KELLY BROWN: What a shock to the system......

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PACKED lunches, school uniform, book bags and the alarm clock – yes life has returned to normal after the Christmas break and I am still feeling a little dazed.

After a two-week break of doing not very much at all, it was a bit of a shock to the system to get back into the old routine.

I don’t think I set my alarm clock once during the festive break.

Not that I really need to, as I have two little people who wake up like clockwork before 6.30am every morning.

But I stuck gold a couple of days when they both actually stayed asleep until 7am. Extra sleep for mummy as well for a change, then! Yippee.

I have heard a few horror stories of 4am starts for some families with overexcited children on Christmas Day.

I’m so glad that was not me – 6am is early enough, thank you.

It was also so nice not to rush around in the mornings during the holidays.

There were even a few days when we were not dressed until 9am. Yes, 9am.

Okay I know that is not a lazy morning to most people, but to us that was a real late start.

It was also lovely to spend time doing what we wanted to do and not what we had to do.

If we wanted to go out for a little walk or go to the park, we could.

If we wanted to visit family or friends, we could.

If we wanted to stay in and play all day, we could – and we did, many times.

It was nice to actually have some proper family time and let the children actually play with the toys they got for Christmas.

At one point I thought my Frozen-mad daughter might have to be surgically removed from her Elsa dress as she wearing it so often.

But, of course, all good things must come to an end.

And so protests against going back to school and nursery were met with sympathy, but the harsh reality of the inevitability of it all.

Of course I had similar feelings and I will miss my little ones madly and count down the days until my next holiday with them.