Sunday, July 11, 2010

Best tips for surviving (and maybe even enjoying) school holidays

It's the night before we go back to school, and I always give myself a little (invisible) toast - you made it! I always get to this point with the same mixed feelings - relief and anticipation of some time to myself again, a sense of accomplishment that we had a mostly (I say, MOSTLY) nice time, and a little 'aawwwwww I'll miss them tomorrow' (quickly replaced by my brain working to create 10 lists of things I'd like to get done tomorrow).

We travelled, swam, saw, explored, rode, flew, drew, painted, made, read, sculpted, cooked, ate, snacked and most importantly, PLAYED.

Here's my top tips for getting through school holidays:

1. Planning
Firstly, plan ahead. A few weeks before the holidays, look online or in your local children's magazines for shows, workshops or activities you want to do with your kids. Book tickets to what you want early. Once you've done that, you have a loose schedule to work around. Spread out your activities so you have some quiet days interspersed with the busier ones.

2. Surrender
Accept that for the next few weeks, your time to 'get things done' is being suspended. In fact, you can kiss your 'me' time away for the time being. You simply cannot get as many errands done as normal. I always feel like a kindergarten teacher during the holidays (but without the lunch break). Your focus has to be on the kids. Having a quiet cup of tea and making dinner is sometimes it for the day.

3. Stock up
Before every holidays start, I go to my local art and craft shop and stock up on supplies we need, plus some extra things that will be fun for the girls. Paint, new textas, paper, glue, glitter etc. I do a tidy up of the play room so things are more easily accessible and bring out some old stuff that hasn't been played with for a while.

4. Get inspired
Use the internet for easy, quick printables when you need to give your kids something to do. Colouring in pages, word mazes for older kids, dot to dots - these are all great. I source these in the evenings and keep them in a little folder when needed.

5. TV is your friend
During holidays, when the days can seem awfully long and the kids can get a little sick and tired of doing stuff or being home by afternoon, or to keep older kids quiet while little ones nap, there is nothing, and I mean, NOTHING wrong with some TV. I'm not talking about hours in front of the TV, but an hour here or there will restore a little calmness and can give you a chance to have some peace and quiet too. (My older girls love The Parent Trap, Mary Poppins, Toy Story and Annie.)

6. Make some time for yourself
This is critical. I have found some time away from my kids always rejevunates and refreshes me, and that makes me a better Mum(my). Use a 15 year old neighbour, family, babysitter, whatever you can afford. It will be good for everyone. Plus, I'll admit, being with your kids all day every day can be boring sometimes. Go for a walk, go to the supermarket, whatever just GET OUT!

7. Keep some perspective
Know this is only temporary. We all have bad days where the kids drive each other and us nuts. I've had days where I've felt like the worst mother in the world, shouting at her kids and just not 'feeling it'. We all have those days. Try to stay positive, keep it light and fun. Know this is all normal and part of motherhood. I still feel lucky to be able to be home with my kids and to be making their childhood memories with them.

Hope you have managed these holidays too and had some fun along the way.

1 comment:

  1. I've recently begun blogging and have come across a lot of stay at home moms who home school. It's nice to see a SHM who gets excited, just as I do, for their children to go off to school for the day! I love my kids with all my heart, but my brain needs for them to be taught by someone else! (and they need the time away from mommy too) :o) You have a beautiful family and I enjoyed reading your post! Have a blessed day!