next day my kids were off to their dad's for the weekend.

The disaster zone that I once called a home could be put back together and all of the jobs that were too hard to do with them invariably standing 5cm behind me, could finally be done.

It's overwhelming really.

I like to compare it to the centre of a cyclone.

They leave and there is an instant silence.

I then go mad in my attempt to get everything done during my short break.

Upon their return my two much-loved little whirlwinds are delighted to start the process all over again.

On this particular day, the washing was on, rooms were tidied, fresh sheets were on the beds and the floors were mopped.

This was my chance to finally get the yard sorted and the whipper snipping done.

I was going to have the best yard in the street.

Do you think I could get the thing started?

I pressed buttons, flicked switches, squeezed handles and pulled the pull string.

Ohhhhh that pull string!

It wasn't working and no amount of pulling was going to make it change its mind.

So I did what any other respectable, stressed out, tired mother would do.

I threw the whipper snipper down on the grass and threw a tantrum right there in the yard. I'd had it.

As a result, I never did get the edges done and unashamedly I haven't attempted them since.

My yard is not the best in the street nor is it ever going to be.

So what if my little backyard oasis has overgrown edges, crooked mowing and a glitter- covered patio.

My kids don't care.

They're just happy to have a yard to play in . . . and I'm learning that that's good enough for me.

Topics:  kat van wyk modern mum opinion



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