Parents, carers and disabled parents
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The Festive Season and Back to School

Hello everyone!
I hope you had a good time during the end of year. For us it was the longest stretch of relaxed time spent together as the whole family in a long time and much needed. I am working self employed in retail, and I used to work pretty much up to the 24th and opened again on 2nd January. Plus I usually got some work in between, like doing an inventory and things like that.
For us a hard year (related to medical problems and lack of support, and many forms to file...) was coming to an end, and we desperately needed downtime. And so my husband and I both decided to take almost 3 weeks off this year, and neither of us did anything work-related at all during that time. We also decided for the first time not to go visit our parents, and instead just curled up at home.

The twins (both with cerebral palsy and the odd additional thing thrown in here and there, all leftovers from pre-maturity) needed some time to get used to the much less structured day compared to school, but after a few days seemed to enjoy the amount of time they had with each other (and their computer). One of them suffers from anxieties and was very happy to mostly stay indoors, and play boardgames with us, read and do stuff inside. I went on walks with the other when home seemed to get too narrow and we needed some exercise. Some of them with a torch as it was getting dark so early which was exciting. And we were both surprised how much we enjoyed those walks. - He normally uses a wheelchair when out and about, but with a less strenuous day, he enjoyed the exercise he got from walking.

So we had a really good time.

This morning, however, we are also happy that it is back to normal. And looking back, I feel bad about other things about these holidays than I thought I would. 

School holidays always are hard work for me. Because I can't just not work, I run my shop on a low flame, and try to get everything that's super urgent done in a fraction of the time. At the same time there's meals to cook, physio schedules to watch over, OT exercises to do, and holiday homework to enforce. Usually, our holidays are about as structured as school days are, with time in standing frames, passive and active physio scheduled in, toiletting and medication in between... you probably all know the drill.
This time, I just couldn't do it. I entered the holidays utterly exhausted. We decided on minimal cooking and long down-times for all of us. And I was looking forward to Christmas with a rather bad conscience: My mum used to cook a lot and really well during these days, and it made me feel sad and bad that I wouldn't be carrying on the various food-related traditions. Looking back now, I don't think it was a loss. The time spent together was worth much more than me standing in the kitchen for long hours while feeling ill.
However, we also didn't get any physio done, and while we just shrugged it off during the holidays, now the bad conscience is coming back with a vengence. - We really should have kept those kids more active, especially the curl-up-at-homer. I hope it won't have done any damage.

How do and did the holidays work for you guys?

Replies

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,998

    Scope community team

    edited January 2020
    Ahh parental guilt! It definitely likes sneak up on you and take away from enjoyable moments doesn't it @Udosdottir?
    I read somewhere once that guilt is an intrinsic part of parenting for good parents and it's helped over the years when I've been riddled with parent guilt over whether I'm doing enough or whether I'm actually doing too much. 

    It sounds like you and your husband really needed some proper down time this year and I'm glad you managed it. It can be difficult to say no to family and to the pressures of doing things a certain way. I think the real question should be: did all of you enjoy this new approach to the festive period? 

    How old are the twins? It sounds like you were at least all able to enjoy yourselves and each other, and it seems you found some new shared interests which can only be a good thing.

    I can definitely relate to finding the school holidays hard. I think they are for everybody and I know when you're trying to juggle work and changing routines, it can be a real struggle. 

    Just to add, the school holidays for us were very similar to yours this year. I was working over it but aside from that, we had a lot of down time and our usual structure and routine went out the window. We dialled back Christmas cooking and didn't see family either. And honestly, while I worried about it, we all benefited from the extra down time and my eldest two have returned to school well rested and reasonably happy. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope
  • UdosdottirUdosdottir Member Posts: 34 Connected
    Hi Adrian,

    glad I am not alone with this :-) And good to hear you had a good break. "reasonably happy" sounds almost like unhappy though...
    Looking forward to chatting in the coming year!

    Udosdottir
    P.S.: The twins are 8, in year 4.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,998

    Scope community team

     "reasonably happy" sounds almost like unhappy though...
    Looking forward to chatting in the coming year!
    It does doesn't it? I should have clarified they are happy, just not too happy to return to school.  :D
    My middle child is in year 5, so not too dissimilar in age!
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,834

    Scope community team

    It certainly sounds like you did plenty to keep the twins occupied and had fun over the Christmas break. Trust me, having the occasional break from physio and having fun as a family can be just as beneficial as sticking rigidly to a routine. Not doing some physio will not have a detrimental effect on your twins. Life is about work and play and I think you were right to enjoy your Christmas.

    Try not to be so hard on yourself.
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

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