Single Parent Hedonism

By Peter Ehrlich

For single parents, summer presents the only opportunity in the year to be a tad hedonistic.

Of course, being hedonistic is relative.

If you're young, single and childless, indulging in drugs and sex and rock 'n' roll is not only natural, it's expected. When I heard John Tory joined the Conservative Party at age 15, I was not only unimpressed, but something inside of me wanted to visit him, put my arm around him and ask if he wanted me to take him out and show him the real world.

And if you're a parent with a partner, just having the partner is hedonistic. Imagine, at any given time Mr. Happily Married can call out to Mrs. Happily Married, "Hey Babycakes, can you give me some help?"

The best single parents can hope for is that some friend pops in at exactly the right time. "Jim, will you pour that tomato sauce in that pan so I can get that proposal out before Zack comes down for lunch?"

In summer, when the kids are away, single parents can play and we have the right to find time to indulge in hedonism sans guilt.

We suffer enough guilt from September to June, à la why couldn't I keep the family together, or I regret that my child has to go back and forth, or, the drop in my household income makes me feel like a loser.

We can put that crap away in summer and employ the George Costanza approach to single parenting – just do the opposite; there's nothing to feel guilty about.

Before I started this article I Googled *importance of me time* and got 76,900,000 hits. Then I Googled *importance of me time, single parents* and got zilch, so I know I'm onto something new.

(I suppose if I Googled *single parents, hedonism* I might get the first "negative" number in the history of Google! If Google had a voice it would say to me, "Man, not only does it not exist, like, you're on another planet".)

Here are the first steps to rediscovering the hedonistic self:

Proclaim your alone time as Single Parent Hedonist Week or Day.
Go to the mirror and say, "I'm better looking than I think."

Acknowledge that your dog or cat likes you only because you feed them and that it's time to relate to another human being who may want to lick you because of who you are as a both a parent, person or lover.

Ignore all child-related mess and visit places you would go if you were single; Yorkville, where the beautiful people hang out, or visit the new ROM and ignore the dinosaur bones.

Acknowledge that although you often enjoy being a single parent, that's not the same thing as enjoying being single. Maybe it's time to head to Indigo and split your time between looking at the book covers and flirting with the other sexy people looking at the book covers.

(Hey, I have an idea for a movie. A single parent's child is away for a week and she meets a great guy, falls in love and has passionate sex for the first time in years.)

It's summer and your children are thrilled because they once again have the opportunity to do anything they want. What a concept!

I'm suggesting that we, too, have the right to practise what our children already know – that it's okay to think only of what's in it for us, at least for one week in the year.

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