It’s time for kids to go back to school. It’s time for my husband to go back to work. It’s time for me to start something for me. It’s time for Groundhog Day to end. It’s time.
It’s really, really TIME. *exasperated mother voice*
I wrote about my husband being unemployed in my last blog post, if you didn’t read it, the long and short of it is, as a professional volleyball player he works 9/10 months of the year then the rest of the time he is in off-season; so at home with us for months. This summer however, has been a little different. I’m not sure why I’m surprised, nothing about this year has gone smoothly so why would the summer? Mark finished his season early, at the end of March, so for the past 4.5 months he’s been off. Sound like heaven for some, or maybe hell? For me? Well, it’s just our life.
Mark is of course my best pal, I won’t bore you all with some schpeel about how he’s “my person“ yada yada yada, but I will say, Mark and I have always spent a lot of time together, even before he started his professional volleyball career.
We met when I was 25 and he was 23, I was a primary school PE teacher and he was fresh out of university, bright eyed and bushy tailed, sent to “shadow” me on a sports program I helped create and deliver, which at that time was a new program designed to support primary school teachers deliver practical PE lessons to their students. (The importance of PE in primary-aged kids was a new concept back then, now we know better therefore do better, and in Scotland we do a lot better!) I digress…
So, we worked together, went home together, ate together, went to volleyball practice together (when I briefly thought I could try my hand at being a volleyball player… surprisingly, I enjoyed it and wasn’t terrible at it…though met volleyball career was short lived once we moved to Amsterdam a year later); we did everything together, every day.
By the time we moved to Amsterdam in 2007 we had already solidified our relationship and the unconventional flow of it, so when I started working at the International School of Amsterdam in the September it felt really strange to be apart from Mark for long periods of time in the day. I worked 2 jobs at that time, leaving the house at 7.30am and returning at 8pm. It was tough going in the beginning but we really needed the money, so I made the most of my time there, it’s Amsterdam so not a difficult city to fall in love with, exploring by myself when I had time during the day and enjoying our free time together when we had it, usually Sunday afternoons. Our life in Amsterdam was the first year we realised that our life together was never going to be conventional. And it never was.
We had our daughter in the summer of 2009 and at that point Mark was training with the GB team in preparation for the 2012 Olympics. We spent summers apart and the seasons together…until the summer of 2013 when he no longer had to train in the summer. (Sadly, from 2013 there was no longer a GB volleyball program.) Since 2013 we’ve had all of our summers together to adventure and explore, and for the most part that’s what we’ve done. Until May 2015 when we added another McGivern to the mix.
Mark spends a lot of time at home during the season, his schedule is somewhat erratic and difficult for some people to understand but for us it’s run of the mill. He trains twice a day, with a match every weekend, either home or away. He’s home in the afternoon for a good chunk of the day so helps a lot around the house with the kids. His weekends are off limits.
Since the start of this season, due to circumstances out of our control, I’ve been a stay at home mum. It’s been lovely spending time with the Wee Man one to one, just like I did with Little Miss when she was the same age as the Wee Man is now. It’s something we feel really lucky to have been able to do with both kids, because honestly being a stay at home mum was never in a million years part of my life plan and as challenging as it is 60% of the time, it’s been an experience I’m proud I accomplished, does that sound strange?? See, we had a good support system in place in Lyon, we were there for 5 years so we had a good school, a creche, I had a job, Mark worked; I didn’t think it would be possible to go backwards again after tasting a little bit of freedom for myself, but on reflection as cliche as it sounds when I hear others say it, “the days are slow but the years go fast”. These past 8 months with my kids at home have been something I will cherish, and I hope they will too. But as with everything in life, or as a parent, there comes a time for things to change and evolve… and that time is now.
Mark is ready, really ready to get back to volleyball, even though he still doesn’t have a contract….we’re at the point of getting on each other’s nerves just for waking up in the morning..
The kids are ready to go back to school, Little Miss has been off now for 6 weeks and still has another 3 to go…
The Wee Man starts school in September, (here in France they start at 3yo, hallelujah right?) which he is excited about! (Keep everything crossed he gets a place in the same school as his sister!!)
And mama is ready for whatever the next chapter brings.
We’re all suffering from groundhog day, where we have the same routine now day after day…and it’s just too much, even for Mark and I who are used to this type of lifestyle. (Plus, I’ve watched two whole seasons of This is Us in the space of 10 days…it’s getting ridiculous!)
It’s scary not knowing what will happen come September, this next chapter is a bit of a new one for us all. We’re anxious, stressed, excited, optimistic, open to the challenges and ready for whatever this next chapter brings us. We just need to get through the next 3 weeks first!
Is anyone else about to embark on a new chapter in their life? Anyone else sick of summer and ready for their kids to go back?
I’d love to hear what you’re all thinking about this summer.
Hit me up!