This coming Tuesday will mark the end of a 6 (and a bit) week summer break. There have been times I have willed it to hurry up, but in actual fact it’s come around way too quickly and I’m actually quite anxious for the whole hoo-haa of “back to school”. Yes, I am that parent that tears up waving off my little bundle of joy all set for the first day of a new school year, in his oversized uniform, bought to last the year, weighed down with a back pack as big as him, and laughing and chasing about after all the friends he’s not seen for weeks, without so much as a glance back in my direction. This year is different though. I haven’t taken the day off work to see him off, I haven’t got a long list of housework that I’m going to get done while he’s at school and I have that ever precious day off, it’s all going to be very much the opposite this time round.
For Harvey it will be the same; the one morning he decides to lie in and I have to drag him out of bed, I’ll bribe him to eat some breakfast, he will have a meltdown over his socks not feeling ‘right’, we will argue over who is going to brush his teeth, to then race to school 10 minutes later than intended and finally I’ll chase after him for a kiss and a cuddle which he will refuse me because “Mum, you’re embarrassing me”, then his day at school will start. The difference for him being a bit more work, a little less play, while he’s there. After dropping him off, instead of racing around to get my million and one tasks done before going back to work the next day, I can see myself sat twiddling my thumbs, trying to find something to pass the time, regretting the days during the school holiday that were ‘wasted’, thinking about all the things we didn’t do and clock watching until 3pm. The thought of having ‘nothing’ is really quite daunting.
During the summer, yes, there have been days dedicated to naps, iPads and pyjamas, where Harvey and I have barely interacted for hours on end or, when he’s spent the day niggling and pushing all my buttons, but he’s been there, I haven’t been alone. If I’ve needed a distraction, I’ve turned to him. I’ve almost become reliant on him to cope at times. Losing that, after becoming so accustomed to it has made me panic a bit. He’s got me through countless mealtimes, given me motivation without even realising it and made me laugh when I’ve felt at my worst. Now, 3 days before the big day, I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do with myself, how I’m going to cope when the going gets tough and he’s not there to keep me distracted.
I’m dreading the school run a little bit too. Over the summer, my legs have had a mind of their own. One day they’re functioning as legs should with minimal pain, the next they’re really painful and I’ve struggled to walk. This hasn’t really been an issue while Harvey’s been off. If my legs weren’t working, we stayed home, not always ideal, but not the end of the world. However when it comes to school runs ‘just staying home’ isn’t really an option. Well, it is, but I can’t see it going down too well with the school! So the prospect of having to do the drop off and pick ups regardless is a worry. There’s only so much I can rely on others.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not all panic stations and anxiety. I am actually really looking forward to getting back into a routine and having some structure in the days again. That aspect of ‘back to normality’ cannot come quick enough!! As you’ve probably gathered, we’ve been a bit all over the place for the past few weeks which has been a huge hinderance when it comes to meals, snacks, food plans etc. I need predictability, to some extent (boring I know but it is what it is). I’m really excited to be able to sit down and plan next weeks meals around the structure of school days and clubs. Sad, I know.
All in all I think it’s going to be a tough week, readjusting to the house being scarily quiet (and tidy for more than 30 seconds), getting used to being on my own again and having to motivate and distract myself, as well as re-establishing a routine. In the long run, after a few days I’m hoping things will get a bit easier.