Schools Out for Summer

Schools Out for Summer

So school is out for summer, something that I think most kids will be very happy about. 6 weeks of playing, holidays, ice-creams and no routine. I on the other hand, whilst I am kind of happy, (no strict get ups, not rushing out of the house everyday), I also feel a sense of dread, I have 3 children to keep amused and occupied and try and not let ww3 break out in the house.

I’ve been doing okay over the last couple of months, I’ve been busy with birthdays and parties, and also working. However it’s all caught up on me and now I feel exhausted, I just want to sleep, which isn’t going to be helpful whilst looking after 3 children. I can see that the house is a mess and I need to get sorted and tidy up, but I am lacking in motivation to get it done.

This is the problem with my depression, it gnaws away at me, it brings me down, it stops me getting organised, it makes me want to just hide away and hope that everything will sort itself out for when I come back. Once it has done that, it then starts to tell me how useless I am, how pathetic I am that I can’t even keep the house tidy.

I’ve sat at the computer for the last 1.5 hours mostly playing cards, it is such a waste of time, while all around me is a mess. I know I need to fight back, stop it taking over again, I need to get motivated anyway I can and give myself the chance to enjoy being with the kids for a while.

So this is it, a promise to myself that I am going to fight this stupid illness and battle through the summer, and hope that my kids have a great time away from school.




I have concluded that I am not actually ill, I am just a rubbish parent! If I was ill, the medication I am taking (and that  has been increased on a few occasions) would be working and keeping me level constantly. However, what I now find is that during term time I can cope and manage and life ticks over okay, then come the holidays, when I am alone with all 3 children I can not cope, I have no control over the children and they have no respect for me. This is not an illness, this is someone who can not parent, someone who should not have become a parent. I feel guilty that I am not giving my children the up bringing that they deserve, I am not giving them guidance and the only time I seem to interact with them I am being negative.

I struggle to accept that feeling down, no energy, lacking emotions etc can be categorised as an illness, I accept more that it is in my nature, I was born like this and I am just lazy and can not cope with children or anyone who does not do as I ask. I had a normal upbringing, lived in a middle class town, had friends, went to university, got a job, got married had kids, nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary so no reason to feel down and out.

But I do feel down, I am struggling, struggling with my thoughts and how I am interacting with my children. If I was ill, after almost 2 years surely I would feel better more positive, not crumble at every harsh hurdle, not struggle with my 3 children that I chose to have. I have no one to blame but myself for the way I feel right now, I have created my children, I have molded how they behave, as people always say ‘children learn by example’ and as I am often shouting at my children and not interacting with them it is no surprise that I often find myself on the other side with the child shouting at me and refusing to do anything I ask them to do.

If right now I could make a choice about how to spend the next few days, without any consequences financially of emotionally, I would take myself off somewhere to sleep, read and just be alone, just me, no interaction with anyone, no children and no housework.  Unfortunately I live in this real world, it is the school holidays and we have no extra money for niceties, so today I will get on as normal, we will have breakfast, we will meet up with friends and I will smile and chat and be full of life. I will get through the day, as I always do, and think that there are only 4 more weeks of the holiday’s left and I then things will get back to normal.

Then I feel unhappy that I feel this way, I wanted children, I wanted to be a stay at home mum, but I seem unable to enjoy it, I seem unable to parent and give my children what they need and deserve.

All I can hope is that one day I will learn to enjoy what I have been given and except life as it is.


Flashback – Five Years Ago

I have by most people’s standards been rubbish with blogging over the last 6 weeks, actually rubbish is probably too tame as I haven’t managed to publish anything since my Lonely Illness post in mid may. I have tried on several occasions to write but nothing has been completed. So when I saw the BritMums prompt I thought this was as good a time as any to put fingers to keyboard and actually do something.

“Flashback! We want you to look back to FIVE YEARS AGO and share what your life was like. What was going on? Who was in your life? Who WASN’T in your life? What did you look like? Where were you going? It doesn’t have to be a specific date but simply FIVE years ago.”

2007 started okay, FJ was a baby but he went into his own room shortly after Christmas and slept through quite quickly after that, looking at baby pictures of him from that time makes me smile, he was such a happy smiley baby and AJ seemed to love having a baby around.

