I’m in the exhaustion zone you know the one I mean.
That bit between the school finishing line and all the things that need to be done before holiday starts.
Prize giving, a de-stressing evening for mums who’ve just been through GCSEs (with their kids of course) sports days, kids reviews with teachers.
Another school year and the overwhelming feeling of relief, anxiety, fear and then what follows is the post school analysis.
Was it a good year or bad year? Wait for the end of term reports…
As working mums we juggle two calendars – January to December and the school year September to July. Managing the two can be quite frenetic.
I use my good old filofax with everything in it and my google calendar.
As I write this I have no time for reflection yet on the school year too tired for that but I am left wanting.
What I mean is a side of the fact I lost the first two months of this year following a heel operation which resulted in a cast and then ski boot, which meant I couldn’t get around.
At a recent customer meeting we were talking about a job that we were both convinced had been done in 2014, thumbing through my iPad it turned out to be 2013.
‘Huh’ we both said at once because it felt only yesterday that we had been discussing that very print job.
How quickly time passes.
Another summer holiday and it is the one holiday period where I like to think I can come up for air, look around me and appreciate there is another world that does not solely revolve around children’s’ school runs and activities.
It is also a time of the year where I aim to slow down be more reflective and consider where I am and what I’ve accomplished.
You might be thinking isn’t that something you would do at the end or start of a new year?
Maybe, but as the summer holidays stretch before me I like to take that time to really watch my children, sit down and join in with their conversation, listen to their laughter, play and have some fun with them.
I remember my childhood, a holiday was simple, uncomplicated with no fuss. No school, more play which meant more fun.
Here’s the list I have planned for when we are away:-
- Aim to read three books in 3 weeks (that’s the duration of the time we are away) I’m almost at the end of week 2 and how many of those books do you think I’ve read?
- I must make sure I get up early every day and train in the gym, walk or swim – I’ve been pretty good about this one I must say
- Early nights – only one so far when the weather is sunny and hot how can you go to bed early?
- Aim to do a sketch each day – I’m trying to follow Danny Gregory’s book – a sketch before breakfast – I’ve achieved two so far
I know some parents dread the long summer holidays but I must be the exception to the rule.
I look forward to them firstly because it means getting off the treadmill of the everyday routine but more importantly it is time to be quiet and reflective and allow children to be ‘bored’ and relaxed because they too have had a busy school year and need to rest.
I set too high expectations for myself and then if this isn’t painful enough I add the following to my list of holiday expectations:-
- I must enjoy, relax and make the best of the summer holiday
- I must aim to make sure that the summer holidays are special for my husband and boys
- I must enjoy the holidays at all costs
With all these expectations and ideals ‘holiday madness’ is becoming a reality.
The idea of a holiday is just that a ‘holiday’ not a time to be setting a load of aims and objectives which then become a set of obligations that you feel compelled to fulfil only to be bitterly disappointed when you fail.
The prospect of giving up holidays and working seems a far more rewarding prospect than the thought of physically taking yourself on holiday.
Will the world really stop turning if I don’t meet my expectations?
The most important thing is to make time for yourself and to do more of what you want to do instead of trying to meet a handful of obligations which turn out to be stressful.
So what if books don’t get read or you don’t send postcards which end up arriving two weeks after you are back in the UK.
I’m going to keep things simple by avoiding holiday madness, I will try and enjoy myself by spending time with my family and not feel guilty just because I failed to read three books!