I’ve recently had a long weekend break to Spain with friends. A break WITHOUT kids!
I don’t do this sort of thing very often. In fact, since having my youngest back in 2013, I think I’ve had a total of three overnight trips away; two with my husband and one last year with friends. Why? because I guess, like many other mums, I feel guilty for taking time off. Guilty for leaving my children, when looking after the kids, feeding them and getting them to and from school is primarily MY job.
And before I went away, as with those three other breaks, I felt anxious before going; anxious about sorting out the childcare, anxious about ensuring that every day life complete with school runs and dinners would continue without too much disruption. I also had my usual thoughts about dying. For some reason, whenever I’ve had a break without the children, especially if this involved flying, I imagine scenarios where the plane might crash or an accident happens and I’ll never see my kids again.
Hurrah! February is almost upon us and although technically, it’s still classed as winter, I can’t help but feel hopeful.
Hopeful because the never ending month that is January, is almost banished for another year.
Hopeful because after having after having a quiet month since an extravagant and costly Christmas, we can now start LIVING again.
Hopeful because this week I have noticed snowdrops in bloom. I’ve seen daffodils and crocuses raising their heads and the Camellia in my garden is starting to flower.
Hopeful because, if it’s not my imagination, the evenings seem to be getting a fraction lighter. Instead of the gloom descending at 4pm it now seems more like 4.30 or even 4.45 and every little bit helps!
It seems inevitable to write a blog post about New Year’s Resolutions, but it feels good to put some goals out there and also to look back at how things went last year.
Whilst January is completely depressing with long evenings, cold weather and everyone skint and promising “never to drink again”, there is something I love about a New Year. There’s the promise of hope; a blank page just full of possibility. Perhaps this WILL be the year that we conquer the world and make our millions. Failing that, perhaps this year we will lose weight / get fit / fulfil our dreams to achieve something. I get a bit excited that perhaps this year it will be the year that SOMETHING will happen.
Granted, I’m never sure at what stage that excitement wears off and the drudgery kicks in. Maybe it only lasts a week or two, but whilst I’m feeling upbeat and positive it seems like a good time to look back on what I wanted to do last year and think of things I’d like to achieve in 2018.
We’ve had two nativities to watch in the past week. Our eldest was a narrator and our youngest had her first school nativity as an angel. I don’t know what it is about watching your child in a nativity that is so emotional; my husband and I were both tearing up. Is it pride at how well they’re doing? Amazement at their confidence? Wonder at how much they’ve grown?
I wrote about the 7 Things to Love about a Nativity a couple of years ago when my eldest daughter first started school. It’s true, who doesn’t love a nativity? It definitely gets you in the festive spirit and it’s also an emotional rollercoaster: feeling proud and emotional too.
The past three days has seen the UK experience heavy snow fall and below zero temperatures. Anyone would have thought that it had never snowed before with all the attention it has been getting. The kids loved it. I enjoyed watching the kids and the snow from the inside.
I’m not a fan of this extreme weather or indeed this time of year. I’m much more of a summer girl who likes the sunshine, warmth and long evenings. But in a bid not to be a grumpy kill joy, here’s some of the things I do like about this time of year.
I thought my tiredness might have been down to a particularly heavy weekend with friends on both a Friday and Saturday night (I can’t do two nights in a row anymore). But days later, I’m still struggling with tiredness. I can’t get up in the morning and feel the need to go to bed about nine o’clock at night. I’m drinking even more than my usual eight cups of tea in a day in a bid to try and stay awake. By the time I’ve picked the kids up from school at three o’clock I feel like I could get under the covers for a nap.
Now that both my kids are in school, they seem to have a far busier social life than me. Every week at least one of them has a playdate with friends and this is on top of the usual after school and weekend clubs. I like my main purpose is to taxi them around to their social activities or collect them from friends’ houses.
Bearing in mind our youngest is still only four, I find it amusing that she trots off to other people’s houses without any care or hesitation. She had her best friend from her class over to play the other week and we were on constant countdown for weeks until the day would arrive!
Playdates for me seem to have their definite advantages and disadvantages so without further ado, here’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly side of playdates:
I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog for a while now, it has felt more than just a common blip of lacking inspiration. Perhaps it’s the changing of the seasons, but I suspect the main reason for feeling a bit strange is due to our youngest, Eva having started school in September. All through the summer I knew it was coming and felt emotional about not having my little side-kick around anymore. My husband watched me like a hawk during early September in case, I might have a bit of a slump.
The truth is that I was busy. I had a sudden rush of freelance work on and lots going on with project kitchen extension. So I relished the new found freedom of “getting stuff done” without the constraints of having to constantly think about Eva. And then in October it all came to an abrupt halt. The work dried up, the kitchen was finished and I felt lost. I had a delayed reaction to missing Eva; the pang of not having her around anymore suddenly kicked in. I missed having my little person with me again. I’d go shopping and the sight of other mums out with their little girls almost sent me wailing.
It occurred to me that whilst I missed having HER, I also missed having a sense of purpose. What was my role now?
For the past 10 weeks, we’ve been living in chaos whilst we’ve had a new kitchen extension built. Before it started, I don’t think we had any idea about how much the work would affect us all, we set up a make-shift kitchen in our dining room and luckily had a spare fridge in our garage. We started out trying to eat quite healthily, but the novelty quickly wore off and we ended up eating microwave meals for the last month. With kids, it’s much harder to deal with. Especially fussy kids that don’t eat much other than pizza, sausages and pasta; the options without an oven or hob were severely limiting!!