This week my two oldest children have been visiting their dad in the South of France.
It's been a little quieter, a little easier on me with less meals to cook and a little less stressful with the little ones not annoying their older siblings all the time.
Most of all, however, it's felt empty.
This is the first time they have been away since we moved here and suddenly this house feels huge without them. ED has a floor all to herself and I rarely go up there, but she still makes her presence felt around the house. Similarly, No1 Son spends a lot of time in his room, but he also spends time with the family. Suddenly it feels a lot emptier without them.
I think I know now that this isn't going to be my home for life. Once the kids have left the nest then I'll be looking for somewhere smaller. It's lovely having a big house after being cramped up for so long in our old home, but I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like with just the two of us here.