Why did that feel like the longest Easter Holidays ever?
Never before have I been so delighted that my alarm was set to go off at 7.15am as I was on Monday morning. I woke up a full hour before and wasn’t even that bothered about getting another few minutes of sleep before the madness of the school run prep began.
I wonder how many other Mum’s were feeling a similar sense of giddiness about the return to school after the longest Easter holidays EVER?
Why did they feel so long?
Possibly because the children had only been back at school for 3 and a half weeks before we were plunged back into something resembling Lockdown 3.0 again. We’d had a taste of the old routine only to have it ripped away from us after such a short time: Long enough to get fed up of the school run; but not long enough to really relax into the monotony of our own company.
Parents weren’t the only ones to suffer. The kids struggled to adjust to yet another change in their routine although the lure of chocolate eggs at the start definitely eased the transition until the sugar high wore off. As the truly selfless person I am, I have prevented my children from consuming too much chocolate by continuing to plough through the seemingly endless supply of purple, foil wrapped chocolate eggs whilst the children are in bed. They haven’t noticed yet; My waist line however… that’s a different story!
I feel like the weather was intent on making the Easter holidays particularly difficult. One minute it was blue skies, sunshine and a bit of warmth (cue putting away all winter boots, coats, hats and scarves to make space for flip flops, shorts and t-shirts) only to have snow and freezing temperatures the next day! (cue digging out all said winter boots, coats, hats and scarves and leaving summer items in a pile at the back of the wardrobe. Better to keep them handy — never know when we might need them again!)
Perhaps this was because we were finally allowed to meet people outside and it was the Universe’s way of saying “You humans are not in charge!” or maybe it was just bad luck. But it felt pretty harsh after being stuck at home for so long to be faced with bracing winds, sleet and the odd rain shower while sitting outside in a pub garden chatting to a friend. In spite of the rather British weather, we did manage to get out and about to see some of our family and friends which punctuated the holidays and gave us all a much needed break from each other.
I noticed that my girls, who have always been pretty seasoned travellers owing to making the long trek ‘oop north from an early age, have become rubbish at travelling. An hour in the car has suddenly become a serious trip requiring ‘packing’ and time to prep. They insist on snacks, drinks and entertainment for what used to be ‘just popping out’ and is now ‘road trip extraordinaire’. They also both got car sick. Urgh! I wasn’t prepared for that but I’m hoping they both snap out of it with more practice otherwise journeys to see family will be…interesting!
I’m not sure if this happened in all families, but I feel like my girls have reached saturation point with each other. They can barely stand to be in the same room as each other and their tolerance of each other is at an all time low.
The arguments start the nano second they wake up and continue until bedtime when they bizarrely join forces to protest against the unfairness of sleeping, petitioning relentlessly to sleep in Beautiful Blue Eye’s room where things would promptly descend into an argument at around 9.13pm typically about which audiobook they will listen to.
This would crescendo into declarations of “She’s so annoying!”, “I’m bored!”, “I’m hungry!” and “I can’t sleep” before they finally crash out close to 11pm at the same time as I slope off to bed, exhausted by the relentless arguing. Suddenly, the 4 year age gap between them seems like a vast gulf that is getting wider by the day, and I fear will only get worse as adolescence looms for Beautiful Blue Eyes and Little Brown Eyes shows no signs of becoming a more reasonable human being.
One of the hardest aspects of holidays for me is that my work continues. Of course the work I do in schools stops which gives welcome relief from the hectic term time schedule, but my private practice continues which is a lot to juggle with the girls at home too. Having worked in schools forever, this feels particularly hard although I know many parents face the same issues.
Holidays make the boundaries blurry and with so many parents working from home, the boundaries between home life and work life are already blurred, making it harder to separate out our time. If it’s confusing for us, imagine how it is for our children who are suddenly sharing their home with their parents’ office, unsure whether they can disturb Mummy or Daddy even though they are sat at the kitchen table.
So if you found the Easter holidays especially long or just tough, it’s because life is still pretty strange right now. We are still living through a global pandemic and dealing with a huge amount of uncertainty. Whether we realise it or not, this takes it’s toll on our sense of wellbeing and that of our children. Be kind to yourself.
And just because you’re delighted the kids are back at school, doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human.