Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Guilt of the school holidays

Put your hand up if your at work right now and the little terrors beloved offspring are on holidays and being managed looked after by someone else.

My hand is up.

I didn't mean for it to be like this , I had every intention of being on holiday with them . But I have an excuse -  something came up which stopped me from being there. The problem is I always have something as an excuse.

I know there will be other holidays right ? And we have the weekends right?

Problem is I really do feel bad about it. School holidays are the one time that you should be together having fun and we have a rule in our family - its not a holiday unless everybody gets to relax.

I still remember in exact detail the family holidays I had when I was a kid. If you guessed that's because of the ones we did actually manage they were so memorable, you'd be right. When both parents work it becomes a real challenge to get the clan organised.

Driving to Noosa back in the '80s - My Dad getting the tools from the car and unbolting the TV from the wall it was chained to, so he and Mum could watch TV in their room at night while I slept on the couch.

Two weeks in an apartment in Mornington, waiting whilst the rain passed, peering constantly out of the worst colored curtains I have ever seen and we completed a 10,000 piece jigsaw of some obscure mountain.

image courtesy of

Anyway you get the picture, they're cherished moments (even if they don't seem it at the time).

Things were different when I was younger, school holidays that we didn't get to go away or  get sent to a relatives house, were a chance to explore. We were allowed to go to the cinema by ourselves on the tram. We were allowed to ride our skateboards up and down the street all day.

Now days if you allowed that and your kids were under 14 you'd probably get arrested.

I know my family are having a great time and I know that they understand why I can't be there, but guilt is a funny emotion. It allows you to justify yourself and then creeps back and reminds you with that uncomfortable nagging feeling of uncertainty.

So as I sit here whilst the family are on holidays and I get another phone call from them swearing they are ok with me not being there ( I know they are just saying that) it spurs me into action to not let it happen again.

After all it's not good when I'm left on my own, as who knows what I'll do ?

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