I remember when I went back to work after my first baby and it suddenly occurred to me “what do we do about summer holidays when she starts school” I think even then I was planning my escape from the 9-5.
I have been really lucky – I started retraining and I never returned to the 9-5 after baby number two came along so the summers (plus Easter and half terms) have always been down to me.
Until the last couple of years I have always taken every school holiday off work – this year I am taking 2 weeks of the summer off and juggling the children with work the rest of the time. It’s not ideal but they are bigger, they can stay on their own for a while now and they don’t want to spend six weeks with just me now. In fact I often feel like a spare part, especially with my teenager who just wants to listen to music and chat with friends.
Over the years the summer holidays have seemed like 6 long weeks to fill – but it always flies by! I feel very lucky that I have been able to have this time with my girls – beaches, parks, museums, castles, movies, making days, lazy days, busy days, duvet days, getting feral and messy.
As I write this, I am planning to spend the rest of the day with my youngest girl – Sunderland I think – and the teenager is preparing for a day out with friends. My business has grown as they have grown and, now that I run a family centre, I am busier now than ever before but I still need to have days with my girls to connect, to laugh, to just enjoy a little bit of time together. Days where work doesn’t matter for a few hours, days where we can just be, where we might still be able to make some memories.