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Summer Juggle Mum

cartoon depicting family on a beach

So my excited children left school last week armed with folders crammed full of various glued and painted artwork, bizarre cardboard shapes and various half-finished stories. I walked them home in a hurry just so I could tap into the last few emails from work. A hurried glass of milk and a jammy dodger and no doubt a nag about something from me and I sat down with a heavy sigh. Another school year over. Here comes the juggle of the summer holiday.

I started wondering whether they would enjoy the summer activities and clubs I had planned for them around our work schedule and the guilt twinge crept in. Gathering their folders together, I sat in the garden and looked through their ‘work’.

A beautiful story from my nearly nine year old daughter depicted a young girl and a Labrador (ours recently died!) who went for a walk along a glitter strewn path to the magic tree where the cake in the oven continued to cook but never burned and the chairs were made out of cotton wool and everything smelt of baby powder. Perhaps not a future JK Rowling in the making but a vivid and happy imagination was being fuelled.

My nearly seven year old son had sewn two finger puppets with names and a life story to go with them. The engineering lesson was a cardboard ‘vehicle’ which was strong enough to land on the moon where they had a special football team and only children could play who were paid in chocolate coins. Such a shame the premier leaguers weren’t sitting in my garden to hear the tale. Magical times.

My guilt twinge of juggling their time around mine subsided. My son will love his football course and my daughter’s drama and dance will continue to inspire her and I would much rather hear their stories of new friends, missed penalties and act one scene two than dwell on my struggle with being that perfect, ‘there for my children’ mum. Lots of experiences and people who will be there for them over the next few weeks and judging from the school folders, they’re doing a pretty good job of being there for themselves.




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