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Today is the first day of Term 3 and I can’t say I’m not relieved! But it hasn’t actually been that bad. Let’s just say that these holidays have lasted the exact right amount of time haha.
There’s something you need to know about me. I often crave the beginning of the school holidays. Relaxed starts to the day (well there’s more of a chance than usual at least). No school lunches to prep. No worrying about uniforms and nagging my child to remember all his stuff all the time.
But I get anxious. Sometimes I find school holidays at home just awfully triggering. I worry we’re not doing enough things. Some trauma from the last school can come into play too (long story I unfortunately cannot share here). I feel like an absolutely shit mum if I think the kids aren’t socialising enough (even if it’s not my fault or I am in fact doing a good job but for some reason hold some impossible standard for myself). I rarely meet my own expectations for how we’ll spend the time together and it can be rough.
Obviously these school holidays were never going to be as challenging as the ones before (isolation and lockdowns with your kids are like school holidays on the ‘roids) so I probably had that working in my favour.
Anyway, I look back over the last couple of weeks and I’m proud of myself. I took charge and made a real effort to do the school holidays better than usual.
It’s been exhausting when there’s a toddler with the Terrible Twos in the mix, but I think I’ve done OK and there have definitely been some positives.
I’ve decided to share the things that made me happy:
Play dates for the Little Mister
Sometimes I suffer from fear-of-rejection paralysis. It’s only in the last few months that, after a crisis in confidence, I have started to feel good about reaching out and initiating social arrangements.
I was really proud of myself for getting in touch with friends from our mums group and organising some stuff so that the Little Mister could play and let off steam with kids his own age (I sometimes tend to socialise with my mum friends who have toddlers lately but these were his holidays and I wanted him to have fun).
The catch ups were not just great for him, but great for me. It was awesome to see my friends too. I’m so glad these catch ups happened and I credit them for me not spiralling out into some kind of weird anxiety like I normally might. I can be very hard on myself despite my usual anti-FOMO stance.
The Little Miss started sleeping through more rain showers
Rainy weather is not the Little Miss’ friend. She is scared of the sound of it on our (metal) roof. I don’t know if she has sensitive hearing but she is often easily startled by sudden noises or noises she can’t identify. It’s one of her quirks. For a while she would wake for every single rain shower through the night (even just the little sprinkles). It got really exhausting having to go in her room and comfort her.
It still happens at times now, but she’s started to sleep deeply through more rain than she used to and it is such a relief. One night she slept through EVERYTHING and there was a lot of rain. She seems to not be as anxious. I’m really hoping that by winter 2021 she will have grown out of her phobia.
Having my parents around more
I know 2020’s been hard for them because they normally fly all around the country for my dad’s work and they love to travel. I feel for them not being able to visit my brother in Melbourne or have him fly over here.
But…selfishly I’ve really enjoyed having them around more. The kids have especially loved it.
My mum has been a great help when the Little Miss has been running me ragged. The kids have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them on their 5 acre block. My parents have had time to set up a gorgeous bedroom space for the Little Miss. The Little Mister was able to have TWO sleepovers with them over the holidays.
As much as I’ll be happy for them when it’s safe to travel, I will miss them being around more.
The Little Mister finished the Star Wars movies
The Little Mister has become OBSESSED with Star Wars this year. He started watching the movies at Easter when we were locked down and resorted to camping in the backyard (a surprisingly special time we will always remember). He finally finished the movies with Mr Unprepared these holidays. It was nice to see them bonding over the films. I was amazed just how much the Little Mister understood about the plot lines. I felt happy for him that he got that special ‘big kid’ time – something we’ve been focusing on because his little sister can be very demanding and take up a lot of our time and attention.
Not taking our freedoms for granted
Compared to the previous school holidays, these ones seemed like a breeze. The time before, we were locked down. I couldn’t take the kids anywhere, except for walks or to the beach when it was quiet, and I had the Little Mister home for the equivalent of a long summer holiday break (with some home learning thrown in). No friends, no family even. I couldn’t even click and collect or order my groceries online and we had to deal with the fallout of people panic buying everything. It was a LOT.
These holidays, I think that knowing we were able to do almost anything we wanted made life so much sweeter. I knew that if we could survive lockdown school holidays, then I could survive anything. It was a weirdly comforting bit of perspective to have. We have been really lucky here in WA.
Other stuff that made me happy:
- We had lost our beloved old dog Heidi just before the holidays started and we were very sad. It was hard to remind ourselves she was gone. The holidays gave us time to process that grief and focus on making our younger dog feel good about herself. It was a healing time.
- Listening to the Emsolation podcast while making dinners.
- Feeling some hope for some upcoming child free social time now that we can get out and about with friends more. I’m still a bit cautious but it’s nice to feel almost normal!
- My new Kmart milk frother has been a hit with the kids haha. We also got a pie maker. I think I need to cool it with the appliances now but these purchases make winter seem very bearable!
- It took until only a few days ago, but finally my urge to blog and be creative has returned to me. I’ve spent a long time feeling absolutely exhausted with no space in my brain for this. I’ve missed it!
What has been making you feel happy lately?