"Why I'm going to need a summer holiday to recover from...the summer holiday!"
Ahh the summer. We all know what that means: relaxing barbecues that stretch on for hours, late evening walks in dwindling sunshine, a cold glass of chardonnay in a sunny beer garden...
Said no parent - ever.
Summer sure has changed since my daughter – now five – arrived on the scene. Snoozing peacefully in the sunshine has been rudely usurped by cries of ‘mummy push me on the swing,’ ‘can I have a drink/ice cream/something out of the shed?’ or ‘tag, you’re it!’
I have a lovely wooden lazy chair on the patio that I honestly can’t recall the last time I sat in. Judging by the cobwebs, it’s been a while.
Of course for every perceived negative, there are a multitude of positives. Since the addition of little feet in our home, we’ve rediscovered the joy of paddling pools, water fights, making daisy chains in the park, and the utter excitement that creeps over you when the ice cream man pulls noisily onto the street.
That being said, I’m quickly learning that the big ‘six week’ school holiday is one concept that’s much better in theory than in practice.
For one things, it's no longer six weeks. My little one, Imogen, broke up for summer nearly three weeks ago, and still has five weeks to go. And one thing I can honestly say had never occurred to me before I had children is...what on earth are you supposed to do with them for 60 straight days? I have a full time job, as does my husband, and all the helpful relatives in the world can’t fill 40 hours a week. It turns out the answer is simple: feel guilty, and accept that for eight weeks, you’re not going to be really winning in any area. Because as wonderful as it would be to magically split myself in two – one of me taking my daughter out somewhere fabulous for the day, while the other one stays home and cracks diligently on with work – I can't.
The best I can do is set up indoor projects and garden games, gratefully take up any playdate that is offered, and get up at 6am to get as much done as I can before the sun gets warm.
And by the time September rolls around, I’ll be more than ready for a summer holiday!