Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's a gift

The newspapers and social media have been full of statuses bemoaning the ridiculous length of the school summer holidays. Six or seven weeks is completely incompatible with work and if you don't work having them under your feet that long is a nightmare. Of course, as someone who works from home the thought of five off for the summer meant facing the logistics of working late evenings, early mornings, during the night or even all three. But strangely as I dropped them all back at school this morning, exhausted from all my late-night working, the fact that I didn't get away on holiday and didn't have any time off, my overwhelming thought is 'Already?'

The summer with all my kids around me is over and I am sad because having all ages in childhood's spectrum, I know it is over in the glint of an eye. The seven weeks I had to work nights were hard but they were truly a gift because the next time I have that special time with my kids, they will be a year older, a year more independent and a year more distant. I'm thankful for every minute of those six or seven weeks because I did get to spend one of the very few summers left to me as the mum of children, as opposed to the mum of adults who drop by for a summer visit. Childhood is so precious. I didn't realize how much I missed out on when I used to take them on holiday three weeks then send them to summer clubs because I couldn't take any more time off. Working from home is stressful but it compensates in ways that are immeasurable. I wish people realized they should be arguing for work to accommodate the holidays, rather than the opposite.

It might not have been the summer of my dreams (we didn't get an all-inclusive somewhere tropical!) but I got to be a mum and that is more important than any other job I do.

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