School Holidays – Wahey or No Way?

They are nearly upon us so it’s time to contemplate the full ‘ness’ that is the school summer holidays. No government 15 hours free childcare a week, no school to make your kids go to. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week they will be our responsibility!! Just writing this makes me want to reach for a glass of wine.

Please don’t ever think that I don’t love my girls, I do; they are the most wonderful thing in my life apart from my husband. But, and it’s a big but, I find it hard, really hard to be with them 24/7 without a break. And to be honest I think they do too.

A time to relax?

So I’m a teacher and according to everyone that isn’t, I’ve got it easy with 13 weeks holiday a year. Ha ha ha ha ha, it’s not holiday. A holiday is an opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself. My children are 4 and nearly 2, there’s not a lot of relaxing in my house; bouncing, jumping, running, breaking things, bumping into things and mess, but bugger all relaxing. You have to beg grandma to babysit for any relaxing and even then you have to go out to make sure you get some quiet. I also have to plan work for next year.

The summer holidays are a challenge for every parent. And the challenge is the same whether you work or not; what do you do with the children? If you are working then you have to factor in the cost of childcare, beg relatives or friends to look after them, or use up all of your annual leave, well aware that there are more than 6 weeks of holiday in a school year. If you are teacher or a stay at home mum/dad or any other parent who is at home all summer then you have to think of activities to fill every day (even television gets boring after a while – although I don’t have any experience of teenagers and computer games yet).

So what am I going to do?

  • This summer I have made the conscious decision to keep both my girls in childcare for 2 mornings a week. For Lala it means continuity and not upsetting her routine, for Bebe it means 2 mornings of friends her own age to play with, and for mummy it means some quiet and space to relax (something I’m going to have to teach myself how to do).
  • I am going to make a list of all the possible day trips I could do with the girls and stick it to the fridge. These include the beach, National Trust properties, local woods, the park, attractions. If I think about it carefully there are a lot of things to do that don’t cost much but are fun especially if you take a picnic.
  • Contact friends in a similar situation and arrange play dates. As I write the first one has been arranged.
  • Start collecting junk for craft projects. Wet days can often be spent glueing yoghurt pots to egg boxes to make a monster. If you do it as well it can be enormous fun.
  • I AM NOT GOING TO STRESS! I’m going to make a conscious effort to be more relaxed. This a special time for me to be with my girls. It’s time I won’t get back so I will treasure it.

 What about you?

Let me know your thoughts on how you’re going to fill the summer. Please leave a comment below or on Facebook or Twitter about how you plan to fill your summer!

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