Sunday, 13 September 2015

Wish you Weren't Here?

Okay, so let's rewind to the summer holidays. Three blissful weeks of sun in beautiful Portugal. Precious family time. Love and laughter.

Excuse me?

Those of you who have ever attempted going on holiday with a six year old dictator, a sixteen year old lovesick Romeo and an eighteen year old diva will, I assume, empathize with me. Thank god alcohol is cheap in Portugal. Those caipirinhas saved my sanity.

Magazines and television don't help either. I've got a bone to pick with all those articles telling me what to pack to create that perfect capsule wardrobe. They forget to tell me what NOT to include: my children. Don't get me wrong, I love them. Lots. I'd just prefer to leave them at home for a week or two so that I could have a break from playing police woman, chef, general-cleaner-upper and all-round mediator. I mean, I know I'm a multi-tasking genius, but sometimes even the best of us need a day off.

It's not that we don't get on. We're just not used to being together so intensely. We're not used to being so absolutely dependent on enjoying mutual 'fun'. And why should we? I'm doing my best to raise three independent, free-thinking children with their own distinctive personalities, likes and dislikes, ups and downs. And judging by the holiday, I've done a good job. So why is it such a disappointment when we clash? I should be proud that we're such a mishmash. Not try and 'solve it', but instead go with the flow. Cancelling those family holidays would be a good start. It's time for my inner 'Stepford Wife' to be satisfied with a successful Friday evening gathered around the TV. Keep the expectations low.

So next time you are uploading your holiday snaps to Facebook, spare me a thought. All that glistens is definitely not gold. And as shiny as my holiday may look from the outside, it sure is amazing how a bit of gold-plating can fool the world.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Past their Best-Before Date?

I recently read a study claiming that children are at their best around the age of five, and most difficult to be around between ten and twelve. So where does that leave me?

My youngest is six. So past his prime. Really? You mean it's downhill from now on in? Seems a bit unfair. And let's not even mention my eldest two kids - aged sixteen and eighteen. Apparently I've gone through the worst about six years ago. I think me and this particular "scientist" need a quiet chat. 

I'll spare you all the normal blurb about loving my kids, because to be quite honest, that's a given. I'd maybe challenge the often bandied around sentiment that they've made me whole. I think broken would be more accurate. I'm still trying to put all the pieces back together. Wine helps. 

Being a parent is 95% mediocrity - don't believe all you see on Facebook. But the remaining 5% (possibly) makes it all worth while. And this is my take on that 5%.