How, as a single parent, are you supposed to work, maintain your sanity AND look after children who have six-week long holidays?? SIX WEEKS! It’s just not natural.
This afternoon, after being a full-time mum since the end of July, I have spent a blissful five hours in the house on my own designing databases and writing marketing emails, while Bee and Belle have been out shopping with my mother. I am extremely grateful.
After just two weeks of being a ‘stay-at-home-in-the-holidays’ mum, I am already reaching the end of my tether. It’s like being on extended maternity leave all over again (what a stupid idea THAT was) – my neck and shoulders feel permanently tense, and my voice has become slightly high-pitched and hysterical. My patience is more frayed than my hall carpet, which is saying something, and my poor children are suffering I’m sure.
I’m just not cut out for it. It’s not their fault, I’m just the kind of mum who needs her children to go to school.
Yesterday I had rather an outburst.
It was ten to eleven and we were getting ready to leave the house at eleven for a swimming lesson. Belle couldn’t find her goggles. Term-time-mummy would probably have sighed and tutted a bit, but then helped her find them. Summer-holiday-mummy was not so considerate. Summer-holiday-mummy yelled something ridiculous and heavy with sarcasm about the importance of Taking Responsibility and what it means to Look For Things.
Even after Belle started to cry, summer-holiday-mummy was relentless.
“But I don’t know where they are Mummy,” she sobbed quietly.
“NO!” I shouted back. “Of course you don’t KNOW! That is what it means when something is LOST!”
“But I don’t know where to look…”
“Well that’s the whole point of LOOKING isn’t it?? You don’t know where they are, so you have to LOOK for them! If you knew WHERE to look they wouldn’t be LOST would they??”
It’s brilliant logic, but probably not really appropriate.
“Can’t I just borrow some at the pool?”
“Well of course you could BORROW some!! But that’s not the point is it?? The point is not LOSING them in the first place and developing your LOOKING skills.”
Hmmm… I think I may have lost it a bit there.
Needless to say we didn’t find them, despite my relenting and offering my superior looking skills. Belle stopped crying, we borrowed some at the pool, everything was fine. Not really one of my proudest parenting moments though.
Are all the other mums enjoying the holidays I wonder, basking in the glow from the cup-cake-laden aga, or are they all, like me, going quietly mad?