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

Word of the Week…

And this week’s #WotW is:

Work

As I was contemplating how my week had gone I realised that, despite only working part time (I head to the office four days a week – one of them is a half day) – I really only see my children for a couple of hours a night Monday through Thursday. For this reason I generally always reach Friday and my week cannot really be summed up by anything central to my role as a parent or to my time with the kids without looking back to the previous weekend. Then I realised that I spent all last Sunday morning at work doing overtime.

On Fridays I take the children to our local toddler group in the mornings (although JJ has pretty much grown out of this experience and is only interested in the biscuits) and then sometimes we go out for lunch with Daddy if he’s got the day off (he works shifts so this is relatively frequent) before EJ’s nap and then an afternoon of Softplay with our lovely NCT friends. By Saturday we are pretty much all completely zonked!

This week I had it confirmed that I will be reducing my hours a little come April giving me an extra day away from the office. This is great for me but doesn’t necessarily mean I will see more of the children as JJ will still be at pre-school and EJ with our childminder for part of the day. However I am hoping that the extra time I have to get organised will free me up to be much more ‘present’ with them when we are together and to have more energy at the weekends. Less work, more play – hurrah!

The Reading Residence