Here comes the… SNOW?!
Monday 19th February first day after half term holidays I recall waving my husband and our 2 boys off to work and breakfast club and being greeted with equally tired eyes. I started to experience a queasy sensation in the pit of my tummy, we were reaching the end of February and in the blink of an eye the half term holidays had been and gone! Before heading off to work I put a post on Facebook describing it as, ‘It’s just another Manic Monday‘.
Last Monday, I awoke with the same thought, on my morning journey to school!
Ironically, the radio played out the familiar tune of the 1980’s hit by the Bangles…
Automatically it left my head reeling with endless lists of things I needed to do, deadlines I had set myself to complete by the end of the week.
Being someone who likes routine and where possible, planning ahead to alleviate worry. Perhaps surprisingly as last week progressed, witnessing the Beast from the East grinding everything to a halt before my very eyes, the Arctic storm presented as a perfect opportunity (whether I liked it or not!!) to test out some of my fears.
Using good old Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques, as if on autopilot I quickly found myself challenging some unhelpful behaviours and thoughts. The what if’s – the worst-case scenarios that can quickly spiral to jumping to conclusions. Ultimately when faced with a situation that we have little control of, like an Arctic storm bringing schools and businesses to a standstill, you quickly learn to realise that sometimes no matter how hard you try, life doesn’t always go to plan.
Rewind to the start of the February half term, we had a perfect opportunity to organise the days with fun filled activities. Preparing for school holidays all year around; more often than not, the weeks end up being crammed with arranged play dates and days out, holiday clubs, things we either look forward to or feel obligated to do with it being ‘school holidays’. In all honesty, pre-planned school holidays and good intentions can equally become stressful especially when it comes to arranging a play date to suit all ages.
This week on the contrary has been very different in more ways than one. Yes initially having to have impromptu snow days did seem like a nuisance, it has really helped to slow the pace down and reinforce many of the things that I strive to be as a mum.
Crazy as it might seem but the ‘Beast from the East’ has been a fortunate blessing in our house.
Christmas of 2017 that quickly came and went was relived with the children’s request to listen to Christmas songs; Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman.
Singing at the top of our voices whilst driving to the local supermarket for a spade to shovel the snow from the drive.
I imagine to anyone who might have overheard us, whilst parked up at the traffic lights, may have even looked twice and been in hysterics laughing.
Succumbing to the fact that there was nowhere we could go or and even if we could it would not be in a hurry, surprisingly made me feel rather relaxed and stress-free. Something as a mum I have find difficult when trying to juggle the work/life balance and an experience I have not had the pleasure of in a while.
Yes I may have taken an opportunity to put the boys into nursery for a couple of hours one day and then again later on in the week. The difference between doing so in the February half term and this week for some bizarre reason was that this time around I did not feel the usual pang of guilt. I knew that realistically, if I wanted to be be able to join in the fun, I needed time to recharge my batteries throughout the day.
Meaning that as the week came to a close we could spend it as a family enjoying some fun in the snow. Having a snowball fight, laughing at my husband and the boys sledging headfirst down the bank followed by making a snowman in the garden and not having any niggling thoughts about the bedtime routine which normally happens 365 days of the year regardless of the weather.
So when it comes to the end of 2018 and people look back at the year reflecting on the terrible winter and the ‘Beast from the East’ that came and took everyone by surprise I will remember...
Lazy mornings and afternoons snuggled up with blankets, hot chocolate and watching films
Having fun in the snow – snow angels by day and snowmen and sledging by night
Reintroducing Christmas music on the 1st March
Most importantly I will recall the week I watched families in the street pass by on their sledges, stopping and taking the time out to say hello to one another. My husband and I having fun with our boys, listening to them laughing and watching them jump about in the endless supply of snow. These are the things I will remember and because of these things, I will smile and give thanks, for snow days and the week the UK ground to a halt.
So as the week draws to a close, I have come to the conclusion;
‘no matter what you do or how much planning you put in place, somethings unfortunately are just out of our control; especially when it comes to the weather‘…