Oh dear. My timeline is AWASH with people’s holiday photos. There’s an overload of Facebook holiday spam. Jealous, me? Hmm. I say this without judgement, without censure but knowing that there will be lots of mums out there reading this stuff and feeling full-on MISERABLE.
Feeling like they should be up at dawn, wearing flowers in their hair, ‘making memories’, building sandcastles and adding impossibly perfect filters to their insta snaps.
Because, if it didn’t happen on social media, did it even happen?
For most of us, the long summer holiday is an endurance test. Even though we love our kids to bits, we find ourselves completely out of kilter when the routine is removed.
A wise mum I was talking to yesterday said that it takes a while to ‘get into the rhythm’ of the summer holiday – and so it does.
It takes me a good 6 weeks.
Food bills rocket, electricity bills triple and let’s not talk about the daily ‘screen time’ battle that started as soon as the kids’ teachers collapsed in a heap with a mug of gin last Friday.
Tweens are strange beasts. Slightly too young to be allowed to roam around but (hurrah!), way too old for soft play. Their immediate destiny is to lurk, bored to death on swings they can no longer climb in whilst scrolling on their thumbs with engorged thumbs.
Each morning I feel like a failing holiday rep trying to flog a day trip to some godforsaken island. That’s when I’m not still trying to run a blog and check that the kids’ water intake hasn’t got so low they are now basically blocks of salt.
And, when you’ve lived somewhere for as long as I have and you know every kerbstone and blade of grass, the idea of tramping around the village for ‘a bit of fresh air’, knowing that the kids are counting the minutes till the Wi-Fi switches off at home, it’s even more testing.
We’ll get on with it, though, won’t we? We always do. But for some of us struggling with anxiety or depression or any other mental health issue, or suffering from any chronic condition which never takes a day off (hello Tinnitus), then it’s time to give OURSELVES a break.
Ignore the ‘jolly holiday’ hashtags. The exhortations and cries of “I’m living my best life”. Those Facebook posts which share stories of long lost summers and childhood bliss that just make you want to cry.
I’m not saying I won’t have a glass of wine and wallow in memories of the long hot summer of 1976, of course not.
But while I’m wallowing I’ll still be wondering if serving pizza three times a week breaks some sort of council bye-law.
Real-life is messy. Uncomplicated. Annoying. It’s still wonderful but let’s just all collectively breathe in and remember that, sometimes, being honest not only helps us but is the kindest thing we can do for our fellow parents. And there’s no shame in unfollowing the holiday spam culprits for a while.