25/10/2016 07:36 BST | Updated 23/10/2017 06:12 BST

The Nine Stages Of The School Holidays

1. Denial

It can't be the holidays again yet? Surely not? It was just yesterday you dropped them off at the gates dancing in delight at the first day of school, now it's holidays AGAIN? Are they making these terms shorter?

2. False enthusiasm

It's ok, you can do this! You'll get some crafty stuff and make a list of things you can do, it'll be fine. You used to do this every day before they started school/nursery, a couple of weeks will be a doddle. And besides, it's important to 'make the most' of their time off!

3. Realisation

It's only day 4 and you've already run out of your meagre craft supplies, your kitchen looks like a fairy shat all over it and you've exhausted all the ideas on your 'fun' list. The guilt sets in because you're not doing it all and you keep yelling at the kids, you've broken up endless sibling fights and oh God, and you've still got X number of weeks to go!

4. Medication

Well, if you're going to get through this then you'Il need some help. Reach for the wine /chocolate /crisps (whatever's your poison) and self medicate until the irrational urge to throw yourself off the nearest tall building subsides.

5. Solidarity

Call/ text every other bloody mother on your phone within a 20 mile radius and frantically arrange play dates for 'the kids' so you can finally enjoy some adult company. Turn the kids out in the park/ soft play/ garden/ lounge and indulge in a whinge fest with fellow overwhelmed Mum. (Remind yourself NOT to contact 'those' Mums who have their shit together and rave about how wonderful the holidays are so they can make a 10 foot fucking fort out of cardboard boxes and sellotape while also baking cakes).

6. Over confidence

Hey, it's been X weeks, the kids are still alive, the house is still standing and you've only lost your shit once this morning, you've got this mothering thing down! Wait, what did you say the weather forecast was for tomorrow...??

7. Reinforcements

You have reached the point of no return. If you don't get a break from the 'I don't want to's, the 'it's not fair's, the 'I had it first's, 'the I'm bored's then you are going to lose. The. Plot. Call in the partner/ grandparents/ Aunties/ whoever the hell will take the kids off your hands for a few hours and use your well needed time off to piss about and get nothing done.

8. Relief

It's nearly over. You've almost made it. The house is now a smoking ruin and you've developed a near permanent twitch in your left eye but the school horizon is looming and your paddling like mad to get there.

9. Disappointment

You wave them off at the gates once again, breathe a giant sigh of relief and somewhere during your trip home you realise, unbelievably, that you're going to miss the little buggers!