Melanie Sykes - Back To School Blues

Back To School Blues

Well, it’s time for the back to school blues and might I just add that this time it’s me, not the children.

I wonder if I am alone in this?

At the end of term I’m sure we all wonder how we are going to entertain them and how we are going to get all the stuff done that we always do when they are safely in school.  I’m not just talking about work, the emails,and the phone calls but the fun stuff too -training, seeing friends, playing etc.

To be honest, mine – aged 12 and 14 – never want to do anything anyway. My eldest just loves his gaming and the odd bit of tennis and Tino is happy with his Tin Tin and Diary of a Wimpy kid books and his tablet. The battle to try and get them out and about is lost because if they are happy doing their own thing, then I can actually get on with work and writing, so I take the easy route. It’s such a dilemma and it leaves me feeling guilty and exhausted.

It’s been a strange old summer for me and mine. I’ve worked for most of it and have had barely any quality time for the children. As always, I have shared them with their father but this year he has been working away a lot, so the balance has shifted a little. I also have the wonderful Ligita who works for me two days a week and has been my right hand woman for years, and how I have needed her as I have no family down here in London who can help me.

The only breaks I have had have been a few working trips – with the associated jetlag and travel exhaustion – and right now I cannot remember the last time I actually relaxed. Although we have had wonderful weather and no alarm clocks, I feel like I have been stretched to breaking point.

Tino (who has autism) starts a new school this term which will be a big adjustment for him, and from a practical perspective it’s also much further away than his last school. I even did a test school run the other day which came to just twenty minutes away in no traffic, but I am pretty sure that the first morning is going to take me an hour at least. I am dreading it but of course will be upbeat and positive so it doesn’t rub off on the boys. The uniforms and shoes have been bought which always makes your wallet groan so all that is left to do is make sure the kids are mentally ready for the return.

Right now Roman has gone on holiday with his friend and his family to the south of France so I took the opportunity for me and Tino  to go and stay with my friend in Mallorca for a few days. I just knew if I stayed home we wouldn’t have quality time together. He loves a flight and the sunshine, and that means I get to shovel away some of the ten tonnes of guilt I have put on myself over the last few months.

There is a sadness for me as their return to school marks the end of summer and now it’s back to the grindstone. No more lie ins and lazy mornings.

The work and life balance game is forever being played and this summer I feel that I have lost, but no matter how much they have driven me mad, or how I have struggled to make each day work, I am going to miss my boys so much next month when they go back!

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