One of the main differences in our lives once the children go back to school after the summer is that our days are no longer our own. We become slaves to the school run, after school clubs, bedtimes and homework schedules. I don’t know if anyone else feels the same but it sometimes feels like we are hamsters on a wheel.
That feeling descended on me pretty quickly in September. Gone were the lazy mornings, the movie nights mid-week and impromptu trips out. It ends up feeling like the house is stuck in a military-like routine. So we did something we wouldn’t normally do.
By chance, my birth daughter was off on a weekend long residential with school. A trip put on for the super sporty children to give them some different experiences. It was this that gave me the idea. Completely last minute, I booked a weekend away, at a caravan, close to my mum and dad near the sea. We would leave straight after school on the Friday and return in time for youngest’s football game on Sunday.
To say the morning of the trip was a bit chaotic was an understatement. We were trying to do the school run (leave home by 8am) while also sorting out my daughter for her 2pm departure from school and our afternoon escape. Once everyone was at school we packed up the car ready for collection and sorted the house for the animal sitter. Finally, we were ready.
The weekend was like a breath of fresh air. The children, in glorious sunshine, spent the whole of Saturday on the beach, either in the sea or playing in the sand with my dad and Saturday night was spent eating fish and chips, spending far too much at the arcade and watching Strictly Come Dancing cozied up on the caravan sofas.
Although the structure of the day wasn’t wildly different to at home getting away from the routine, the norm was refreshing. It gave everyone a boost and as we made our way home on the Sunday we all felt as if we had achieved something. Weekends can so easily be lost to washing, homework, household chores that making an executive decision to break that routine made us feel like we had been away for the whole week.
It has definitely made me more conscious of how I spend the weekends we have and I am going to try harder to actively buck against the standard weekend rules in the future!