I have a love-hate relationship with the summer school holidays. In a perfect world I’d have the full eight weeks off work. But the world isn’t perfect. Children have something like 12 weeks holidays a year and working people have four weeks … six if they’re lucky.
Maths was never my thing but even I know that’s a sum that equals chaos, juggling and stress for working parents.
My boys are into week three of their holidays and they’re about to kill each other. I have a confession to make. I love my sons a lot, but during the holidays I find there are moments when I don’t like them very much. Those are the moments when they’re arguing about the most ridiculous things; destroying my just-cleaned house; using my lounge room as a football pitch; complaining that I won’t buy them toys when we’re a week away from Christmas; delivering a volley of words that sound like swear words, while assuring me that I’ve misheard and they actually said SHIP. ‘Der mum, as if we would say THAT!’
I confess it’s been a long year and we’re all in need of a break. I’m counting down the days until my working year is over. Then I can focus on getting into holiday mode and enjoying my children and focusing on just being a mum.
At the moment I’m trying to do both. At. the. same. time. Crazy right?
Because you know the minute you pick up the phone to make a work call is the minute they decide to start brotherly World War 567.
It happened this morning. I was mid interview when the youngest dropped the foot stool on the finger of the eldest who was rolling around on the floor sulking because I’d vetoed gadgets for the morning.
‘Go read a book or play in your room,’ I told him, piously. ‘You know when I was a kid there were no iPads, iPods or Nintendos,’ I lectured him, finding my groove in an oft-delivered mummy lecture.
It’s about this time of year I get sick of the sound of my own voice. I’m doing a lot of solo parenting as Mr Bean focuses on bringing in the end of the vegetable season. It’s always a crazy time as they pick and pack pre-Christmas vegetable orders. So it’s down to me to mediate the boy battles and I’m not sure what the studies say but I definitely notice a difference in my sons’ behaviour when they haven’t had much dad time.
By 3pm today I gave in and put a movie on, just to get some peace. Whatever works at this time of year I reckon.
I know the kids are shattered too. it’s been a big, busy year and they need some time out. So this afternoon is devoted to the couch, a movie and a lazy afternoon tea.
It’s working a treat. One is already asleep after screaming ‘I’M NOT TIREDDDDDDD!!!!’
Two work days to go before holidays. And yes I AM counting.