Today both my kids are off doing school like things, learning, playing, eating! For the last six weeks they have been my shadows, my constant companions, my noise. Today I am coping with screaming silences which are both welcome and alarming.

After school drop off today, while still in the playground, a few of us childless mummies raised our hands and let out a mild shriek. Free, free as a birdy. After all this time and lack of space, I suddenly find my self in spacious territory. Even my work-at-home hubby has gone west (poor young man) for a business thing, so the place is MINE, all mine. Shall I go for a dip, read a book, pop the air con on and watch Dirty Dancing?

I feel my work self warming up. My brain stretches and jogs on the spot, preparing itself for work mode rather than the land of holiday where I have half been for the last six weeks. Silence often brings ‘shoulds’ to the surface, “I should clean the house, do the gardening, enjoy the outdoors, dye my hair, clean out the fridge, manage my 2 blogs better, learn a new skill oh and get some more work in. But after the holiday period, it is difficult to get the old motivation cranking. Especially when it’s hot (and any other excuse I can find).

Like all things, I find it’s best to start slowly. It’s about finding the rhythm of life again. Routines have changed for everyone around me and a new year has dawned. New, new everywhere. So where to start? First the state of mind has to be right. So I decide to enjoy the solitude. Done. Now, I write cos I love it and it feels a little like I’m building a skill set. Also the nagging guilt will be delayed for a bit longer. Yippee. Then I give myself permission to rest and recover and regain the composure that has been tested over the holidays with little people tugging at my skirt, nagging me to get them what they want!!!

Over the next few free days, I’ll send a few emails, catch up with friends for a real chat without interruption and just meander around op shops and check out the sales. Then next week as life becomes ‘normal’ again, I’ll get a bit more serious about the stuff I really ‘should’ be doing.

For all you mums out there who are starting a year for the first time without kids at home, the key is not to panic (like I did last year). It’s ok to have a breather and rest because inevitably life will get crazy and you will be useful again and things will become routine before you know it. So grab a book, a cold drink, head to the beach, or whatever takes your fancy and enjoy these blissful sounds of silence.