So we’re six days into our six-week school holiday and I’m feeling pretty chilled. I’m sitting in the garden listening to the birds sing, the kids are in bed and I have a nice cool glass of white wine on the go. In this moment I am chilled, but not in every moment that’s for sure. This being the first year my son has been in school, I am a total novice at the summer holiday thing, so I’ve been soaking up tips on survival from the more experienced mums.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to step back from the rush of the school run, where I’m mostly seen barking orders out of the door ten minutes before the bell rings. It’s great not to have to nag to do homework, to concentrate on the fun stuff and spend some time together as a family. But I’m not the first to admit having a long stretch of time off at home all together can come with it’s own fraughtness and friction at times.
So six days in and we’ve already been to the ice cream farm, had friends round for tea, more friends round to play, been to the park (three times), made loom bands in a wigwam, had a few barbecues, set the slide up to splash into the paddling pool, and tried (just once) to get first born riding his bike without stabilisers.
Oh and I’ve already relented and bought him his first water gun, a Lego set and spent some saved-up birthday money on some Magna-tiles (a fantastic find recommended by a friend who lives in the States, so far it’s kept him busy for at least an hour a day so what’s not to love).
This morning, as I tried to rally him into getting ready to go out, he said: “Mum, are we going to Brazil?” “No love,” I said. “We’re going to Aldi.” That’s the reality of the summer hols for most.
What have you got planned? Have you mastered the art of school holiday survival? If so, spare a thought for us newbies, and pass on some good advice. The advice I’m giving myself (and not always following) is:
1. Embrace having a messy house (or the I’ll tidy up in September attitude)
2. Shop online (not too good for the bank balance this one as it’s far easier to get carried away)
3. Remember what all the grannies tell you in the supermarket is true. One day they will grow up and you’ll want to do it all over again.