I was still on Mat leave, but I didn’t go to any baby clubs, or mums and tots groups. I think I stayed in touch with some friends so visited them often, but other than that I must have stayed at home with FJ. AJ would have been a pre-school so I would have been taking daily journeys up there but as we have not been in the village that long I still was finding my feet and searching for friends (but not very hard!).

At the end of April I had to return to work, an event I wasn’t looking forward to, my job had changed and I was no longer working with just one team, I was now working with 4 teams, and what was wanted from me was never realistically going to happen. I found myself often upset with what had happened with my post and with the way I was being reacted to from other admin staff who I was being forced upon as their senior. I followed this up with meetings and also spoke to HR as I felt I had been pushed into a situation I wasn’t happy with whilst on mat leave. It was something that continued to be an issue for quite some time, but that’s another story!

In June we ventured off to France for what was to be our last out of term time holiday as AJ was starting school in September, the weather wasn’t great so not many beach days and then the car broke down! We ended up having to fly home via 2 plane journeys and lots of luggage (you take what you want when you go by car!) It was a stressful time but NJ who now writes over at Loads of Things tells the story so well I will let you read the story over there Holiday Travel.

As the holiday wasn’t brilliant, we booked a holiday to Center Parcs, for the first week in September as AJ wasn’t starting school till the following week. All was looking good.

Then towards the end of August NJ started feeling unwell, he had suffered with flu in the past (usually in the summer), he recognised the signs and took himself off to bed. It was hard work looking after him, a 9 month old and a 4 year old, I was also at work 3 days a week. I have to admit to not being the most sympathetic of people, so left him to himself, just made sure he had drinks and food and any pain killers he might want. Gradually he started feeling worse, I don’t know who made the decision but the dr was called and luckily they agreed to a home visit. After checking him the dr walked down with a grave face and I jokingly said “so he’s not going to die then?” he said not yet, but he is very ill and he needs these antibiotics ASAP!

His condition didn’t improve and after my mum suggested speaking to NHS direct (I guessed she must be concerned as she doesn’t normally fuss) a call was made and from what I said, and quite probably the noisy children in the background an ambulance was called. From then on I went into survival mode, I dealt with what was thrown at me, and stayed calm. I called a friend to look after the kids and joined NJ at the hospital. He was asked several times in A&E if he smoked, and the reply was always no, not anymore, we were later to discover that all his lungs were full of fluid and he only had a very small space left to breath, eventually he was sent onto a ward, into a side room that seemed grimy and horrible, and then nurse came to take his pulse etc., but she couldn’t get his blood pressure, blaming it on the equipment (later we discovered his blood pressure was dangerously low!). Apparently the Dr was on the way, but there was no idea knowing when that would be. I had to leave at midnight to get back for the kids, so just made sure that the ward was aware of my contact numbers and headed home. As expected I struggled to sleep, and then got a phone call at 5.30am to say that NJ was being taken to ICU and it was suggested that I came in, unfortunately as I had the kids and NJ’s parents and brother were away there was little I could do for at least another hour, and for some bizarre reason I thought I could go back to sleep! I didn’t and rang my mum at 6 in the morning and she agreed to come up asap, but as she lived over 1.5hrs away and needed to sort out cat care it was going to be a few hours. By the time I had arranged friends to look after the kids and got to the hospital I was getting another phone call from the hospital (nothing like keeping you calm!). I got into ICU (I hate the smell of hospitals now) to find NJ wired up to loads of drips and struggling to breath, then he was being whisked away to have an MRI scan, the thing that scared me the most was the resuscitation pack that was taken with them.

He spent 6 days in ICU, gradually getting better, and thankfully not needing any surgery, he had suffered with Pneumonia, and then contracted Sepis, his blood was starting to poison itself. Fortunately they had drugs that helped him (like gold dust apparently) and after another 6 days on a normal ward he was allowed home to recuperate. It was a difficult time, but I was really helped by my family, my mum and dad stayed for a few days and then my sister cut short her holiday to also help out with the kids as I spent most of the days whilst he was in ICU up at the hospital. I stayed composed and just kept going, I don’t think I ever really dealt with or recognised what might have happened.

