Summer Holidays and busy mums! If like me you’ve ever wondered ‘Why is it that when the children return to school, the mornings are darker (therefore children want to stay snuggled up) and as of the 1st September you reach for your raincoat for the school run!’ How quickly the summer fades.
I’ve recently been asked by lots of people if I had a good summer? I, of course,reply in the positive way however as a busy working mum the summer presents far more challenges than just having the appropriate picnic food on standby ready for an impromptu park lunch or ensuring children are wearing the correct SPF.
My summer planning starts well before the school finishes. A spread sheet of the forthcoming 6 weeks is meticulously planned with activities and cover provided by Grandparents and family members. The term ‘Summer break’ really doesn’t justify all the time spent dropping off and picking up children whilst I frantically try to maintain a level of professional composure when I arrive at work. To throw into the mix of hectic planning is our newest member of the family, an 8 month old puppy who is as happy and as lively as you can imagine – however he also needs to be carefully planned with his own column on the spread sheet!
Within a blink of an eye the time has gone, the spread sheet is being shredded and it’s back to school, I’m left pondering where did the summer go? I think to myself did I do enough with the children? did I spend enough time with them over their holidays? did I work too much? did they have fun? will they remember their summer holidays as precious free time playing and laughing or will they remember their mother telling them to ‘hurry up as Mummy has to get to work today?’
As I pause for a moment and think about the packed 6 weeks of holidays I draw up a mental list of activities that the girls have participated in and I start to relax:
Crabbing at the beach with Grandparents, sleepovers, beach days, walks (and picnics) in the woods, walks (and picnics) in the park, swimming, two separate day trips to amusement parks with family members, birthday celebrations, trips to see Cousins, Auntie and Uncles, cinema visits, more sleepovers, trampolining competitions, den building, drawing, sticking and gluing craft activities, baking cakes and cookies, being totally spoilt by Grandparents, fairground rides, training puppy to walk nicely, unsuccessful recall training for puppy at the park/beach/woods etc, eating their body weight in ice creams. That’s just to name a few…
So as I waved my daughter off to secondary school last week for the first time, desperately trying to give a calm and reassuring exterior, whilst I struggle to do either of these things, and I take the hand of my youngest daughter to walk her into the playground for her first day in year 4, I realised that yes I have had a good summer and I need to give myself a break.
Like the summer passing into autumn I can not stop my children from growing up but I can ensure that the time spent with them is the best it can be. I am also allowed to occasionally pat myself on the back for doing a good job of raising two balanced happy children who know the value of hard work through their parents. I’m off now to buy a latte and to congratulate myself for a job well done! Oh yes and my eldest daughter is walking home for the first time……aghhhh!
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