Parenting, What's On Our Mind

Am I the only one looking forward to the end of school holidays?

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
July 12th, 2015

I’m calling it. The mid-year school holidays are the WORST.

Unless you’re going on an actual, bona-fide holiday with sunshine, pool time and drinks with novelty umbrellas in them, the winter holidays suck.

I really, REALLY dislike the school run in the morning, so when the bell rang on that last day of term I was really looking forward to the two weeks ahead. I imagined fourteen days of sleep-ins, quality time spent together and a few activities chucked in here and there. Happy, restful recuperation from the previous three months.

Turns out, it went nothing like that.

I’m not even joking when I say that about four hours into day one of holidays, my enthusiasm cup had already dwindled down to a measly few drops at best.

Those sleep-ins I was looking forward to? Nope…in our house, the kids only like to sleep in on weekdays when you know, we’ve actually gotta be somewhere – like school. School holidays and weekends? The kids rock those early morning wake-ups with gusto, an enthusiasm unseen during the school term where we ordinarily have to drag them kicking and screaming out of bed.

“Good morning mummy” is replaced with two demanding little faces screaming at me “where are we going today?”, “what are we doing today?” before I’ve even had a chance to raise my head from the pillow. As someone who works from home I do have a fair amount of flexibility in my day, but hardly enough to be the hotel activities desk they hoped for. Plus, it’s been so freaking cold that the motivation to get outside is L.O.W.

We’d done the movies, Disney on Ice, playdates with friends, a trip to the zoo, a couple of birthday parties and a couple of mandatory trips to hell on earth, aka THE PARK. The days where we just stayed at home were annoying to put it mildly. A million colouring books, canvas-painting and cupcake decorating activites just didn’t seem to cut it. The phrase, “I’m booooorrred” said in that whiny, drawn out voice started to send me on my way to Crazytown. I finally hit my destination on about Day 8.

The constant food requests that never semed to get eaten, the MESS of dropped crumbs and trails of toys all over the house (despite having their own bloody toy room) and the need to show me their new dance / karate chops / superhero moves while I was trying to make a work deadline were all nothing in comparison to the fighting.

Oh my God, the fighting….it was never-ending. “She touched me with her foot”, “he poked his tongue out at me” were just a couple of my favourites. I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say that on several occassions I may or may not have shouted “STOPPPPPPP!” or “JUST SHUT UPPPPP” loud enough for my entire street to hear.

I love my children beyond words and they really are great kids, but I don’t remember things being this hard when they were younger. I used to love being at home with them, all day every day, but something has shifted this year. Maybe it’s part of them growing up, maybe it’s the stress of trying to concentrate on work and parenting at the same time, but the ‘all day, every day’ thing just feels like so much work and frustration now.

I like to think that maybe the difficulty that comes with us being together all the time is just a sign of them maturing; that they need their space away from me, and each other, as much as I need some time away from them.

Although I’m looking forward to time alone, I know I’ll miss their voices tomorrow when the house is dead silent. I know that for us, that short break from one another during the day helps us function in the best way possible. I also know that when the school bell rings I’ll be there waiting to shower them with kisses and hear about their day….and hopefully get five minutes in before the arguing starts again.

Are you looking forward to the end of school holidays or sad they’re over?