As soon as we fall into the New Year all we look forward to is the summer. Actually I love the spring but summer brings so much more excitement with the tease of warmer weather, a potential holiday which lasts longer than a bank holiday weekend and a promise of a quieter period at work.
However what I always seem to forget during this eagerly anticipated run up is the huge amount of juggling, ad hoc entertainment arranging, and all the other 101 things to remember which comes from both of us working in pretty inflexible jobs.
We yearn for school time when it’s holiday time, and for holidays when it’s term time but for me the looming six week break brings organisational panic and that annual monster dose of working mum’s guilt (I really don’t feel it very often but it always rears it’s ugly head in the summer).
We’ve just about managed to nail term time, which included a lot of calculated decision making. Specifically, moving house into the right residents permit zone which allows me to logistically herd two kids to and from nursery and school / after school clubs before and after work plus park the car as close as possible to the tube. It doesn’t totally alleviate the last minute mad dashes from the station or the overly apologetic phone calls to the after school club supervisor letting them know I’ll be there soon, but it does massively help and allows me to get to each location by the skin of my teeth. There’s nothing like a good old rocket up your backside after work to get you moving, and I don’t think I actually take a full breath until both are belted in their carseats badgering me to “put Capital on”…”no, play Old MacDonna Had a Farm”, neither of which I need in my life at that particular moment. (If you watch my Insta stories you’ll be v familiar with my post work pick up panics!).
Even though term time is hectic, the kids have long days and I am really only a glorified taxi driver…it’s a very organised routine so everyone knows what they’re doing, where they’re expected to be, which parent is minding the kids on what day (Mr LMA does Wednesday and I do Friday’s, Saturdays and Sundays), which allows us to generally get through each week unscathed and (sometimes) on time (not often enough). Add in the odd curve ball of a sick child or a forgotten inset day (disaster) and peace is interrupted usually with a frustrated “your turn” in unison before we let rock, paper, scissors decide.
So hopefully you’ll now understand why summer holidays send me into such a spiral of emotions (because I am a control freak!!!!)…pure joy when grandparents ask if they can ‘have Jack’ for a day or two (winning), anxiety when trying to source new camps which Jack will love but more importantly which operate during the hours I need them to (08:00 – 18:00 – anywhere that finishes before 6pm is a deal breaker), despair when I remember at midnight that I need to make a pack lunch and we don’t have anything suitable (only leftover curry), embarrassment when I accept a playdate knowing I probably won’t be able to return the favour, plus shed loads of guilt knowing that all of these people are going to spend enormous amounts of time with my boys instead of me?!?!?!
Hence the absolute necessity of a summer holiday!
I say that in such a way it makes it sound like we have them frequently…unfortunately not, and we haven’t been on one for a couple of years (v sorely missed). We have been though on a couple of smaller trips instead which were very lovely but we love nothing more than being in our own family bubble spending time on our favourite ‘white isle’. There’s nothing more therapeutic than regrouping after being part of this crazy work / life / kids world we live in and for us Ibiza is so familiar now that it’s home from home, and a very easy trip for us to make.
This year however, much to Jack’s initial disappointment, we’re not heading to his favourite island (shock), instead we’re very lucky to be heading off, a little later than usual, on an uber exciting family adventure which will definitely loosen those constraints of the slightly regimented life we lead.
More on that to come…
Our Family Weekly Round Up
As well as a regular blog I thought I’d share our weekly family ‘highlights’…
- Finn did a poo on the toilet at nursery (big win).
- Jack won ‘goalkeeper of the day’ at football camp.
- I’ve managed 22 days of intermittent fasting (for detoxing purposes).
- Finn graduated to pre-school and starts properly on Monday.
- Mr LMA got his first interrupted lie in since starting night shifts (win).
- The kids got to watch FOUR movies in a row (mum win right there).