When we moved to this little corner of Devon at the beginning of the school holidays it all felt very exciting. The sun was shining hot heat over the pretty hills and the sandals and strappy tops on the high street made it feel like a holiday.
Two weeks passed and the holiday vibe was replaced with something else.
My (teacher) husband was off work and my three year old’s pre-school was closed for the holidays. We had days out and trips away, but I still had to work, albeit from home. Life was still exciting, but I craved a bit of stability and routine. I think that craving was partly due to the fact we are only temporarily renting our house, so it felt even more like a holiday home.
This time last week I was sad that summer was over. I already missed the long days on the beach and rambles over the moor. I dreaded the pre-school dash in the morning and cramming the extra work hours into my shorter working day. But, at the same time, I was eager to return to a sense of normality. I was ready for it to feel less like a holiday and more like our life.
So, summer is now officially over. But you know what? That’s OK. The last week has been brilliant. We are starting to feel settled. We have a new routine.
Frog LOVES pre-school. We get to wander down the hill together in the morning when I drop her off and I feel like part of a club, as I smile at the other mums at the gates. This is simple stuff, but they are things I missed when I was working on a breakfast radio show alongside my freelance writing work, pulling 80 hour working weeks and being out of the door at 4.30am. The work was fun, but so is walking down the road listening to the chatter of my story-telling three year old.
People are friendly here. There is a slower pace of life, I feel less stressed and frantic. I get no Internet signal outside of the house, so I can’t surreptitiously check my phone for emails. I like that. My three year old likes that. People know when they can get hold of me so I don’t worry about being available 24/7.
We have a little routine going on. Afternoons are spent doing stuff. Eating cake in a cafe, meandering down to the library or the park, going to swimming lessons or playing at home.
For the first time since becoming a mum I have a regular two evenings a week to myself doing non-work, non-mum stuff, at a Yoga and a Zumba class. I even enjoy the walk there (although not so much when it’s raining). I’m starting to wonder if this is what “normal” feels like.
Of course there are bouts of stress or anxiety, as I fret about hitting deadlines and keeping on top of work. But, mostly, I am managing the juggle. I enjoy my mornings working, even. It adds balance to the mum stuff.
Summer’s over, but that’s OK. I’m looking forward to seeing what autumn brings.