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Confessions of a working mother: Why I'll need Mary Poppins to get me through summer

In exactly one week the world as I know it will change completely.

For eight weeks there will be no more homeworks, no more uniforms, packed lunches or screaming at the top of my voice in the morning to get three people dressed and three sets of teeth cleaned (I mean how difficult can this be?).

As I write this, consumed with guilt following another Monday morning row when no-one would get up or cooperate in any way with me and all I seemed to do was shout, I long for those leisurely mornings without rigid routine and timetables.

I’ve yet to figure out why on Saturday and Sunday mornings without fail all three are up before 7.30am yet on a Monday I have to waken them all at 8am for school.

However, I would be lying if I said part of me doesn’t look to these long two months with a sense of foreboding.

I think any ‘stay-at-home’ this summer family must broach the holidays with a sense of mixed emotions. It is great to dispense with all the routines and to have some quality family time doingstuff together.

But it is the ‘stuff ’ I am concerned about.

All I keep thinking about is how on earth I am going to keep the three of them entertained all summer long — and keep my sanity intact, not spend a complete fortune and still somewhere along the lines manage to get some work done.

Already the next few months are looking busier workwise and short of working in the middle of the night I think I am going to have to enlist some help.

Teo is still too young for some of the summer schemes and summer school which are run and I don’t want to separate them — so once more we are left looking for Mary Poppins/Supernanny showing up on the doorstep.

Thankfully, our own Mary Poppins does in fact return from Africa in July so we are hoping she will have missed the boys so much that she will be keen to help out over the summer months.

That said in the last three weeks when they have been at school and I have been working, the balance has once again been tipped by unforeseen and unplanned circumstances.

There hasn’t been one of these weeks when all three of them has actually been at school at the same time. We seem to have been inflicted with a sickness domino effect as we lurch from one medical drama to the next like a bad episode of Holby City.

This started off with a trip to casualty with Korey following a simple fall in the playground which led to a tiny cut infecting his hand and up his arm.

We get him sorted out on antibiotics and back to school when Jesse starts complaining of a sore head. Not only did I have to try and juggle work around looking after him and prop him up against the television with the remote while I got some work done — I also had to pack him off to hisnanny’s so I could attend sport’s day for the other two.

Aweek later and Jesse is still off and now has a throat infection and is also on antibiotics. So of course not wanting to be left out Teo can’t figure out why he is the only one who has tokeep going to school and in recent days has had every infliction from a sore leg to a sore tongue.

Assuming he is jumping on the band wagon and crying wolf he has been sent on regardless.

Determining how sick is stay off school sick and how sick is just not wanting to go to school sick is something of a conundrum for parents and is nothing new.

My mum always said I was very sick in the morning until about 9am when the bell had rung and then she would see me pick up.

One morning though she did send me on to primary school with a sore stomach and I was sent home only to be rushed to theatre that afternoon with my appendix — she was always very cautious after that.

Here’s hoping we will have a healthy, happy and boredom-free summer!

Belfast Telegraph