Just Being Us

The last few weeks have been extremely hectic and at times stressful and fraught in our house. As much as we love the activities our children are involved in it can all just sometimes be a bit too much. After a particularly busy schedule I was feeling a little toward the frazzled end of the spectrum.

Our week began as it always does with Daddy heading off early Monday morning for work for the week and we headed into the grind of school, nursery, work, dancing, sports clubs and everything that comes along with a busy family week. (I say grind as this week that’s what it’s felt like this week but its not normally a term I would use to describe our days) My week is normally smattered with a short amount of stress relief as I escape to the gym, for a run or to an exercise class but I was acutely aware that this week for many reasons beyond anyones control that just wasn’t going to happen so the week didn’t bode well.

The week started pretty rocky and by lunchtime on Monday I was battling with a migraine that wouldn’t budge. After work, school and the dancing runs all I wanted ¬†was to curl up in bed but I’m not so good at sleeping and today arrived all too quickly and the headache was still there. Work was frantic as ever and by lunch time Friday seemed an awfully long way away. Tuesday night is usually Bodycombat but with no babysitter that was out of the question. I knew I needed to do something to fill the night or it would become long for all 3 of us (and maybe to add a few steps onto my Fitbit too!). So we collected Chloe from her Year 2 SATS booster class (now that’s a whole other discussion area!) dashed home for a quick change (Chloe dress herself as you will see!) and we piled into the car with a bag of drinks and snacks and headed out.

We didn’t go far just up to Low Burnhall Woods near Durham with the familiar aim of finding the ‘Wicker’ man. On the way we decided that the ‘wicked woman’ as my 2 have renamed her was a little too far to walk so we would save that adventure for another day. It wasn’t exactly sunny or warm but the lure of the fresh air and open space meant we all had a smile on our faces and were keen to blow the cobwebs of the day away.

So as teacher its automatic for my thoughts to be what can see, what can we find, can we read the signs, can we count the red flowers , can we, can we?!?!?! it just what we do and as a teacher its rare that I switch off from that. My ids are very inquisitive and eager to find out ‘stuff’ so they happily go along with my ramblings and my collection of interesting’ objects that would be good for work! I could tell you about all of the learning went on (as believe me there was lots) but actually for once we were just us. The kids ran, jumped, climbed, skipped, shouted and laughed. I wandered (not quickly which is definitely unusual for me) I took in the sights and smell and soaked up the fresh air. It was like someone was lifting a heavy veil from me and allowing me to breathe a little bit better. For once we were just a family. We didn’t talk about what they’d done at school or what they’d had for lunch or what homework we had to do or what we had to do today, we were just there having fun and being ‘us’.

It was a simple evening walk but for us something we very rarely get to do but it gave me the opportunity to be with my kids and have no pressure around that. We got to be friends and enjoy our time together. The kids never once complained about being tired or bored and I think we could have continued for much longer than we did but rumbling tummies called us back to the car. We had a little chat with the wicker man on the way back, spotted some bluebells, searched for 4 leaf clovers and balanced on a pole. But more than anything I appreciated seeing my kids being relaxed and smiling. We just enjoyed being ‘us’. We arrived home and the kids snuggled up to watch Shrek the musical while I made burgers for tea then we had our burger picnic and Chloe sang and danced us through most of the show (She’s in Shrek as part of her musical theatre group so we are all familiar with it)

It was shame that Daddy wasn’t there but we’ve come to accept that during the week we are like the 3 musketeers (with a little help from our friends and family) and we are OK with that, it makes us value our weekends just that little bit more too. But tonight for the first time in a long time I enjoyed just being a Mammy and spending time with the 2 most precious things in the world to me. It put everything into perspective and for now at least no matter how busy life is and how stressful things are to deal with it really doesn’t matter if you have the arms of your children around your neck.