I thoroughly enjoy the first four weeks or so of the summer break. I truly do. But there comes a point where the little darlings need to be told something six times before they hear it once; the bickering becomes a headache; and why do they constantly need feeding! The culmination of the physical and emotional act of parenting becomes too much, remaining calm is a super power and noise is reaching a frustrating level.
It’s time for the kids to go back to school.
Can I have a mini therapy session with you all?
I’ve particularly struggled these last few days. The eldest is hurtling towards the teenage years faster than I’m prepared for. I’m not sure I know what I’m doing. The pre-teen hormones scare me and this week, there’s been an epic fail each step of the way towards the end of the summer holidays.
Tough days are just that; tough days…I spy with my little eye, something beginning with GIN!
So yesterday I took a step back from them and grabbed some personal space. Me, Me, Me..it’s OK to be selfish once in a while.
On these days, I prescribe a supportive husband who lets you know that he’s got you covered, back-to-back episodes of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’, alone, upstairs, in my own room, followed by an evening dose of empathetic friends who have never failed to make my cheeks ache from laughing, as I listen to them recount their own honest parenting challenges, helping me feel ‘normal’ in a sea of personal questioning and doubt.
All this helps clarify thought. Then I can remind myself that, for me, parenting is about supporting our two girls to grow into individuals who will make the world a better place because they’re in it. Now that’s the ultimate cherry on top of that parenting cake. But in order to get there, it means standing my ground on the values and behaviours I believe in. This isn’t going to make me popular.
It’s not “will they like me?”, it’s “I’ll be OK if they don’t”.
Therapy session over. Thank you! Please bill my eldest.
So yes, I have a spring in my step as I get them ready for the new school term.
But you know what? It’s sad to end the summer with this negative attitude just because of a few tough days. In fact, we’ve had some truly great days over the last 6 weeks. And that’s quite fab!
Today was our last free day of the summer break. We needed to turn negative emotion on its head, look back on Summer 2016 with a positive stance, and cherry-pick little moments of joy.
So this afternoon I got out the fabric pens, grabbed some white t-shirts, we looked back through photos from the last 6 weeks and the girls began to gather their special memories, with quite a bit of laughter along the way. It’s been our little stretch towards the light.
But do you know what the best part of this afternoon was? Recognising that, as we chatted and laughed about happy times, there is actually a lot of respect and love on both sides. We do actually appreciate each other. I feel a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.
*[cancels boarding school applications]*
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