It's the last full day of the school year, and I've taken time out to sit down and have a coffee on my own. And I'm feeling guilty about it. Someone shake me please..
I know it's still May, but in Ireland, secondary school students enjoy a three month summer break. Their parents don't always enjoy it so much. For working parents it means worrying that their teens will still be in bed when they arrive home after a full day's work, for SAHMs it means a daily battle to prevent same. For carers it's time to take the vitamins and a few deep breaths.
Of course I've been here before with Angel, but life was very different then, and she didn't get much time to lounge around the house.
Now it's my son's turn, and it's going to be a challenge for both of us. There's a lot of time to fill, and I'll be the one trying to offer alternatives to the siren call of screen and console.
In July and August I will have Smiley full time too. So that's one of me, and two of them. Before I throw in the towel and run for the hills, I decided to jot down a few things to help me get through...You do know how much I love my kids, right?
So here's my top ten rules for surviving the summer holidays:
1. No one is going to give you a break, it's up to you to make it happen.
2. Brownies should be baked regularly, as they solve most things.
3. No-one is going to see or care about the back garden, so don't worry about it, not unless the weeds are actually waving at the back door. Some of you will know what I mean by that.
4. Plan to organise an activity every day with the kids, but don't beat yourself up if you don't manage it.
5. Baths are not actually a luxury. So take them.
6. A pyjama day is not a crime. You can always close the door on the kids if unexpected visitors arrive.
7. Do not, I repeat NOT, get overwhelmed by all the forms that need to be completed, and the hoops that need to be jumped through. They will still be there in September...
8. Stock up on antiseptic wipes. They can give the room the appearance and smell of being clean in about 30 seconds.
9. Hibernation is for hedgehogs and other small mammals. If you feel like hibernating, it's probably time go to the GP.
10. Make time for friends. Because without them, where would you be?
Would you like to share your tips?