Sunday, October 03, 2010

School holidays... we miss you!

Unlike most other teachers, I didn't have a holiday, or not really. The past 3 weeks or so have been so stressful. Initially it was just school related - end of term exam marking and report writing.

Then things escalated at home as our nanny went off sick for several days. I won't bore you with the details, suffice to say that she was told she'd had a stroke (at age 35!) and was suffering from high blood pressure. Fortunately, further tests revealed that she hadn't had a stroke, but she does have high bp.

This all transpired at the same time that Nathan went for emergency surgery to have grommets put in and his adenoids removed. (The surgeon said his adenoids were the size of plums....) I had to deal with most of this on my own, as Graeme was away with a school group doing a trail in the Umfolozi Game Reserve.

Graeme was back for 2 days (during which we both had some work to do on one day), then I headed off to Pretoria with the Cape Town Eskom Expo group. That means I had 3 days in a row of early mornings, late nights, stress and lots of time on my feet while I was judging and marking and doing other bits and pieces.

Today I had the kids for the morning, as G was at band practice, and then we had a braai with Nathan's friends' parents that we've been trying to organise for ages. While it was lovely to spend time with them, it was, never the less, an energy-consuming day. (Although, it probably only felt like that because I'm so tired.) And now, as I sit and contemplate tomorrow (and have just worked through about 2/3rds of my school inbox), I realise that I'm not prepared yet for tomorrow, or this week.

I feel like I've aged 5-10 years over the past few weeks. Sadly, the stress won't relent until the 16th Dec. So, somehow I've got to plow on till then. What I have gained through this time though, is a new-found respect for single parents who have more than one child. I think I could have coped a lot better if I only had just the one, but two has been.... trying.

Still, there has been a lot of joy and good in these weeks too. Nathan is feeling better, and so is sleeping MUCH better during the day (night time habits die hard, it seems), and is responding to instructions much better. Today he said a new word - bye bye. Nellie has decided (mostly) that she gets more attention if she's a helpful big sister than a whining pain, so has started to be truly helpful, loving and sweet towards her brother - long may that last!! Our nanny's bp is back down to normal (with a little help from medication) and she seems to be on the mend. G had a fabulous trip away with some close encounters with rhino and buffalo. The Cape Town Expo group got 9 bronze, 4 silver and 5 gold medals (out of 25 projects), as well as winning 2 best-in-category prizes, 3 special awards and having 4 people nominated for the international expos.

But I think that, for my birthday, I'd like a weekend away without the kids - just me and G. I'd like some time out to just walk, read, sleep and eat, without having any other demands on my energy or time. I think that I really need the time out if I'm going to avoid burn out. Anyone offering babysitting for a weekend in November?
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