By 6pm I'd be spent, but still had 3 hours to go until bedtime. I'd be feeling headachy and tired. Most people feeling that way and needing a boost would drink coffee I guess, but I can't drink coffee as it brings on a tension headache. So, I'd pop a Syndol. The combination of endorphin inducing opoiod and sedation stopped me feeling grotty and got me through the last hours on a floaty cloud of calmness .
But opoiods, if you didn't know, are addictive. So addictive, it turns out, that if you pop one a day for three weeks, when you stop you will get withdrawal symptoms! Who knew!
Well, I do now.
So last week was a bit screwed-up by a body that was going cold turkey! Insomnia, chills, sweats, nightmares, stomach cramps. Not my finest achievement.
I am not the first mother of course to need a drug to get me through the day. Diazepam (Mother's Little Helper) was prescribed on a massive scale to housewives in the 60's and 70's. I think it's the combination of being so intensely needed, the drudgery of most tasks, and the lack of age-appropriate stimulation that leaves a full-time mother in need of a little pick-me-up of pharmaceutical proportions.
I am a little alarmed, however, to think I needed drugs to get me through the summer holidays.
So I've been pondering what I could do to make it through next summer without having to rely on drugs and have come up with the following list.
ONE: Go out in the evening with friends. I think I went out one evening all summer, and even then I made sure I was back for bedtime. Spending the whole evening with the kids after spending the whole day with them is not necessary, and the sky will not fall down if Husband does the bedtime routine on his own every now and again.
TWO: Go out more with my husband. I like being a wife and on a good day, with the wind in the right direction, I like my Husband. I don't like getting babysitters in over the summer because the kids are out of normal routine and I worry that if someone else comes in to look after them then the space-time continuum will collapse. However, thinking about it, that's unlikely and so perhaps Husband and I can go out together once and a while and be a couple for a little while rather than parents.
THREE: Use more clubs. I feel guilty using clubs, given that my role is to take care of the kids and be there for them when they are not at school. I only used clubs this year on the justification that the kids needed the stimulation and to mix with other kids. But, the last three weeks were so hard because on the one day they were in club, I went over and helped my mum out. Gold Star for being a good daughter but Thumbs Down for not taking time out for me. Next year, club two days a week, even if I have to sell my gold fillings. I think a day of not having to fulfill the needs of someone or other will do me the world of good.
FOUR: Ask grandparents to babysit. I had to ask my mum and dad if they would babysit for us so that Husband and I could go out and celebrate our wedding anniversary. It took a lot for me to do that because I oh-so-hate imposing myself on other people, and it would have been much easier for me if they had offered. However, I asked, they did it, and Husband and I had a super night out. We were smashing parents the next day for having had the break.
FIVE: Leave them in the house. Next summer they will be old enough to be left alone together in the house if I need to pop out somewhere. I can actually go to the gym or something! Wow!
So, there we are! My Five Point Plan for a drug free summer!
Now let's see if I can get through the winter and Christmas without turning to crack cocaine.