Absence (sometimes) makes the heart grow fonder

Jack loving life
Loving life – April 2017

I had a minor panic on Sunday evening, after I dropped Jack off to his grandparents for the second week running, that I had planned too much for him over the school holidays.  (Jack very much goes with the flow so you never quite know what he’s thinking and even if he doesn’t enjoy something he’ll more than likely just do it anyway).

As we’re not going away until September (to a family wedding hence why we’re taking a holiday during term time), I am working through the school holidays, bar a couple of odd days, so organised a full itinerary for Jack to ensure he wouldn’t get bored.  This includes three sets of 3 night sleepovers with grandparents, various camps including coding, cricket and (of course) football plus visiting friends, swimming and / or whatever Mr LMA and I had planned on a Wednesday and Friday.  It felt like a great idea at the time but I think the whole not sleeping at home for so many nights came to a head at the weekend and made me question our parenting.

I know.  It sounds pathetic.  And I can hear some of my friends who haven’t got grandparent support say that I’m mad, and I should be thankful.  I can also hear my other friends say they wish they worked and didn’t have to spend the entire 6 weeks with their kids at home going crazy.  The reality is we all have our ‘wants’ and will always be envious of some parts of other people’s lives but we also have those moments (which we should remind ourselves more regularly) of feeling incredibly lucky.

Jack is incredibly lucky to be able to go to different camps and to have grandparents around who want to spend time with him.  Finn is incredibly lucky to be able to go to nursery during the holidays and spend time with his friends, and I’m incredibly lucky to be able to work and also have a three day weekend.  Life is what you make it and I chose this particular route so note to self…”Stop moaning about missing your kids, love the love they’re getting elsewhere and enjoy that little bit of time you’re having without them”.  After all…absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Well mostly, not all the time.  Sometimes we need less absence and more presence.

Mr LMA has been working night shifts (he’s a London black cabbie) for the past 5 weeks (and will do until our holiday) which means that apart from Wednesday’s (his one day off) we’re like passing ships in the night.  He’s asleep when we wake, when we get home in the evening and go to sleep, he’s awake and working.  And more annoyingly what tends to happen is as I’m so time constrained on the other three days and leave the office at 17:00 to pick the kids up I end up working late on a Wednesday, on probably the most important day of the week when I should be leaving on time to spend the evening with the boyf.  So then what happens?  We bicker.  No shit Sherlock.

We’ve never been good at not seeing each other, but we do so rarely at the moment that when we have a couple of hours of family time it usually ends up as one massive anticlimax.  Jack will be in a mood for not getting his own way, Finn won’t listen to a word of discipline so we then resort in taking charge of one child each and grunting to each other sarcastically about what a lovely time we’re having.  It’s always the bloody way.  You look forward so much to that ‘time’ you end up ruining it, without any real reason, other than you know it’s never for long enough.

But we’ve both learnt over the years that the key to getting through phases like this, and believe me we have been through a lot of them, is to accept them, laugh through them and keep looking forward to the end in sight.  Soooooooooooooooooo Mr LMA…

…I’ll see you in 4 weeks on holibobs !!!!

Our Family Weekly Round Up

  • Jack started reading Harry Potter (my dream came true).
  • Mr LMA bought new suitcases for our holiday.
  • I didn’t manage to run once (can’t remember why).
  • Jack caught the best batsman out at cricket camp (proud).
  • The washing machine has started to smell like rotten eggs (annoying).
  • I found holiday bargains in Primark (would definitely recommend a visit).
  • Finn now knows how to say Dumbledore (Jack’s win).
  • My littlest sister came over and we drank (a lot of) Prosecco…hic.



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