I’m just beginning week three of the summer holidays and I’m still here. Just.
It’s not that I don’t love spending time at home with the children – I do.
We have a huge garden for them to play in, plenty of gadgets and toys to keep them entertained (not that you’d know it) and enough spare cash to have the odd day out.
I don’t do people. I like silence and stillness.
The children giggling, screaming and singing is as tiring as listening to the children squabble, bicker and fight. In some ways it’s worse. When they’re fighting I can yell, ‘Enough!’ every ten minutes, not that it does much good. When they’re loud because they’re loving life, I have to try and enjoy it and not feel how it’s stripping my skin away like a potato peeler.
But I’m learning.
I’m learning that the shattered exhaustion will go away after I get a few days (hours, minutes?) of silence.
I’m learning that if I take myself off to nap, they will eventually play a game together, and possibly even not fight for a whole ten minutes.
I’m learning that I can work while they’re at home (I’ve had some audio-typing to do) as long as I don’t mind it taking twice as long and sapping the last of my strength.
I’m learning that if I spell it out to them that they can have sweets as long as they’ve had two portions of fruit and veg they will actually listen to that, even if the ‘fruit’ is raisins and the ‘veg’ is baked beans.
I’m learning to lower my expectations of myself and to not try and create a Facebook-friendly life. Although I do post the odd set of photos, it’s usually with titles like ‘just to prove to my children they did have a fun day out’ and ‘trying to be a Pinterest mum’.
And we have had fun.
We’ve been to the farm and Anglesey Abbey, we’ve made giant bubbles and crystals and collages. We’ve done some study (to earn iPad games) and baked way too many cakes and cookies. We’ve had mini piano lessons and karate.
Oh yes, I decided I was a grown-up after all and it wasn’t for my daughter to tell me I couldn’t take part in something, so I started karate too. My goodness it’s harder than it looks!
Anyway, that’s about all the words I have in my cluttered head. I’m off to do some knitting whilst being an attentive audience to a piano composition and a drum solo (quite possibly at the same time) before dragging the kids to Waitrose for my much-needed daily caffeine intake.
Survival. With plenty of coffee and cake and a little bit of STFU.