I’m the type of person who needs time to herself every now and again - you know, just 5 minutes to recharge the batteries then I’m back up to full speed and ready to take on the world! But I’ve also got 4 kids under the age of 10 and a 47 year old, all constantly wanting my attention. Lately it’s been starting to wear me down. Summer holidays are nearly over and the kids are getting restless. Not to mention the fact that we’ve all got cabin fever from being stuck in the house all summer. When we opened our shop 8 years ago the main rule was that if it started to affect the family then we’d call it a day. Took us long enough to finally get shot of it so when we closed it in June this year it was supposed to be the start of a wonderful new life. Tony was going to take at least 2 weeks of before looking for a full-time job and we would try to catch up with jobs around the house and spend loads of time with the kids while we could.
Then the phone calls started. Tony works part time for Tescos as a dot.com delivery driver and every morning he’d get a phone call asking him to come in and cover this shift or another, and being the kind of person he is he would go in to work a) because we need the money now and b) because he’s made a commitment to the firm and he’s good like that. The only problem is that it’s been all bloody summer, which in turn means that I have to sort 4 kids and try to keep a bloody big 3-storey Victorian terrace house running. Haha - have you seen how much washing a 5 year old Diva can generate in 2 hours???? My days for the last 6 weeks have consisted of trying, mainly, to catch up with said washing and housework while trying to ensure that the kids don’t kill themselves or each other. Then the plan has been that in the afternoons we go out to a park or the beach which is almost literally just round the corner. Again with the manic laughter - yeah right! On the good days they’ve either not wanted to go out or (with luck) gone to friends houses. However this means that I can’t leave the house cos they may come home unexpectedly so the two wee ones have suffered (not that at 2years old or 10 months they’ve really noticed much)! So we’ve all been pretty much house-bound for the entire summer and it’s starting to take it’s toll on me.
Bedtimes are bad enough at the best of times but throughout the holidays they’ve been doubled. Just when I got all excited that Jonathan was starting to sleep through the night, he also started to have naps again during the day (most times literally over his dinner!) And my wonderful angel baby Jessica - the only one off the four who would be happy and content to fall asleep in her cot even if no-one was in the room has turned into a party animal!!! I seem to spend most of my time in one bed or another until Tony comes home from work at 11pm and then just when I decide to go up to my own bed - taa-daa - one of the wee ones will wake up and I end up spending the night in with them. Hence very little proper sleep and zilch time to myself equals the grump from hell. My mum still talks about how she hated the summer ending and my brother going back to school - I say bring it on!!! Don’t get me wrong - I’ll miss the older two when they go back. It’ll take me a while to get used to having food in the fridge, getting to watch Jonathan’s favourite programmes without fear of them being turned over halfway through and actually having the computer to myself. Oh and not having the constant drone of the Dr Who theme or Justine Bieber or JLS being blared out of every available stereo in the house. It’ll most likely take me a few days to realise that I can sit and knit for a bit while the wee ones play contentedly or that I can just pop the two of them into the double buggy and head off down to the shops without the constant whine of “I want”. It’ll probably even take me a while for the realisation that I go the toilet without having an audience to sink in. I’ll miss them terribly - they’re my babies and as much as I complain I’m going to miss having them here with me. But I just can’t wait to get my batteries recharged - at least until half-term!!!