The last few days I can find suddenly find loads of articles on how to survive half term with our kids. The general mood of most articles is as if there is an approaching army of scary horrors and us Mums must girdle our loins to face this onslaught.
I will admit that that sometimes or to be perfectly honest many times, entertaining children is boring and I'd rather count the grains of sand on some lonely street. There are also plenty of times I wither away with guilt when I turn away Tara looking up at me with big Bambi eyes, holding out her toy or book as she says, "Won't you play with me Mum?"
But thinking about it, my child goes to "work" five days a week. She does not see her Mum and Dad in all that time. When she returns home, we have to find time to squeeze in her bath, dinner and if we are lucky an hour of playtime before she is tired and ready for bed. I'm not forgetting that Mum or Dad have already had a hard day's work behind them before they sort their children out and tuck them in. But to a child seeing their Mum or Dad after a long day at school is beyond all of life's practicalities.
I'm trying very hard to change myself in certain respects. If I am physically there with my child, sorting out dinner or baths, I should be more present 'with' them during that time. What I mean is most times I find myself mentally tired rather than physically. I realize I could go hours and hours quietly doing enormous amounts of physical work. But I find it difficult to replace hard physical labour with an hour or two of involved time with Tara. Why is that?
Its very strange that as soon as I drop Tara in school and get back home, I miss her. I wonder what she's doing, whether she's eaten her lunch etc. etc. Yet as soon as she's back I struggle to find patience and reserve to play some boring old games that clearly give her enormous pleasure.
I wonder if its easier having more than one child. Looking at that situation through rose tinted glasses, I can see two or more happy children entertaining themselves for hours without involving their parents. Lots of Mums would probably shout out "not true" I'm sure.
All logic aside I think I'm going to try a bit more this half term. My child is the furthest thing away from being a horror. She deserves more of me, and hey! I'm Mum. I should be able to do that...I think.