We are now 2 weeks into the summer holidays and I am finding it hard to put in to words the guilt I am feeling. It's a very strange kind of guilt, because I do not regret going back to work, in fact I am really enjoying it. But I do feel incredibly guilty that the children are being pushed from pillar to post so that I can go to work.
As usual they have both taken it in their stride and so far have been amazing, not complained once. The only way I know that some days have been too much for them is when they either fall asleep early, get up late or have tired tantrums.
I think the main reason I feel so incredibly guilty is that I remember when I was younger getting passed between grandparents and my mums friends all summer long, so that my parents could go to work. I desperately didn't want to repeat that with my children, but at the same time, I know it is the best option for us. I know that by working we will actually be able to do more fun things as a family. So in the long run it is for their benefit.
It's slightly different for Chester and Millie, because we have no family (aside from my sister) near by. Sadly when we moved 40 minutes away from family a lot of them decided we were simply too far away to come and visit! My parents actually live even further away, in Dorset.
So what we are having to do is pay for extra childcare and that has been a massive shock to the system!
They are either at Millie's childminders or at Chesters after school club (which turns into a holiday club for summer). They are really enjoying the days and have so far been to Pizza Hut, the cinema, played golf and visited a farm! Not to mention all the picnics in the park! I know they are enjoying it, I just feel guilty because I am not doing it with them.
My Mum has taken a week off of work next week and has offered to have the children down there, then I will join them a week later. I am incredibly grateful to my parents for offering and it has really helped us out, not just financially but for peace of mind too. Chester and Millie are extremely excited about their trip to Nannie and Grandads.
Craig's Mum works in a School so has the whole summer off, so I have asked her if she wouldn't mind looking after them a couple of times too. This helps me out when I have a couple of things going on at work that mean my days have to start earlier.
I know in my heart that going back to work full time was the right thing to do, for all of us, and I don't think I would be normal if I didn't feel a little guilty. But I do think the long 6 weeks summer holidays is going to take a lot of getting used to!
Are you a full time working parent? How are you coping with the holidays so far?