Life On The Edge of Summer
It happens every year...a slow panic that starts on June 1st and builds up as each day ticks by...the end of term and summer holidays.
Part of me craves the break to the routine. The alarm goes off and I spend a good 20 minutes fantasising about not having to start the uniform/lunch/breakfast/teeth/chore cycle. Something is usually missing or forgotten, someone is usually upset at having to go to school, we are usually late for the bus. One morning, our neighbour/electrician popped up to look at the studio at 8 am and bore witness to full chaos - naked and crying children, goats escaping, sheep in the house, and worst of all, pre-coffee me. He left just about as fast as he could get in the van and it took all the control I had not to ask to hop in with him and drive away with him.
The prospect of lazy mornings aside, summer holidays mean an end to my working routine for 8 weeks. With my children more and more independent and clear expectations of what I will be able to realistically achieve, school holidays are marginally less stressful than they used to be. I structure my work so that I have some clear computer days where the kids are with Kevin or friends and the rest of the time I plan work that involves things I don't need to concentrate as much on usually small making projects that I can cart along with us as we go. Also, this summer's main task is getting the farm ready for the programme of workshops and retreats (more on that later) that are starting this September. Kids can usually be roped in to help with painting and tidying if a bribe of ice cream or swimming can be offered at the end.
Sometimes I look back on the early days of Kat Goldin Designs with amazement. I started with all 3 kids at home full time - Ellis was 4.5, Georgia was 18m and Theo was 6 months when I started selling handmade hats and patterns. I blogged every day and I even wrote books before they were all at school! HOW ON EARTH DID I DO THAT? or more accurately HOW ARE KEVIN AND I STILL TOGETHER AFTER THOSE YEARS?!?
Because, that really is the crux of it. Kevin and I don't fight about anything, except who gets to work. Part of me recognises that my work is more flexible than his, part of me hates that it feels like time and again his work comittments trump mine. On my good days, I accept it and work with what we've got - he tries to take 2 days off a week to work at home and look after the kids. On my bad days, I see it for the patriarchal nonsense it is - my work constantly having to fit into other people's schedules and needs. He says he would choose differently if he could, and makes up for it by doing all the laundry and vacuuming and chores and we call it even as I lay in bed with the kids, blissfully enjoying my slow summer mornings.
Regardless of how I feel about it, summer break starts in 1.5 days...and the juggle begins.