Am I a peculiar mother, given I dread the summer holidays?
I am blessed by only having a shade over 5 weeks in which to entertain my children, but still the thought of it stretching out in front of me fills me with dread.
Five weeks! What to do? What to do?
I have spent too many of them moving house, of course. Last year we moved in the summer half-term, but the previous two summers had been spent moving house. And this year we move back into our refurbished house (woo hoo!!) So perhaps that is much of the dread. After all, young children and packing boxes and chaos is not a good mix. They get fed up, bored, frustrated and I get nothing done.
This summer I had decided to take a more chilled out approach. The first week I'd get the children into some activity or childcare, whilst the house was completed, then I'd have three weeks in which to gradually move back in. We could alternative house-moving with days out (yes, the technical term is bribery) and be all settled before our late, brief holiday and term starting again.
Then this happened. Now my three weeks has vanished. I am still overseeing a house refurb and entertaining the children. Furthermore, if the build overruns any more our holiday will be threatened and my desire to be settled before term recommences looks less and less likely.
Well, I have dealt with the first problems by finding more activities for the children to attend and, believe it or not, I am sorry and a little resentful. Being 9 and 7, my children are a good age for enjoying many activities and days out, and the need for me to be around for last minute corrections and purchases for the house limits the flexibility I would like for doing such things with them. Despite the grey cloud of five weeks looming, I do love my kids and recognise this is precious time with them, time that I will never recoup.
I have no doubt we'll manage to squeeze something in other than trips to IKEA. But I am - now - looking forward to next summer when I will be in control, not the builders or removal men!