My Facebook feed has been flooded for the past 2 weeks. Memes and posts about the end of school, summer holidays and summer holiday blues. Posts showing the side by side, first / last day of school grins are followed by questions in mummy groups about What On Earth You Can Do with kids on summer holidays for £1.63 a day. Routines are disrupted, all the useful extra curricular activities and baby classes have stopped and friends (including me) selfishly disappear on holiday.
We got back home over 3 weeks ago from an epic holiday (so good I had to write 4 blog posts about it here, here, here and here) so it was inevitable that I would feel a bit grumpy. But these are not simple post-holiday blues. The first week was fine – a flurry of activities we had organised, unpacking and catching up on the blog. And then it began:
- The fighting and bickering
- The whining
- The ungratefulness and rudeness
And that was just me… Let’s not even talk about how the kids started behaving 🙂
The newsfeed continues. People in the UK struggling through the summer holidays (which, incidentally, have only just started about 2 weeks ago). Here in the Middle East we are in 45-50C heat plus 70% humidity. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that it’s not pretty. We are 7 weeks into the holidays (SEVEN WEEKS PEOPLE) with 4 more to go for Thing 1 and 6 more to go for Thing 2. There were days last week when I actually thought I might lose my mind. I satisfied myself with a few snide comments on posts to remind the British mums Just How Lucky They Are. 6 weeks? A hardship? Oh PLEASE. My martyrdom is irritating, even to myself.
I’ve had countless conversations with friends all over the world who are equally as grumpy as me. We commiserate about rude ungrateful Things over coffee or a glass of wine or WhatsApp. Sending the Things to gratitude camp has even come up as a serious option. If only one existed haha.
We gaze despairingly at each other over the heads of our Things as we lose our souls in yet another soft play area, mall or cinema. We despair over how much money we are ploughing into activities this summer. We feel like we are all just treading water, wishing our lives away and I Hate That. I wonder, idly, if I should have taken the Things home for the summer. To have enrolled in membership of the Mass Exodus that is the Middle Eastern summer.
It doesn’t last long. The texts come from expat friends. “11 weeks is a long time.” “I’m very ready for home and not living out of cases.” It looks like we are all struggling, wherever we are. I remember solo parenting in the US for 11 days and how I almost lost my mind without the company of Mr Wanderlust each evening. I remind myself that all my friends in the UK and US are having just as hard a time as me (albeit most of them can go outside without melting after approximately 1.294 seconds).
Re-entry blues? Expat blues? Summer holiday blues? Irritating children blues? I don’t know what this is but I’m hoping we all snap out of it soon before I really get on my own nerves!