I've noticed something about these holidays - no playdates with families from school.
Now, I don't know if that is because all the local families are on holidays elsewhere - if everybody is meant to be in a holiday house somewhere with family or other friends - but the lack of local playdates is a bit spooky.
Does it mean that local families only hang out with us during term time and the shorter school holidays because it is convenient? Does it mean that those families don't really like us enough to spend time with us over the special season of xmas and New Year? Are we supposed to have friends or family who are higher priority at this time of year. Because, frankly, we don't. Sure, we spent xmas day with family, but that's about it. And while I'm aware I'm not in any inner circles of mum friends, I do actually know a lot of local families and ask people over often. Perhaps I should be forming my own inner circle?
It kind of takes some time and practice to learn to be just by ourselves and how to be a family together, without too many distractions. And we've been doing just that. Kids playing outside. Using the activities they received for xmas. The whole family playing board games or watching a movie together. I've been cleaning up a bit. Cooking with the kids. Eating meals with my partner and all that.
It seems a bit crazy that we see everyone and do everything for the first three weeks of December then BAM. Silence. The tumbleweed goes drifting through our social lives. My 5 year old keeps asking for playdates, and I keep telling her that it is family time - other kids are with their families, and we should let them enjoy their time together without trying to impose ourselves. And I feel a bit as if I fail the family-time test if I'm asking for playdates. Like we've cracked first and couldn't make it through the marathon of boardgames and family activities. But what if the other local families are doing the same thing? What if we all think we should be alone with our families, when we'd really rather be socialising, like we usually do? What if we have all had a long look at our families, and now we need to see some other people?
And it has been raining nearly every day so far, so not a lot of opportunities for going out. What on earth is everyone else DOING?
Perhaps we'll be back to our normal social lives now that most of the dads are going back to work.
I am glad that their father has spent this time with us. He doesn't often feel the full force of three kids playing inside for days on end. One thing we've started is, when we sit together at the table for meals (and we sit at the table together for all meals - usually it is just me and the kids), instead of their father and I being at opposite ends of the table (kind of a policing device), we are sitting together so we can chat more easily. And we're a united front. So much nicer than trying to converse across a table of babbling kids while we're trying to enforce table manners. That's something we'll be keeping. That and playing board games.