At what point during the two-month long summer break are you allowed to stop being uber mum and start shouting?
Taking our children to live in rural France, was to give them the opportunity to spend their idyllic childhood days wandering barefoot and fancy-free; climbing trees, picking flowers, measuring bugs and generally enjoying the sweet elixir of their innocence.
In the humidity, that is currently July, by 4pm my zen master moment is all but out of the window. As the legions of flies crawl over the bread, the peaches, our heads and the thousands upon thousands of seemingly unrelenting ant armies mange to find any accidental crumb no matter how small – my once dignified cool of this morning, is lost to madness, as I harshly insist that the children evacuate the kitchen, and go and play outside NOW…
This humble Tuesday we have made home-made lemonade, we have made fragrant lavender water; we have pasted papers, pictures, cotton wool – just about anything to hand – into scrap books, we have strolled and frolicked, we have danced and sung – but at some point I desperately need – just a moment of – space.
When your children first start primary school you feel desperate that this huge change in your life will leave you forever bereft and lonesome, yet at the close of the first term you realise the freedom it allows and you begin to embrace your newfound peace.
But the thing with motherhood is that you spend most of the time feeling guitly for having enjoyed your quiet moment of freedom, for shouting at your beautiful offspring, or for not doing enough – whatever enough is.
However, tomorrow is another day, a chance to return to the zen master of motherhood, an opportunity to bake some bread together, to read one more story, to cherish another hug…