I’ll say it as it is: my children only live with me at weekends and during school holidays.
In real life interactions, this is the point at which I see something pass across people’s faces, especially if they are a woman, particularly if they are a mother. There’s a flicker of surprise, even a glimmer of shock. This is where I brace myself for the inevitable question: “But don’t you miss them?”
Sometimes, if I’m feeling strong, I will tell the truth: “Not all the time; not as much as you might think.” Now the shock will often coalesce into horror and bewilderment. Because what sort of a woman doesn’t miss her own children?
I didn’t say, of course, that I don’t miss them. But that’s what people hear. So I have a little spiel prepared which I trot out when I am called on to explain why my kids…
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