Whilst NJ recovered I had to basically do everything, all the childcare, keeping the house tidy and clean, all the meals and go to work 3 days a week. I struggled mentally, but never really did much about it, I did speak to the HV, but all she asked was would I feel okay if I got some sleep! I had to sort out FJ’s first birthday party, as we had with AJ’s first birthday we wanted family and close friends to come, I remember not being happy with my mum as she said it was too difficult for them to come as she didn’t want to have to drive there and back in one day and she couldn’t afford to stay somewhere, at the time it was very upsetting, but on the actual birthday things were fine.

As the year came to an end NJ dropped a bombshell he had been asked to leave his work, he was going to get a good settlement, but it still meant that he would need to look for something else and if he didn’t get anything after 3 months things were going to be very tough. In hindsight it was the best thing that happened to him, he was much happier and there seemed to be far less stress.

So 2007 was an eventful year, and quite possibly a start to my depression that I now suffer with, thankfully NJ is in full health, and we still have a story to tell when asked about the year.



T is for Tenerife

Way back before we had children NJ and I went on a brilliant holiday to Tenerife, we stayed in a 4 Star hotel, DBB. It’s the last holiday we had before I was pregnant and were able to just indulge ourselves and do as we pleased. This meant quite a lot of time on the beach sunbathing, going in the pool and drinking lots of nice alcoholic drinks.

Thinking of this holiday always brings a smile to my face, the weather was brilliant and where we stayed was the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in (admittedly I’ve not stayed in very many!). The food was lovely and the service impeccable.

Even now as I write I have a smile on my face, and I also remember that the first part of the holiday I was full of cold so could not smell or taste anything, isn’t it strange how my mind has focused on the positive and good side of the events and the downside has been pushed aside. I wish I could use that ability on a daily basis!

NJ and I hired a jeep for the day to go up Mount Teide, we decided on a Jeep as we wanted an open roof, none of this air conditioning rubbish, what a mistake that was! It was a very hot day and the drive was a difficult one (not that I was driving) so in hindsight a nice car with air conditioning would have been much better! I don’t remember much about the visit, except the amazing views which definitely compensated for me being terrified on the cable car that got us to the top!

I don’t remember going on any other trips whilst we were there, I think we walked quite a bit and just enjoyed the sunshine, I’m sure NJ will enlighten me later of what I have missed out.

H is for Holiday

H is for Holiday

Image: Liz Noffsinger /

H is for Holiday

When I think of holidays I always imagine a white beach with clear blue sea, the air is warm and the atmosphere is calm and quiet. This is just a dream as I have never been privileged to holiday in this environment, I have had a few holidays abroad, but most holidays have been in the UK.

As a child I always had a two-week holiday in the summer, we went the first two weeks in July as most other schools were not off then, but Leicestershire was different and it meant it was cheaper for my parents, we holidayed under canvas untill I was 11 or 12, and the we progressed to cottages. I think I had my last holiday with my parents when I was 17, my sisters were no longer holidaying with us and I think I found it quite lonely that year.

Whilst I was at University I never went on a summer holiday as I always worked throughout the summer to try to get some money together, and I guess life was fairly laid back when I was at Uni that I would never have contemplated a holiday anyway, (and funds would never have allowed!).

When I left Uni and moved in with NJ we didn’t actually have a holiday until our Honeymoon, but from then on we have always made sure we have had at least a few days away, and since having children we have had a summer holiday every year either 1 or 2 weeks away, mostly in the UK, but we have had a couple abroad.

For me holidays are important, they are a time away from your normal life, before mobile phones, it was also a break from contact with others (now I would feel lost without my phone!). When I worked it was a welcome break from the stress of the office environment and also the daily routine of alarm off, get up etc etc. Now that I am not at work it is a welcome break from the normal household chores, a chance to share the childcare and cooking and the organisation that being part of a family entails.

The best thing about holidays though is spending time with the family, just the immediate family, husband and kids, no friends or in-laws, or parents. We do have short breaks with friends and in-laws, but my summer holiday is mine to share with NJ and the kids. We get the chance to relax the rules on bedtime, on mealtimes and we get the chance to just be together and have some fun.

One day I will get to lie on that golden beach, but I know that I will have to wait and so until then I will continue to enjoy my holidays, which are now under canvas and enjoy seeing my children enjoy their summers.

What do you think about when you think of holidays?