Summer Holiday Survival Guide
In the UK the school summer holidays are about to begin and I believe in the US and Ireland you are already well into the thick of it. I do love the school holidays as taking away the pressure of the morning routine makes me and my littles way more relaxed and it just gives us the luxury of time. However, 6 weeks is a long time to be at home and it can make everyone go a little stir crazy so here is my summer holiday mummy survival guide:
1. Have a plan – I don’t mean a minute by minute itinerary, but I think it is a good idea to have thought about activities that you could do, especially quick and easy things that you can set up within a few minutes if the littles get fractious.
2. Make a summer bucket list - I am going to sit down with the littles and come up with some things that they would like to do and places they would like to go. We will then put a poster on the wall and I will let them choose one of those activities once a week, as I don’t want to be spending money every single day.
3. Make space for yourself - I know it is virtually impossible to do this when you have children at home, but even if it means putting on the TV for 30 mins so you can have a coffee in peace and quiet then I say do it.
4. Get creative - nothing occupies children like making mess and they will find a way to do it anyway, so I say get messy with them and get out the paints or glue or both and create something. Sure, you will have to tidy up afterwards, but you will have used up loads of time.
5. Let them be bored – I feel like this generation of littles are constantly occupied. They have no notion of what it is like to wait or have to make your own fun. I realize I am close to bleating on about how I just had a hoop and a stick to play with, but honestly, they are so entertained that they don’t know how to make up games. So I like to give my littles some downtime where they have to be their own entertainments manager.
6. Invest in big drinks dispensers with a tap - so that you can make up a large amount of squash or iced water and leave cups next to it so that you don’t have to spend the whole day making drinks.
7. Holiday clubs might save you - I always spend a bit of money on a few days at a holiday club for my elder children as they really do need a change of scenery at some point and although I of course take them out and about, I think they need to have some independent time away from mummy. After all, they are not used to having to put up with me all day either. I think this is good for all of us and they love it!
8. Get them running, swimming, jumping – anything that tires them out, as when you have been with them all day, you won’t want a late night too!
9. Break the tension - If things get tough and everyone starts to get annoyed, break the tension with an impromptu disco (Moana soundtrack and The Killers, Spaceman are favourites here). It is sure to cheer them up and if it doesn’t help them. it will make you smile…
10. Try to get out of the home environment at least once a day. It doesn’t have to be for long. I find even a quick scoot around the block or a quick babycino at a local coffee shop is enough just to break up a home day. Let’s face it, none of us can do big day trips each day, so I find that on the quieter days this really works.
Finally, I say try to enjoy it! Easier said than done when several little people are only stopping their squabbles for long enough to holler ‘MUMMY!!’, but still…. They are only little once and it won’t be forever that they look to you to be their cruise director. It won’t be long before their friends fill that spot and they will look to them for all entertainment!