Not summer break(down)

I HAD a dream last night. And before you say it, I know that people talking about their dreams is as boring as them talking about their children – but I don’t care. In fact I’m giving you a double whammy of boredom because it was a dream about my children.

I dreamt that my children were going back to school. Which, you may think, is the most perfect dream I could possible ask for - except it wasn’t. It was an anxiety dream - the kind of dream that really causes stress and no matter what you do, the situation just gets worse. I dreamt that they were going back to school and I was so chilled from the hols that we were running late. Nobody was dressed, packed lunches weren’t made, it was 2pm and we still weren’t ready. I woke up in a sweat, and instead of that sweat being because it was school holidays, it was from the anxiety of them GOING TO SCHOOL. Either my husband is spiking drinks or my summer break hasn’t been a summer-breakdown after all.

So I’ve been thinking about this dream and realised that because I started off in July with low expectations – everything good has been a bonus. We’ve had a few fun times. Of course some days have been a challenge – like when my son threw a stick at my daughter’s head, and bizarrely, not being his usual crap shot, it actually landed on target. On other days they’ve been bored by 7.53am. Sigh. Anyway, this dream has panicked me a bit about having to get up & out in the mornings so I’m taking the following precautions.

1. Camp out at the school gate the hour (week) before on the first day back.

2. Get that NASA space food for packed lunches and prepare well in advance.

3. Make the kids wear their uniforms every day from now on.

4. Start fake smiling in preparation for some of the mums in the playground.

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5. Buy lots of new outfits for me.

I digress. Because I wanted to say that it’s dawned on me that I’m doing okay. After countless full days with my kids 7am – 7pm, I’m still remarkably composed. I’ve only wanted to smash my head against the school gate twice. I haven’t been overly tempted to lock them in a room, at least not for a long period, and I’ve also only locked myself in my bedroom for two minutes total.

This extended moment of sanity is likely because I’ve been possessed by The Spirit Of A Happy Mother. All I need now is for the spirit to not leave until September. And for the children to continue to behave. And for my husband to keep buying me gin. And once the term starts, to get up early – probably at 4am to ensure that we’re never late.

Follow Claire on Twitter @MinistryOfMum