Today is the first day of the summer holidays. 7 weeks.
On the one hand, I'm excited. No school runs. Lots of adventures - beaches, ice cream, surfing, lie-ins, movies, expeditions.....
But I'm nervous too. Seven weeks of trying to find different ways of keeping #1, #2 and #3 off the computer. Arbitrating sibling disagreements (aka trying to stop them beating each other up). Cooking hundreds of meals that at least one of them will turn their nose up at. Constant tidying, washing, sun cream applying, nose wiping, manner correcting.....
.....all without anything to 'take the edge off' at the end of the day. And with no time for myself with blogs, bubble baths, long dog walks or any of my other 'displacement activities.'
But it has to be better than doing all of the above with a hangover. Then letting them run wild from 5pm onwards while I get stuck into the vino. Then shouting at them because I'm slightly drunk and cross.
I'm starting the holidays with bags of energy. I weigh under 11 stone (154 pounds) for the first time in years. I'm (relatively) relaxed and even tempered. I can be the perfect Mum! (yeah, right).
I have always been the opposite of the 'helicopter Mum'. I've never done that buzzing constantly overhead, coaching, pushing, adjusting, organising endless 'improving activities' and monitoring appropriate play dates.
It's pretty impossible to be that kind of Mum and drink too much. I had to prioritise.
So, I've been more of a 'satellite Mum'. Bleeping somewhere overhead, keeping a weather eye and checking that no-one's in mortal danger.
I've made sure that everyone is in the right place at the right time, in the right kit (except when they're not). They all do their homework, their reading and their spellings (most of the time).
But Kumon maths? Suzuki violin? Mandarin lessons? Fencing? Extra tutoring in anything? I don't think so!
This approach makes me most unusual (almost unique) in my part of town. I'd like to claim that it is all part of a 'free range kid centred philosophy', but actually it was probably laziness, selfishness and booze.
Given my history, I was definitely not one of those mothers who could feel a personal sense of achievement yesterday as we watched our year 6's graduate from Prep (primary) school. #1's achievements were entirely her own.
Which is why I was utterly blown away to see her perform as the lead girl role in the end of year musical - belting out her solos to the back of the hall, despite never having been in a choir or had a single singing or drama lesson (outside of school).
Then she walked off with the cup for outstanding achievement and an academic scholarship to her next school. Out of sixty or so highly-tutored-intensively-mothered kids she came out top.
Blow me down with a feather.
If you're a Mum reading this, worried about what effect your wine habit has had on your kids, then stop worrying right now (and stop drinking right now, obviously). They are hugely resilient, and a bit of self reliance is good for them.
Plus their time frames are different from ours. I quit four months ago, and - for my kids, if not for me - it's already the 'new normal'.
I overheard #1 talking to a friend the other day. The friend said something about her Mum drinking wine. "Oh," said #1, slightly smugly, "my Mummy doesn't drink."
Now that was something I could take some credit for.
Love SM x