Friday 18 August 2017

The reality of the summer holiday...

A few weeks back as schools were winding down for the summer, parents everywhere were panicking. Scouring Pinterest and Facebook groups for things to keep our children entertained for the entire summer holidays, all 6 weeks long of it!

Now its not that I don't enjoy spending time with the kids, I actually love spending time with them and getting to see them playing together. Its also great fun being able to go out and about and not being tied down to the regime of the school run times. However 6 weeks is a long time and I don't know about you but I find it incredibly different to find activities to fill the whole time!

"But Mummmm I'm bored" seems to be the favourite phrase in our house this summer.

The problem is James has been at school for 3 years now and is used to having his day planned for him for 6 hours a day. With lots of friends to play with, activities to discover and tasks to keep his brain ticking. So when the holidays roll around and we are suddenly faced with a rainy day stuck indoors he's clawing at the walls by 8am!

We all seem to start the summer holidays with this great expectation that we are prepared (and I never learn that I'm not despite doing this for several years now!). With days out planned and the craft box filled to the brim. Whilst we have had some lovely adventures, some loves pieces of art crafted and to top it all a fantastic family holiday which filled a week of the summer holiday, these don't seem to ever fill the whole holidays. Then I'm left with days to fill and no idea's!

The reality is the activities that you have lined up rarely go to plan and the crafting I had planned to get out for the Monday afternoon was actually finished in 30 minutes. I then had to scurry around to find something else to keep them entertained! The walks and adventures we have planned either result in rain, someone injuring themselves or Evelyn declaring she can no longer walk... miles from the car. Although I do always feel a little better knowing we have had a bit of exercise and some fresh air.

Then comes the mum guilt, well for me anyway. I often spend lots of the summer holidays feeling guilty that we don't do enough or worrying that the kids are bored or fed up. I know how hard James works at school and so, I of course want to make the summer holidays as fun as I can for him. The problem is lots of the days out and activities cost lots of money and that's something we just don't have.

Of course I'm sure I over think this and he's probably just glad to be off school and not doing homework, but I think that's what us mums to best isn't it... worry! The reality is the summer holidays is a really bloody long time and its hard to fill it and we shouldn't feel guilty about that!

The amount of times we have been down at the park by 8.30am, in the rain with the whole park to ourselves just to get out of the house as the kids have been up since 6am is unreal. But I'm doing my best and my best will have to do. For me the idea of filling our days with activities and days out is unrealistic (especially at around £40 for a day out around here)! and I know that we will all enjoy the few days out we do have even more. In between that we will try to fill our days with free days out, crafts, dvds and perhaps the odd visit the library to name a few. Learning to enjoy our time together rather than focusing on the things we are doing.

So I'm off to top up our craft box and enjoy another precious day with my little ones before they head off to school and pre-school and I look back and wonder where the time went that I had with them.

What have you all been up to for the summer holidays?


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