I’ve never worked in an office during the school summer holidays before. For the last few years I was a Stay At Home Mum, which meant all the childcare was thus sorted and totally taken care of; aka the twins predominately spent every single day of their long break with me. Mum, Harry & Lottie.
My new role (in HR Management), that I started just under 6 months ago, is part-time, three days a week. And so, during a large chunk of July, I pretty much spent it planning for the entire six weeks’ school holidays. Covering the twins every day with either holiday club, a day off, using my Husbands holidays, or asking our parents to come and stay. It required organisational skills on a whole other level.
We’re almost a week into the start of the summer holidays now – and so far so good. I’m finding that I’m being forced to switch off during my days at home with the children, which is rather nice. Of course work is still swirling around my head (I can also feel my work phone bursting full with notifications and emails) but I’m determined to try to separate out the two parts of my life as much as I possibly can during the weeks ahead. When I am at home, I’m Mum, when I’m at work, I’m working.
I’m also adamant, that when I am in Mother-mode, I’m not going to succumb to the Instagram influence. We all know of it; the needing to be here, there and everywhere, and sharing it ALL online, in order to be perceived as a good parent this summer. Slower days at home, local trips, and being together is often enough for us, and I plan to build a lot of this into our summer. We live in the countryside, in a beautiful part of Worcestershire, so simply going for a long walk, a paddle in our local river, or hitting our favourite park with a picnic, is enough. I’m realising more and more these days that my twins just purely want me…and it doesn’t matter where we are, or how much I spend. They love it when my phone is away, I am laughing and present, I am engaging with them. My full attention.
In addition, I am also conscious of letting them argue, play-fight, make a mess and get thoroughly bored more too – and not kicking off if any of this happens. I’ve stopped wading into every single bicker they have and instead I’m letting them resolve their own issues (they usually do) and build in free play-time for them to make up games and use their imagination. That’s a lot easier now that I have two six-years olds and not two toddlers, I may add – but even so, a bit of freedom is liberating and freeing for young children. Handy too, for when I have a blog post I want to write on here, or half an hour of ironing to do.
We will plan to do some activities out and about too – we want to see a few movies, as well as some days out and catching up with friends. Soft play will no doubt feature (!) as well as a few nights away together with Hubby too. And I hope that the hot weather stays so that we can have plenty of fresh air; you cannot beat that falling-into-bed-feeling at night after a long, fun day in the sun.
So the main aim (for me) these summer holidays is not to view it as a negative thing, (i.e. something that has been thrust upon me, and one that I can’t wait to get through), but instead take every day as it comes and enjoy it all as much as I can. I’m sure I will have days where I feel pulled in two directions of job and family (let’s be very realistic here) but I’ll try to make it all work as best I can and not beat myself up if I fuck up a little bit. After all, that’s all I can possibly do.
I’ll keep you posted.