A new month â€“ well in fairness weâ€™re a few days into that new month but in many ways October is continuing in equally frantic style to September â€“ so thereâ€™s barely time to take a breath let alone glance at the calendar.
September was an incredible month of highs and lows. We lost our dog of 17 years and are still very much trying to come to terms with that. The kids settled back into school, one started a new school, homework battles resumed and raged, notes came home re specific and essential pencil case contents, contents were purchased, pain-stakingly labelled and lost within a couple of days, reminder notes came home about the same essential pencil case contents, the kids fought, single school shoes disappeared off the face of the earth, I was reminded how out of practice I am in the world of cocktails, and in between this my book was published and a media whirlwind followed. I am dizzy from it all.
Weâ€™re coming up to mental health awareness week. Iâ€™ve had my own battles with mental health issues particularly after the birth of my lovely babies. It was never something that I was comfortable to speak about before, until my book came out. Even now I squirm a little as Iâ€™m writing â€“ in spite of the fact that I spoke about it on national radio just a couple of weeks ago. Itâ€™s a difficult one to explain. Maybe itâ€™s vulnerability or maybe itâ€™s the fact that one day my children might read and see that infallible mum, she who knows all the answers, lays down the rules and boundaries, kisses hurts away, sorts problems, has endless supplies of hugs, rants a bit (ok a lot!), hates projects more than they and does all the other things that parents do – actually is human.
As we approach mental health awareness week, Iâ€™m going to take the time to be mindful and to truly appreciate the present â€“ because tomorrow is never guaranteed. Whether that present involves the four year old naked bird spotting into our fridge on a hectic school morning, or the 8 year old referring to the his brotherâ€™s Roddy Doyle tendencies as part of his homework sentences â€“ that might reveal what weâ€™re REALLY like as a family. Whether it involves the bigger lads and my hubby killing each other over a game of football or the smell of false tan wafting from my daughterâ€™s bedroom and her orange-tinged white sheets – I will not wish I was on a desert laundry-free island with only a bottle of wine, a bar of Lindor and Will Smith for company.