Let’s not pretend the summer holidays at 6 or more weeks off school for kids, are not tough to get through. Yes for SOME, some of it, it’s fun in the sun (when it doesn’t rain so 2% of the time) but for a flipping mammoth amount (read 5 weeks) my kids tend to want to kill each other, me, wreck my house, and my mind.
In my mind, particularly on the last day of term, I’m filled with excitement for the long fun-filled carefree days with my kids that don’t involve remembering what day it is and keeping up (mostly failing) with two kids’ calendars- but then the reality hits…Yes for SOME, a little of break, we have a wild old time together, but for a HUGE portion of it (read 5 weeks) my kids tend to want to kill each other, and/or me, wreck the house and usually my mind.
I have children who have an intense love-hate relationship flitting between being besties one minute and wanting to beat each other up, the next. My eldest, 6, tells me daily that he wishes he was an only child and actually asked me why I wanted another when I had him (erm)…
And yes we’ve had some gorgeous sunny, funny days so far but there have been others where I’ve spent pretty much the whole day SHOUTING-mostly at everyone to stop SHOUTING (and drawing on the carpet). And I know I’m not alone in this. So that’s why I’m writing this post, for you and for me.
So that’s why I’m writing this post, for you and for me.
So, here are my top 5 tips to surviving the summer holidays with kids.
1. Preparation is key.
On the days you’re not working/ juggling/ mother hustling-what day is that you ask?! Get prepared. Kids need to be busy to distract them from well, life, and everything that annoys them on a daily basis (toast cut in the wrong shape, not wanting to wear clothes etc). So, go research days out, fairs at parks, museum visits, kid-friendly restaurants and more and get them there when you can. I can’t guarantee they’ll behave once you’re out but it means they get some fresh air and get some time away from the house they’re hell bent on messing up every single day like it’s Groundhog Day.
2. Kids need exercise
All kids need to burn off steam so get them to the park, in the garden if you have one, or simply jumping up and down to a DVD- we’re got the one with that girl from Geordie Shore whose name I can’t remember and I never actually watched the show but thought it might blast my mum-tum (still waiting), on repeat. My kids love yoga too and getting them on the mat is all kind of hilarious. A child doing child’s pose is cuteness personified.
My kids love yoga too and getting them on the mat is all kinds of hilarious. A child doing child’s pose is cuteness personified so win win for instagram mamas out there.
3. Technology is your friend
Thank goodness for Netflix and iPads- be it films, educational games or allowing you two more minutes to read Vogue on the toilet (what an image-try to unsee that one darlings)…Don’t feel guilty about leaning on tech to get you through some of the endless summer days. I’m not saying switch on tech from morning until night, just use it when you need to. It’s enabled me to make morning deadlines many a time (they never get bored of the layered Zootropolis) and they’ve often asked for back to back films. Kids need to chill out too.
4. Carpet Picnics when it rains, outdoor picnics when it doesn’t
Aren’t picnics just the easiest way to eat people? I’m bringing them back for winter too. Healthy sandwiches, salads, hummus with crudites, lentil crisps (these are a thing folks, and my kids love them even though they’re laced with chilli) and ice lollies to end (preferably enjoyed outside) makes feeding kids easy. The husband and I cook one hot meal a day even in the summer and making it the evening meal means no real food prep by day.
5. Get time out where you can
Don’t feel flipping guilty for needing time-out in the summer -as that’s when you’ll need it the most. Looking after little people who tend to be overtired from long daylight hours/ later nights and all that running around by day makes for one exhausted mama and papa. You need to look after yourselves to help you endure the war, I mean the summer. Reach out
Reach out for help where you can, book kids into daycare when you need to and get yourself a massage, blow dry, weekend away in Paris (if only) and don’t feel guilty about it.
BONUS POINT: Don’t forget the wine. Wine o’clock starts early in the holidays remember and thank f*** for that!
I’d love to read your tips in the comments too!