Summer Sucks

We're 27 days in (not that I'm counting) and I've hit THE WALL. It's the point in the holidays where I'm ready for it all to be over and for my usual routines to begin again. I'm at the end of my patience rope and about to hang myself on it. My house is an explosion of glitter, odd socks and whatever food has been forever glued to the carpet. My children begin each day with a competition of 'who can have the loudest tantrum' (and continue that throughout the day as well it would seem), and my relationship is on the brink of breakdown (okay mild exaggeration but still) because, of course Lee is home from work for the 6 weeks adding more mess, more drama and more attention demands. I don't have the capacity for it all.

It's the lack of routine that is killing me. My days aren't structured, my weekly groups aren't on and my cleaning routine has up and left the building. I'm flapping around trying to keep everything the same as it is during term time but the reality is, I just can't. I'm spending more money, my house is messier and I'm far more tired, all meaning that I feel like I'm failing summer.

I tried to do things differently this year. Last summer was our worst summer ever. We'd gone away but I hadn't budgeted for how expensive summer gets, leaving us penniless for the days back home. I'd let go of any routine when it came to cleaning and housework tasks so most days we were scrambling to find clean underwear. We spent most mornings indecisive about what we wanted to do that meant we wasted the days, and so we dragged ourselves to the end of summer feeling tired, annoyed and thankful that it was finally all over! I planned this year. I wrote down task lists of things to do to the house and garden. I organised day trips and a rough day plan (because, you know, we're a fan of spontaneity too) of where we would go and when. I planned a 'daily cleaning routine' specifically for summer that allowed for less cleaning to my normal routine but still meant that we each had an outfit for every day and weren't swimming through dust. It seemed fool proof.

None of it's worked.

I need the regularity. I need my playgroup every Monday morning and my coffee meeting on a Thursday. I need Annie to have nursery and Joel and I to do our trips into town. I need my normal TV programmes and to speak to the same old people that I spend every term getting to know better. Even the best laid plans don't touch the ease of a regular weekly routine.

But don't feel bad for me. I actually have it quite easy. My husband is home so I have help around the house. I have an adult to talk to during the day. I have someone to take over when Annie has decided to poop herself and wipe it all over the bathroom floor. Feel sorry for the Moms (and Dads) at home all summer long without that. Those whose partners still need to work and can't take the time off. Those without partners who now are totally on their own for 6 weeks. Better yet, instead of just feeling sorry for them, take the opportunity to do something about it. Summer doesn't have to be this hard. Reach out to those who you normally see each week and organise something in the holidays. Offer to help those on their own. Heck, babysitting for someone probably wouldn't go amiss!

It might seem like such bliss to be able to be at home with our children, but without those usual crutches of playgroups, coffee mornings and play dates, life becomes pretty....well, hard.

So I have 17 days left of this summer (did I mention I'm not counting?), and I'm going to spend the next few weeks making sure I'm reaching out to those around me. For my own sanity and theirs.


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