I feel drained this week. And I really shouldn’t feel drained as I was on holiday last week, so in theory I should be full of beans and raring to go after my relaxing break.
In years long past I would no doubt have spent the time sitting curled up on the sofa, glass of wine in hand and surrounded by delicious nibbles galore while engrossed in a thriller.
Or maybe I would have jetted off somewhere warmer (always a preferred option at this cold, horrid time of year) and have been sunning myself at some idyllic seaside location.
But those days are a dim and distant memory now. Admittedly the last time I went abroad it was one of the most memorable holidays I remember taking, but for the wrong reasons.
I spent the whole time worrying that one or other of my children would fall into the apartment’s swimming pool and meet a terrible end. Every time I heard a splash I raced to the window worrying someone had fallen in, only to discover it was children jumping into the neighbouring pool.
What possessed us to think hiring an apartment with a pool was a good idea when two of our children were still non-swimmers? Total recipe for disaster.
When I wasn’t fretting about the swimming situation I was maxing out my stress levels on which sun factor to put on the kids.
We may be several years down the line in terms of child-rearing but sadly we are still under the ridiculous illusion that we don’t need to change what we want to do just to suit the kids.
Last week was a prime example. We are in the middle of what can only be described as an epic building project at our home.
For several months we have been living in a house which now resembles something out of the Blitz era. Not one for half measures, we have quite literally ripped the front from the house to make way for a sweeping drive which will – eventually – lead to a magnificent basement conversion. However, as the work progresses, hidden gems keep springing out at us which we need to deal with. For instance the electric system was not good enough to work the new rooms we are having built, so the whole house is being rewired. Then it transpired the boiler was too small to run the new heaters we were adding on. But the icing on the cake was the fact the floor in our current kitchen was the wrong material – concrete – and so that needed to be removed.
As last week was half term – and the only time we could really get the kids out of the way – we naively scheduled all this work to happen then. The kitchen was removed to make way for a new floor, coupled with no hot water or heating.
So I took all three children away on my own while the other half braved the house to keep an eye on it all. This is where the exhaustion part comes in.
If I wasn’t endlessly tidying up the constant mess, I was pushing one or other on various slides and swings or shopping for crazy mountains of food.
By the end of the week I was numb with tiredness as I wearily made my way home fearing what lay ahead in our house. After spending two days cleaning the dust which had scattered everywhere, I was doubly shattered.
This week is National Adoption week and this year’s campaign for Sheffield City Council is to try and increase the number of adopters taking harder to place children like sibling groups or older children.
Every child deserves a happy home and anybody who makes a difference to children who don’t have this deserve a medal in my book. I know just how hard it is to bring up a family. But equally I have felt so proud when I have seen my three all playing together, or going to each other for support. Usually they do this when I shout at one or other of them. Three pairs of eyes are instantly locked on to me with the look which makes me feel so small and ridiculous. But I love the fact they turn to each other and get strength in numbers.
That is why I so admire people who adopt brothers and sisters together – the bond they have needs to be treasured. Anyone interested in adoption should visit: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/caresupport/childfam/adoption.html