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Just FYI Virgin Atlantic have a wander list competition and are giving away 5 pairs of tickets to five incredible destinations. I thought I’d share it with you – it’s very easy to enter and you never know….. http://wanderlist.virgin-atlantic.com/home
I would love to get some other ideas – it’s very difficult choosing venues when you don’t have a partner for lots of reasons. I for one hate the thought of being responsible for my three kids somewhere that I […]
This is how I feel. Out. Of. Control. This is a very strange feeling - in fact I don't like it - never been one for enjoying floating about aimlessly or scary rides which flip me any which way. I like feeling grounded and IN CONTROL. This is mostly about my children. Who apparently this summer don't appear to need me at all. Neither do I appear to have any influence on what they are currently doing with themselves. I am finding this marginally depressing and a teeny bit exciting. Take my firstborn son for example. He is somewhere in Belgium. At a festival called Tomorrow Land. Or Tomorrowland. I'm not really sure. In a town called "Boom" which seems appropriate - sort of like they've lived their whole life just waiting for an enormous electronic festival to descend on them year after year. Anyway, life with children I thought was meant to be about shared experiences and frankly, he has gone. Yes, I know he's old and that is therefore normal but it still feels strange. I still can't help parenting him from afar "where r u?" is something I appear to be texting him a lot and by the time he's bothered to reply he is two days of being somewhere else. "Don't take any illegal substances" is another text I sent prior to his submergence into a two day love-in - or whatever it is and I don't even know what I'm talking about - are there illegal substances there or do you get shot at dawn if you have any or are all illegal substances in Germany actually legal? So you see? My mind is a little whirl of rubbish as I wonder where he is - EVEN WORSE than this was the text I sent in reply to "OMG the line up is AMAZING" - I actually asked him who was playing in manner of someone who for a the smallest of moments thought they might actually be a teeny bit hip "Tiesto, Sebastian Ingrosso, Hardwell, Steve Aoki etc". WTF. Are they artists or DJ's? Or Names of Beer? This is not good. I am going to make my children take me to Ibiza. No I'm not. That is really sad. I'm going to find a friend to go to Ibiza with. No I'm not. I'm going to breath deeply and remember that I am too old to go clubbing anymore. No I'm not. You're never too old for anything. It's all in the mind. So. That is my son. MY DAUGHTER - OMG - how worried have we all been about our girls. Out in a resort where there was a brawl followed by a stabbing and now ultimately a murder. So very, very sad. She said she walked past all the paramedics as they were trying to save him. A young British boy. What a tragic waste. Of course you imagine that the whole area is therefore dangerous - but of course it doesn't really work like that. This is all drink fuelled. THEY ARE DRINKING TOO MUCH. But. She is home. Safe and sound and very very happy. "I'm not gonna lie mum, that was the best holiday I've ever had ever in my whole life" - this was said with eyes nearly shut on the table at 7pm - she has had no sleep for a week and is absolutely covered in bruises. Something to do with falling off a stool on the first night with her friend. Don't believe me? My youngest has just had his 13th birthday and is finding his feet. Getting his voice. Testing the water. This age is the worst. All that testing does my head in. I'm not sure I'm ready. SO YOU SEE? DON'T YOU THINK I HAVE GOOD REASON TO FEEL OUT OF CONTROL? I wish I was a Black Widow Spider, then I'd just weave my web around them all, wrap them up and strap them on my back. Or maybe eat them. That would make everything a whole lot easier. And cheaper.
*Sigh* (not actually sure of the point of the additional ** but it sort of looks better and more meaningful - like in a comic). You would think that by now my kids are old enough to fend for themselves when I am out. But they clearly still feel the need to pretend that they are not. I have had this week off from work to spend time with them, but today I had to go in for various meetings..... SO. I left this morning having put a chicken in the oven in manner of proper mother who is capable of looking after her childrens wellbeing at all times even when not in the house. I left strict instructions for it's removal from oven. Didn't realise I should have gone beyond that. Disaster. Before I'd even left the house the oven was smoking profusely and I smelt of smoke. It was a little worrying to leave the building as all the kids were still in bed and I could barely find the door - even though I'd sorted out the drama and put on the extractor fan, I couldn't be sure that anyone would wake up in time to take the chicken out of the oven two hours later when cooked. You can, however, always rely on my youngest to be the responsible chef. He was up before I left the house and of course took it out in time and left it to cool. When I came home this evening it was still on the side with a couple of chunks taken out of it and all three kids were complaining that they were hungry. Truly it's pathetic. I shouldn't have to feel responsible for the fact that they are rubbish at fending for themselves and if I was my mother I'd spend all day every day telling them that I was married with two children at their age... Apparently, because nobody had the foresight to cover the chicken it was attacked by one or more cats and they then refused to eat it. Hardly surprising, but frankly I just don't know why I bother. That sort of thing doesn't happen in households where the mother is a domestic goddess. It's not fair.
