Is it just me that feels like the very first day of the February half term holiday week off work / school with my kids (I’m a teacher) has aged me like about 5 years?
Every time I LOOK FORWARD to this ‘week off’ (bahaha) for weeks, then, when it arrives, it is the source of plummeting self esteem, overwhelm and general guilty feeling that I do not know how to enjoy time with my kids, and that accordingly they don’t enjoy time with me.
A feeling of, if I’m honest, fight/flight and a shameful inner voice screaming, “PLEASE EVERYONE LEEEEAVE. ME. THE. FUCK. ALONE. A creeping suspicion that I am a bad person… I mean seriously, I’m living the fucking dream here. I work two days a week, 30 weeks a year, teaching children to sing and read music and conducting choirs, and the rest of the time I look after my little family, and during school term, I love it! I love the routine. I love having time with them, time to myself, time at work.
I became teetotal nearly 22 months ago after my spiralling ‘grey area drinking’ got very dark grey and ugly mixed in a cocktail with post natal depression and medication. Right now, I guess I’m still reeling from my best friend’s death from breast cancer 5 months ago. She and her husband were about to adopt a child after a fertility struggle right before her cancer returned. So in one fell swoop, she lost a baby, and her future.
She and I started trying for babies the same month in 2011. She was like my sister, we were meant to grow old together.
And here I am, alive, with 3 beautiful babies, complaining about having a full week of time with them.
Kind of ridiculous. And yet. I think I DO need to accept that, just because I’m incredibly lucky and blessed in my life, that doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to find it hard sometimes.
So, with that in mind, I’m going to bundle this beautiful, feral bunch of children into the car and out into the chilly sunshine of the Buckinghamshire countryside.
I’m allowed to struggle with this week, as long as I treasure it, too.