You know how mums are meant to spend September whooping and air-punching because the little blighters are back behind school gates? Well, I'm here to tell you that - for me, at least - it's a big fat LIE.
As a mum, I've enjoyed the summer with my little ones, but I'll admit there have been moments when I've fantasised a little about having time to... oh I don't know, breathe for a moment. Or go to the toilet without someone rushing in claiming to be ''desperate'... (sometimes with pants already around ankles and a little winkle aimed like a loaded weapon).
But - even after the trauma of the first day back has passed - I've been left with a kind of weird feeling of pointlessness in the wake of the minions' return to l'ecole.
OK, I've still got ONE child at home... but with four out of five now in full time education here in France, I've experienced what I'm going to call "empty nest lite" - a sample pack of the eventual malaise that's supposed to hit mums when all the kiddies leave for uni, or life beyond the family home.
I've realised that, even if I DO have more time for cleaning, I'm probably going to end the day in a complete mess. That I've been blaming my inability to perform certain tasks on 'lack of time' but it may... just may be that it's lack of inclination. And that life without my lickle ones is, frankly, a little bit empty.
I'm sure over the weeks that follow this post I'll tackle the to-do list, finally take up running again and stick to it, and even drag the 'cello out of its cupboard for a pre lesson practice. However, my little ones have left a big hole in my day, and whilst I might end each week a little more organised, I know I won't have smiled nearly as often as I did during the summer.