So are you pulling your hair out yet? How many times have you said: “there will be no ice cream if you don’t get ready now”? It can seem like a long time, six weeks. Or six and a half by the time you have added on teacher training days. And let’s be honest, the weather has been pretty rubbish since the schools broke up. So how are you surviving the summer holidays?
Whether you are a working parent or a stay at home mum: here is my guide to surviving the holidays. I hope you will find it helpful or if not, just reassuring, when it comes to getting through those six (and a bit) weeks.
Before we go any further, I am aware that my eldest is only four so this is simply the start of my summer holiday experience with him. However, for the last two years I have worked as a Childminder, so I’ve had to entertain a range of ages during the summer break. This means that planning and reaching for a glass of wine is something I am used to.
Not every day has to be a day out
Whilst it is a good idea to have a list of days out you would like to do, don’t get bogged down thinking everyday has to be amazing. Actually some of our best days have been the ones where all we have done is play, make dens and watch films. Children are easier to entertain than you may think and sometimes you just need to start off an idea and their imaginations can take them away.
It is also a good idea to set up a role play corner where you can play things like shops, hairdressers or farms. These are all simple things that you could do with items that you already have around the house and will fill a morning or a wet afternoon no problem. (A favourite of mine is when we play doctors. Because it mostly involves lying on the floor while Charlie “fixes” my broken body parts. I have tried closing my eyes a few times while down there and count it as a power nap!)
Plan your days out
My husband loves doing things on the spur of the moment, whereas I prefer planning. I think this has come from being a Mum and being caught out too many times with either not enough snacks or change of clothes. So if we are going out for the day, I like to prepare as much as possible. So getting bags ready with changes of clothes and snacks, while making sure I have enough nappies and wipes. (This is for the children by the way. Not my husband. Although there have been times I have needed to organise him too!) If you leave with everything you could possibly need, this will save you money and time. There have been a number of times we have had to make an emergency round trip to find a shop that sells children’s trousers or wipes. While this all adds to the experience, or so my husband tells me, I prefer to be prepared.
Also, we are good at forgetting change for car parking and often end up paying over the phone, which costs a lot more! So we try to either keep change in the car or remember to check our purses before we go out. (We try.)
Have some quiet time and stick to routines
I know this might sound very boring of me to say, but trying to stay in a routine will just make it so much easier for when they go back to school. It also gives your day some structure and you can
count down until bedtime plan meal times easily.
Having some “quiet time” helps everyone unwind and gets them ready for the evening routine. It also gives you chance to tidy up and catch up with Facebook.
But seriously, over tired children is no fun. For anyone. So let them watch a bit of TV or play on the Ipads, it’s all about moderation.
Keep wine in the fridge and chocolate in the cupboard
Need I say more.
Happy holidays everyone, you’re doing great!