Do you need a break from the holidays?

Like many parents, I’m hanging out for school to start up again. I’ve got the date marked in my diary in BIG LETTERS and I’ve ordered the stationery and got out the uniforms to check if buttons need sewing on or stains need removing. I haven’t got the school shoes yet, because I am hopeless at knowing when to get those — I’m always either too early and there’s none in stock yet, or too late and all the other parents have got the sizes I need for my kids. But make no mistake: I am READY for a break from these school holidays.

Let’s face it, I was ready for a break on Boxing Day, when my kids were all overtired and had sore bellies from eating all of their Christmas chocolate at once, and there were shreds of wrapping paper in every nook and cranny of my house. (At least there was leftover trifle to help me cope.)

I was ready for a break on New Year’s Eve, when everyone was whinging because they wanted to stay up until midnight and I knew absolutely that they wouldn’t make it and that every second I let them stay up past their respective bedtimes would add an hour of grumpy sleep-deprived whinging and moaning to New Year’s Day.

I was ready for a break when my husband went back to work and left me at home with all three children, and although my mother is visiting so they have another adult to whinge at, for some reason they all have a beacon that alerts them when I’m about to go to the loo and they descend on my toilet door, banging and hollering for drinks of water and help deconstructing Lego pieces.

And now they’re two-and-a-bit weeks out from going back to school for the year and I am ready. So ready. Ready for some peace and quiet (well, as much as the three-year-old will give me, which isn’t much because she’s recently dropped her daytime naps). Ready for some uninterrupted work time. Ready for a shower without someone flushing the toilet or washing their hands or getting a glass of water at the same time I’m trying to rinse the shampoo out of my hair. Ready for a break. Because when I have a break, I’m a happier parent, and a better person. I need a break. A break is my form of self-care. And I’m not apologising for it. Neither should you.

Katherine Granich

Tots to Teens

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