The last day of term

It’s the last day of term for us.

How can July 15th be the last day of term?! To say I’m freaking out would be a bit of an understatement. Belle is refusing to go to any kind of camp or club, so I’m stuck with working full time and somehow trying to stop her from spending ten hours a day on Snapchat.

*eye twitches*

It’s weird, because you’d think that with her turning 14 this summer, childcare would be easier, and of course in some ways it is, but then at the same time it almost feels like she needs more supervision, partly because she’s the only child at home, and partly because of the technology thing. If I had a couple of them, say 7 and 5, they could amuse themselves for an hour or so building a den or punching each other, or something wholesome like that, but Belle isn’t me, she’s not going to turn around on the first day of the holidays and say ‘you know what Mummy? I think I might do a project about badgers today.’

(I did once do a project about badgers. Things like that were more fun before the Internet, when you had to trace pictures from books and what not.)

I had an interesting chat with fiancé a few days ago. He’s properly into the whole parenting thing now, and I think he’d had a bit of a moment. ‘So parenting,’ he said, ‘it seems to me that it’s 95% guilt?’


Guilt that you’re not being supportive enough, or encouraging enough, or guilt that you’re being too supportive and not teaching them to be independent. Guilt that you’re letting them stay in bed too late in the mornings, and then guilt that their teenage brains aren’t getting enough sleep. Guilt that you spend too much time working, or not enough time working, or not enough time with them/without them. Guilt that I’ve not done enough research to come up with interesting summer holiday entertainment options.

Quite frankly it’s exhausting.

I feel like the summer holidays should be a chance to relax and recharge the batteries, but at the same time I’m just not sure how to balance all of the things.


I can tell that I’m stressed, (although it’s really subtle obvs), as this was meant to be a post about my desk. I was going to go with the whole ‘clearing out your drawer on the last day of term’ angle, and then roll smoothly into showing you my new desk tray from Red Candy. Well that didn’t really work did it? Instead you’ve got this spewing of holiday anxiety and parenting guilt. Sexy times.

Okay, I’m going to focus and show you the tray anyway, as otherwise I’ll publish this and have to have a little cry because I won’t have done the one thing I set out to achieve.



Pretty isn’t it?

I have the matching letter rack too, so once I clear away all the dirty tea mugs, empty Starbucks cups and random bits of blutac, napkins and old walnuts, my desk will be the envy of everyone from miles around. Possibly.

Oh, and I put up this little sign, just as a reminder. It felt pretty apt for this post.

Is anyone else having summer holiday anxiety?


Red Candy sent me the letter tray for the purposes of this review. I’m sure they will be thrilled with the result. Seriously though, I do love the tray, I’m just freaking out.



  1. 15 July, 2016 / 11:12 am

    Love the letter tray! BTW kids are meant to get bored during the summer holidays, it makes them want to go back to school so they have something to do. Boredom is good for developing a creative way of thinking, at least that is what I keep telling myself – and the children!

    • Jo Middleton
      15 July, 2016 / 12:13 pm

      I don’t think she WOULD get bored though, that’s the trouble – she’d just be staring at a screen all day!

  2. 15 July, 2016 / 12:31 pm

    My kid has been out for the summer for 5 weeks. Three were busy with drivers ed but the last two pure nothingness. I agree the non day camp summers are brutal. Too much screen time,so much “chatting.” Basically,I am feeling the same as you and seven more weeks to go.

  3. 15 July, 2016 / 4:13 pm

    That is a nice basket ;)

    Ah, the summer holidays. I’m about to experience my first one as a parent. I’m also freaking out!

  4. 15 July, 2016 / 4:34 pm

    Surely she would get bored eventually? Maybe just teach her a lesson and let her have unlimited screen time until she feels like she doesn’t know herself or the world around her and has an existential crisis and sobs into beginning pages of badger project?

  5. 15 July, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    Loving the done is better than perfect quote and so so true about the mama/parenting guilt! I’m going as far back as lying awake wondering if depressive moments from two years ago is somehow going to lead to years of counselling bills…also this type of thought is not helpful! I think i need to write a list of activities for summer holidays x

  6. 15 July, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    I completely get this and my kids are only 4 and 6!! They would spend the whole summer watching Octonauts if I’d let them (and tbh sometimes I must admit I put it on to give myself some peace). I’m trying to encourage them to play outdoors more but they get bored super quickly and nagging about TV starts again! 6 weeks to fill! Deep breath and here we go!

  7. 16 July, 2016 / 7:03 am

    Haha I have summer holiday anxiety but for a whole different reason! For me it’s due to the fact that no-where is safe to go anymore because it will be absolutely heaving! We basically have to hibernate for 6 weeks to avoid busy parks, queues and noise! x

  8. 17 July, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    Mine break up in a week’s time. I’m already feeling a bit twitchy at the thought but am hoping to ’embrace’ it and not worry about work (laughs hollowly).

  9. 18 July, 2016 / 11:41 am

    Yes I feel exactly the same with the impending summer holidays!! I always feel under pressure to make each day count and like I have to spend loads of money on exciting outings… although this summer i am on unpaid maternity leave so that won’t be happening! I’m sure, like all things, there will be good days and bad (I wrote about this very thing on my blog)

    Good luck ladies, maybe see you down the park (it’s free!) xx

  10. 18 July, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    Yes, I am feeling pretty apprehensive about it all and I have the ones that will be punching each other for six weeks!

    Nice desk though ;)

  11. 18 July, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    love the tray!!! when I was 14 I was totally unsupervised…. but thinking about what I got up too I’d never ever leave mine alone ha!!

  12. Laura
    19 July, 2016 / 12:01 am

    Ah, at age 15 I did a project about Native Americans in the summer holidays. Just cuz. Also I may have had no friends.

    My lot break up Wednesday – nearly 6 year old (going on 16) daughter and 9 year old twin boys – oh and they have ASD and ADHD. They would literally stare at screens all day, and I will endure hours of “what time is it? When is it screen time?” before finally giving in!

    • Jo Middleton
      21 July, 2016 / 3:09 pm

      Haha! You sounds like me at school!

  13. 19 July, 2016 / 6:11 pm

    That’s so interesting – it didn’t even occur to me until I read this that parents might nag their teenage kids to get out of bed because of guilt! But of course that makes perfect sense.

  14. 26 July, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    Gorgeous letter tray. My desk is a horrific state. It’s interesting that I’m reading this post just when I’m having a huge freak out about everything to do with parenting!

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