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The Days Are Long…
I am currently in the vacuum of the school holidays. The days are long and the hours are slow. I know I sound miserable and ungrateful. I do enjoy the holidays and spending quality time with my children (honest!) but we need to appreciate that a day with a child is around 12 hours long and that is a very long time to completely fill with happy and exciting activities.
The other day, I had a wonderful morning in Bonchurch Park with friends. The kids played happily on the climbing frames, kicked around a ball and discussed the latest Xbox. The parents sat on a bench, gossiped over coffee and intermittently retrieved small children from tall trees. There was a picnic, laughter and the kids burnt off lots of energy. In total, this whole activity lasted 4 hours. Brilliant, although we were home by 2.30pm and we still had another 5 hours to fill until bedtime!
Now the kids were weary from the morning fun and little more fractious. After an hour of TV and iPad, my guilt had kicked in and I insisted on a bike ride to Leigh Library (we are going to complete the BFG summer (bloody) reading challenge if it kills me!). The time now? 5.00pm. Ok, we’re getting there. Now I am exhausted and ready for a snooze but there is dinner to go in the oven and clearing up to be done. As we all crawl towards bedtime, my airy, optimistic morning mum has been replaced with a much wearier and grouchier model.
The Husband arrives home from work and responsibility is temporarily handed over. I only slightly blanch when I hear both boys tell Daddy that they have done ‘nothing much’ all day. I’m too busy sweating over what we will be doing for 12 hours again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…
With the best will in the world, I just can’t stay cheerful and motivated for the full 12-hour stretch. There is probably around 6 hours a day where the kids are relatively happy. They laugh and play and create lots of fun. However, there are the other 6 hours where things may not go quite so according to plan. They are the dark hours where you let them watch TV, shout a little too much and hide in the cupboard eating cooking chocolate to escape the monotony.
I think back to my own school holidays and remember running around outside with my friends making some of my own fun and trouble. Now, the thought of letting your children roam the streets alone is unheard of and parents hover over their children every step of the way.
Sometimes I just can’t bear the whining. Better to be out and active then home and fractious. Either way, there is still another 252 hours to fill until they are back at school. Pass me the wine!
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