Day Two of holidays. I am already demented. Youngest son is already bored, bored, bored. Daughter is moping around missing the Ibiza beach parties and wondering what she is doing wasting her life in boring old suburbia (me ditto). Teenage son is clearly whooping it up in Cyprus. My daughter got a text from his girlfriend late last night saying "try & persuade him not to get another tattoo" and I went mad. His arse already looks like he's sat on road kill he's got so many drawings and announcements on there and now he wants to fit "Viva La Fiesta" on there as well - probably no space on arse so I was worried he'd put it somewhere more obvious. I texted "DON"T DO IT - you'll get an infection" even though I wasn't supposed to know and even though my daughter told me not to bother because "no offense mum he's so not going to listen to you"....
This is proving to be an ongoing nightmare. You would think by now that I'd have got a little more used to the stress of sorting out holidays with and without the children now that I've had a few years practice in being divorced. This year feels almost like the worst so far. I don't know why that is. I have left it all to the last minute because I didn't have everybody's dates available until now. Perhaps its because of all the uncertainty and stress going on around me or perhaps it's because my oldest child had made lots of plans himself which I have had to take into consideration. OR perhaps it's just because, like many people this year I don't seem to have enough money for an overseas holiday with the children. Everything, especially flights are so expensive, which is odd given that Portugal has just been downgraded to "junk status" (which seems just rude to me) and Spain and Italy risk being drawn in to the deepening eurozone crisis if a Greek default does indeed cause a market meltdown. Italy is of major concern at the moment as yields on Italy's government debt hit their highest levels yesterday for nearly a decade. So. I still haven't sorted out my summer plans. Which is frustrating me. Especially given that my kids have already broken up from school and those endless weeks ahead seem to just looooom in a vast empty expanse of mouths saying "I"M BORED!! THERE'S NOTHING TO DO. WHAT ARE WE DOING TODAY?" . I need to make some plans. Various friends have invited us away with them but for the most part the dates sadly haven't worked - either I've been invited to go away without the children when I have them or vice versa. Builder Bloke always, always goes to Portugal. It's where he has a family villa. This year for the first time he doesn't have access to it, which has caused huge problems for him because his children love going there. We were both looking at places nearby to rent but have recently discovered that their father and his new wife have chosen Portugal for their holiday destination so now I don't want to go. Not because I'm being childish, but because I genuinely don't think it's right for the kids to have two weeks with us and a week with them in the same country - it doesn't make sense. To me it feels like the worst sort of competitive parenting and we've been there, done that in the first year of divorce when we both took them away several times. Also, because they're having a foreign holiday and then a UK holiday with their father, do they actually need a third big one with me? I don't think so. I would love to go somewhere where we can have a good time together and get away (as long as it doesn't involve camping in any way shape or form, unless it's at a festival), but maybe they'd be just as happy staying at home and having a quiet time. Personally I'd like to take them to an Orangutang sanctuary - shame all the bloody orangutangs live so far away. THEN I've got the dilemma of what to do when I'm on my own for the two separate weeks they are away on holiday. MUCH cheaper to get just myself somewhere, but where? What to do? Again, I will probably go and stay with some friends - it's important to be busy when the kids are away or I will just mope about wondering if they're coping without me. I'm on a waiting list for a writing course, but would quite like to go and walk in China or climb a mountain or do something cultural or not do something cultural and lie on a beach for a week - I might even be ready to go and do something by myself as long as it's in a group of "single" (and I say that in the loosest possible terms - not partnerless necessarily - it would have to include those people who don't like going on holiday with their partner, have different interests, different holiday times, bla bla)... Anyone got any bright ideas? I would also be interested to know if anybody has any useful tips for helping the kids get through the minefield of divorced/separated parents and their holiday plans. Arianna Huffington, for example wrote an article about how she and her ex husband successfully manage to go away together with their children every summer and Christmas. I wonder if that would work in our case. Perhaps I should suggest it. All six kids would be happy, their parents would all be in the same place, albeit with swapped around partners. Hmmm.