That picture there, that was the calm. And the storm, well, storm in a teacup is probably more like it to be honest!
But this is what life feels like a lot at the moment. As a mama to two young boys and also a teacher that works full time life is hectic, in fact its complete chaos much of the time (hence the blog name!)
This last weekend I did something I never, not ever, do. I spent the whole weekend enjoying family time with my husband and my children. I did no work, well not school related work anyway. There was plenty of, well some, house work.
On Friday evening we had friends around for tea and had a good catch up. I may also have drank a few glasses of wine and stayed up past my usual bedtime. So Rock 'n' Roll!
Saturday, we cooked brunch at home. Then we caught up on some household chores and even popped to the shops to spend some of the boys birthday money on new toys. Saturday night, once the kiddos were in bed, we caught up on a few more episodes of The Walking Dead. So good.
Sunday was another lovely family day. We went to the park with friends, kicked autumn leaves around, played, collected conkers on the way home. We ate roast chicken, chatted, maybe I drank some more wine.
Tired, but in a good way, I rolled into bed a 9 o'clock on Sunday evening, feeling happy, content but also......guilty and slightly panicky.
Why? Well because as a full time teacher I have a huge workload. Yes I know the usual assumptions, teachers only work 9 till half 3, and think of all the holidays you get. But honestly I work most days 8am until 5.30pm in school and then once we have fed, bathed and put the boys to bed I work again till 10 o'clock, maybe later. I also work at least one day at the weekend. Not all day, but a good few hours. From what I can see this is not unusual for teachers these days, and there has been an awful lot in the press about teachers workloads.
But the 'storm' on this particular occasion was the chaos that ensued on Monday morning, when tired from the weekend fun and ready for the half term break, I had to practically drag my (just) 3 and 5 year old boys out of bed late at 7.15 because we had to be out of the house before 8 am. The next half an hour involved me running around like a headless chicken trying to get them to hurry up and eat their breakfast so that I could wrestle them into their clothes and shoes and get them out the door. We did not, unsurprisingly, make it out of the front door before 8 am, in fact we were still searching for the 5 year olds school shoes at 7.53.
This was all punctuated by pleads of "Hurry up, pleeeease" from me, quickly followed by "HURRY UP, I haven't got time for this!".
Once I had finally dropped them off at the childminders and made my way to work, I arrived at school feeling, well, more guilty. Guilty because it isn't their fault, and really I should have time for them, my own children.
I'm sure there are many working mothers, up and down the land who can identify with these feelings. I'm sure some days we all wonder is it worth it? Is the money worth the heartache? Would being a stay at home mum be better for everyone? Is there any such thing as a work/life balance?
Surely there must be an easier way? If I ever find it I'll be sure to let you know.
In the mean time we do the best we can.