avatarCharlotte Smith


A Single Mom’s Seaside Escapade

The Tides of Laughter and Life’s Little Lessons on a Sandy Shore

The sun was already setting the sky ablaze with hues of orange and pink as I contemplated the perfect ending to an otherwise hectic day. It was one of those evenings when the beach beckoned us, a siren call for my little one and me to escape the usual routine. What unfolded next was nothing short of a seaside saga, encapsulating the essence of being a single mom juggling a career, with a dash of sand and sea.

Our beach adventure began with what I like to call the ‘Great Expedition’. Picture this: a determined mom, one exuberant little girl, and a car boot that looked like it was packed for a month-long safari, not an afternoon at the beach. Between the inflatable flamingo (her choice, not mine), snacks that could feed a small army, and enough sunscreen to protect an entire preschool, we were set. Or so I thought.

As we embarked on our sandy journey, I couldn’t help but reflect on the parallels between my professional life and this beach escapade. In the boardroom, I’m known for my strategic planning and impeccable execution. Yet, there I was, ankle-deep in sand, realising I’d forgotten the one crucial item — her favourite beach bucket. Cue the impromptu creativity session, where a discarded ice cream tub became the most coveted sandcastle-building tool on the shore.

The art of building sandcastles, as I learned that day, is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a meticulous process involving digging, sculpting, and, of course, defending your masterpiece from rogue waves and curious dogs. My daughter, the self-appointed queen of the sandcastle, directed operations with the authority of a seasoned CEO. Under her watchful eye, we constructed a fortress complete with a moat, which, in her words, was ‘absolutely necessary to keep the sea monsters at bay’.

In the midst of our architectural endeavour, my phone buzzed with a reminder of an impending client call. There I was, a phone in one hand, a sand shovel in the other, expertly balancing the dual roles of mom and professional. As I discussed project timelines and deliverables, my daughter decided it was the perfect time to explore the ‘aquatic wildlife’ (read: chase seagulls). Ever tried to sound composed on a call while simultaneously ensuring your child doesn’t join a flock of birds? It’s an art form.

The day’s adventures didn’t end there. Post-call, it was time for a quick snack, because what’s a beach day without a picnic? Picture an assortment of fruits, sandwiches, and juice boxes meticulously prepared and just as quickly devoured, with a side of sand, of course. But hey, a little extra crunch never hurt anyone.

As the sun dipped lower, casting a golden glow over our sandy kingdom, it was time for the inevitable pack-up. If you’ve ever attempted to clean up a beach spot with a child in tow, you know it’s akin to packing up after a concert. Everything is sandy, wet, or both. The once neatly packed car boot now resembled a scene from a beach-themed disaster movie.

Driving back home, with the remnants of the day’s escapade slowly settling around us, I glanced at my daughter through the rearview mirror. Her hair was a tangled mess of sea and joy, her cheeks flushed with the thrill of the day. In that moment, I realised that these are the memories we’ll cherish — the chaotic, unplanned, and utterly wonderful moments of being a mom.

The day concluded with our usual bedtime routine, but with an added chapter about sea monsters and sandcastles. As I tucked her in, her soft snores soon filling the room, I reflected on the day. Sure, it was chaotic, unexpected, and at times, downright challenging. But it was ours — a perfect blend of motherhood, career, and the unpredictable tides of life.

In the quiet of the night, I sat down with a well-deserved cup of tea, my feet still feeling the phantom sensation of sand between the toes. I realized that, just like our impromptu beach trip, life doesn’t always go according to plan. But with a bit of creativity, and a lot of love, we can turn even the most unexpected situations into cherished adventures.

In the great balancing act of single motherhood and a career, it’s the spontaneous escapades that often bring the most joy. And as for the forgotten beach bucket? Well, it just goes to show that sometimes, the best memories are made when things don’t go exactly as planned.

Single Moms
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