I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that the summer holidays scare the crap out of me.
A couple of years ago I went through a pretty bad time with post natal depression and unfortunately, it’s not something that has completely gone away. At the time, I really wasn’t coping very well with being at home all day, every day with Erin and because of that (as well as other reasons) we decided to put Erin into nursery at 2. My stress levels came down quite quickly and I didn’t find myself panicking quite as much on a daily basis.
Last year Erin went to a nursery where she could attend all year round. When the nursery closed down at the end of December we were obviously forced to find Erin somewhere new. However, living in a small town and not able to drive meant that we had very few options. Some of the nurseries were already full when we started looking and some we either hated or didn’t even offer full days. Although we absolutely love the Montessori nursery Erin goes to now, it only offers term time attendance.
So far we have had a couple of half term breaks and the Easter holidays and they honestly weren’t as bad as I was expecting. I either had a few things planned so we kept busy or my Mum was here to stay for a bit and that really helped. Mostly, I was really looking forward to the summer holidays. I really miss Erin during the week when she’s at nursery and I miss the quality time we used to get together. Up until the start of the holidays I was pretty optimistic about how well it would go.
The first day was not the fun, happy day that I thought it would be. We were in the middle of a horrendous heat wave and that definitely got to both me and Erin. We didn’t even manage to get past 9am without Erin having a tantrum. We didn’t make it past lunch time without us getting seriously annoyed with each other, both us of shouting and both of us crying. That first day of the holidays was actually the complete opposite of what I wanted it to be.
I hate admitting that the thought of multiple long days with Erin raises my stress and anxiety. I feel like I’m the worst mother in the world for not being excited about spending the whole summer with my daughter. Of course, I do get excited about spending time with her and the days out we have planned but I also panic about taking her out somewhere on my own and her being a nightmare. I panic about getting to places on time or keeping her safe while we’re out and about. I lack patience at home, especially when Erin goes through phases of not listening, doing anything opposite of what I ask her to or in general, being a nightmare 3 year old.
I don’t have the whole summer holidays of it being just me and Erin though. I made sure that John has time off as well as my Mum coming to visit for a week so I do have help. Right now, I’m trying to take it one day at a time and hoping that it doesn’t result in both of us crying by the end of the day.
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