It’s the Summer holidays and I’m dreading it.
How on earth will I keep my bouncy, full-of-energy children occupied? How will I prevent the arguments? It’s hard enough handling meltdowns in the few hours before and after school, how on earth can I manage them all day long??
Hang on, didn’t you want kids?
What? Huh? Who was that? Oh, my inner voice speaking again. That judgemental little lego-man (I don’t know…but go with it) that sits inside my head reminding me that I wanted this. I asked for this. I worked bloody hard to have my family, and now I’m moaning about it. What kind of a person must I be?
I know some mums really look forward to the holidays – an opportunity to spend time with the kids, no getting up to pack lunches or do school runs, meet-ups with friends and their children, and fun days to be had.
I know some mums also really dread the holidays and wonder how on earth they will keep their little darlings occupied, and prevent the ‘I’m bored’ whines that can emanate from our children.
I kind of sit in the middle – worried and anxious about how to keep them occupied. But I enjoy not having to get up to do the school run. Take now – it’s 11.50am, the kids are happy, playing, not arguing, and I’m here on my laptop in my dressing gown, unshowered and accompanied by an empty mug – yes, because I’ve actually had time to sit and drink a whole cup of tea – that’s great. But yesterday the kids woke up at 6am and it was a shit day for us all with tempers high as tiredness dominated our moods.
Yet, still I feel something – fear maybe – deep in the pit of my stomach. Climbing up and lurching around, every time I think about that magic date September 4th, and how far away it really is.
But you did want kids didn’t you? And now you don’t want to spend time with them? How cruel are you?
That voice lingers there. That little plastic man and his messages eat away at me.
You should just feel grateful that you have 2 healthy children.
They might be hard work at times, but you love them.
Think about all those other people that haven’t got children – think yourself lucky.
Make the most of it, they’re only young once.
And he’s kind of right. Yes, they are challenging, tiring, angry, troubled, full-on little people, but I love them with all that I have and they turned us from a couple into a family which was what we wanted. Why then, am I so anxious about spending time with them? I wonder if other mums dread the holidays as much as I do?
And then I stop, and I realise that it’s not fear of spending time with the children that’s filling me with this dread. It’s not because I don’t want to spend time with them. My fear is about my expectations of myself – can I make them happy? Am I a good enough mum to make this summer work?
I want to give them a summer in which they can relax, have fun, be children, have days out, make memories, make mess, and it’s my lack of confidence in myself as a parent that’s making me anxious.
But I needn’t worry because the kids have their own ideas of what they want to do, and with some suggestions from me, ideas from the internet, their own imaginations and desires we work together (for the most part) to make this 6 week holiday work for us all.
So now, when that little lego man opens his mouth – I sing to him.
“Everything is awesome” I bellow. “Everything is cool when you’re part of a team”.
Today’s post was from an anonymous adoptive mum. If you’d like to use this space anonymously or not to share a view, opinion, rant, poem or anything else, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org