In the beginning came the “holiday” blues…

Five month baby bump

Ever since I gave birth to JJ in September 2009 certain things I took for granted before have changed radically and this has led to a major mental gear change. The first instance of this phenomena came as JJ’s first Christmas approached. I remember the Health Visitor’s survey asking “do you still look forward to things?”. I thought about Christmas and my heart sank. The only things really keeping me afloat back then were baby groups at the Surestart Centre, the Library, my NCT get togethers, and the thought of all those lifelines being whipped away for the best part of three weeks (at a time when every day seemed like a year!) was too depressing to contemplate.

Since the beginnings of parenthood I have noticed that days that I used to look forward to the most – Saturdays, Bank Holidays – are now approached with a sense of impending doom.

I’m sure this phenomena is probably understood by about 50% of other parents depending on the personalities of both you and your children, and how much support and adult company you can expect on any normal “day off”. My children tend to be very demanding and expect my constant input into whatever they are doing. Right now, for example, I’m managing to write this whilst ostensibly being very involved in a particularly noisy episode of Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, interspersed with fielding questions and demands to help JJ colour in his toe-nails with a biro. Guess what? Its Bank Holiday Monday and the hubster is having a nice lie-in. Normally a Monday morning involves an early start for me – leaving the house before the children wake and taking my packed breakfast (coffee and a banana) to a little spot I know where I can read, write and contemplate my naval in peace before my work day kicks in.

Since the beginnings of working part time and having a completely re-arranged week, I have found that, when other people are slogging up the wrong side of that weekly hump (Monday and Tuesday) I am at my most productive and those few child-free hours have been invaluable. Thursday is the new Friday because, despite the fact that I know Friday is ‘Mummy Day’, we have places to go, people to meet and things to do.

As this particular Half Term approached I had already decided to cut back a bit on ‘blog hours’, join a couple less linkies, and thereby give myself a bit of a chance at crowbarring in a few different forms of entertainment and relaxation (I’ve so far managed another couple of chapters of my book and the first three episodes of a gripping BBC thriller/drama almost back to back!). But since the beginnings of my blogging journey I have become aware that when I have trouble finding the time and headspace to blog I am left feeling decidedly flat. When you don’t post a new entry for a few days it is sooo noticeable, it almost feels lonely, like an animated conversation has suddenly dried up and you’ve been left alone in a vast empty room. I guess this is why blogging is so addictive.

Yes, since the beginnings of parenthood, my working life has changed and my attitude has adjusted. Blogging has certainly added to the mix! Maybe towards the middle or maybe not til close to the end of this story, will those attitudes slowly revert as life gradually re-aligns itself with ‘normality’.

Linking up to this week’s theme game from The Reading Residence and Red Peffer with this week’s theme of ‘Beginnings’.

 

The Reading Residence

10 thoughts on “In the beginning came the “holiday” blues…

  1. An interesting and reflective post. Boo was born right at the start of October 2009, so it seems we both began our journey at pretty much the same time. I spent days and days at home with her back then, seemingly nursing endlessly! I was OK, though, and am fortunate to have a husband home at weekends and over the Christmas break (well he was, but his new job will change that, so we’ll see how I do this year!). As you know, I’m with my pair all week, which perhaps offers a different type of routine that I am used to. I don’t get time out and away from them, and maybe that allows me to accept it more easily as they are pretty much ALWAYS with me!! Fortunately, they will entertain themselves pretty well and play together nicely, if a little crazily, when I need to get things done (right now, Little Man is napping and Boo’s playing with her doll’s house). It’s a strange world, though, and I know when Boo starts school in September, it’ll feel like a whole new beginning again, as we are initiated into the world of school age parents. I will feel like a newbie parent again! Thanks for sharing with #TheThemeGame x

  2. Oh hon it sounds like you really struggled with those early days. Must have been so tough with your hubby working shifts and not being as hands on as you’d like! I’m glad that you aren’t dreading holidays anymore. I guess parenting is like anything in life – a learning curve – and it’s great once everything clicks and falls into place xx

  3. Yes Sam, be assured you are not alone. Just last week I decided that I would have to ‘alternate’ my linkys due to lack of time. The holidays leave our bear chomping at the bit to get back ‘to it’. Don’t get me wrong, the break from the treadmill is nice but it cabin get monotonous at times…

    • Carol I don’t even have the excuse of monotony – I just find it hard work to be on my own with my two for long stretches of time and the added pressure of making sure extra play dates or plans are in the diary throws me off balance. Those days used to be days I could look forward to for extra rest – the irony is that nowadays when we really need more rest we’re getting less!

  4. When my boys were little I went back to work (all but) full time. Being at home full time now is hard for me a lot of the time. Don’t get me wrong, it has been the best thing for us overall, but I do find some days very tough. I do try and get out and about with the wee girl when the boys are at school, but some days I can’t face it – which of course makes the day even longer 🙂 On balance, it’s better than when I was working, but the full time, full on nature of being with kids all day is something I am always going to find hard work x So, you are very definitely not alone xx

    • Oh no I feel bad for complaining Sara – at least I only have a handful of days on my own with the two of them. To be honest sometimes I think maybe it would be easier to manage them if I was at home with them more – you must just get into better routines and get to be more consistent. On the other hand I think I would also probably go stark raving mad – hats off to all you Stay at Home Mums!! X

  5. Yes. Yes. And more yes. I dread weekends when I know I’ll be chasing three kids around and cleaning up… Mess… And he’ll be enjoying time with his computer. I do get a lie-in on at least one day because I’m up two or three times in the night with the non-sleeping toddler. It does get easier as they get bigger, especially as they start school. X

  6. I’m with you – Monday morning and I’m up at 6.30am, bouncing into the ‘work’ part of my week…it’s not that I don’t enjoy time with the kids, it’s just that I do enjoy time to get things done at my own pace (i.e. without stopping for food, park trips, tantrums etc…) and also on Monday I get 90 minutes on the blog before work starts, wahey! I had a blog break for half term this week too, and it did seem a bit weird to be honest, you only notice how important the blog headspace is when it’s suddenly disappeared…

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