You’ve got This – Surviving the Summer Holidays 

The long awaited Summer Holidays are here! And with that comes a welcome break from the monotony of the school and nursery drop offs and pickups.  Parents definitely won’t miss dragging a brush through a serious case of bed head, the tetris-like challenge of finding a parking space and remembering at a quarter past midnight that you’ve forgotten to practice the spellings for the third week in a row.  But are you already wondering what the key is to surviving the Summer Holidays? Maybe not quite yet…

We can now start to picture the six weeks of quality family time. Recreating that scene from the gravy ad, where you all get to eat together instead of in shifts to fit around the after school clubs. Some wonderful, memory-making days out with the carefully clipped coupons from the cereal boxes. Impromptu barbeques with the neighbours, followed by late sunshine filled evenings; there’s no rush for a sensible bedtime.

The first week is kinda fun. There’s a family fun day in the blistering heat that you manage to endure quite easily.  You smugly give yourself a gold star for being super organised and getting the new school uniform and shoes bought ready for September and life is feeling good!

But a few weeks into August and reality sets in. You begin to wonder what it was that you were ever looking forward to. September seems a world away and you’re barely holding on to functionality as things are descending into absolute chaos. How can you possibly survive four more weeks with these little humans and all their foibles?

The incessant nagging. How can a person with such a small lung capacity chat for so long without taking a breath?

The astronomical cost of the food shopping. They manage to survive gaps between meals at school, but apparently you build up quite the appetite at home, what with all the moaning.

The squabbling. You’d never thought it possible an argument could go on for such a length of time, particularly one that stemmed from one child standing on the others shadow.

The crippling expense. The two for one vouchers soon run out, along with every penny you have, and the cabin fever sets in. The house has never felt so small. The street has never felt so small. The world has never felt so small, and then suddenly it’s the end of time and all that has survived is the four walls and ringing ears from the constant shouting.

But please don’t lose all hope; you can survive this. No school break is insurmountable. I’ve scraped through a few summers myself with some basic strategies.

Even a simple walk to the nearest patch of grass for a sandwich picnic or to the post box can make a world of difference. Get them to write a postcard to a relative about their summer so far. You never know, they may remind you of some awesome stuff that’s been erased from your memory by the fifty million tantrums.

Arts and crafts help pass the time on rainy indoor days, particularly if you can learn to let go and embrace the mess. There’ll be all sorts in the recycling box that they can slap some paint on and roll in glitter. You can turn the garden hose on them later.

Children don’t need to be entertained every minute. A few props or materials can lead to hours of play if they’re left with their imagination. Just keep one eye on them; they’re not going to be the ones having to pay that home insurance excess when the singed carpet needs replacing.

Someone offers some childcare? TAKE IT. Do away with that awkward politeness in which you decline. Help from family and friends is way too valuable to turn away, even if it’s just ten minutes to send an email or hang some washing on the line without a snotty infant clinging to your leg. It takes a village and all that jazz.

Find a like minded parent to rant to. Just the occasional text message filled with expletives can really release some tension.  If none of the school run mums seem suitable for the job then online parenting forums can be just as cathartic.

Always remember that social media is not entirely real life; it’s the highlight reel. No one has the perfect holiday. Every parent has moments where they need to scream into a pillow. Not one single person has their act together all of the time. Stop scrolling.

And most importantly of all: The school holidays will end. In moments of true despair, hold on to this. It’s not forever. You’ll soon be back in the chaos of 6 am starts and tears about lumpy porridge and death stares from Janet as you take the last parking spot in a ten mile radius. And it will be a blissful relief.

If you’re looking for something to keep them occupied just so that you can have a cup of tea in peace, take a look at our range of wooden toys that can keep them happy for hours. Then go and put you feet up, you’ve got this covered! You are surviving the Summer Holidays!

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