Top 10 tips to survive the summer holidays – it’s a balance of control, planning and having fun. These are my ideas for the holidays and I hope they are useful to you too! Let me know on my facebook page
1 Make a plan for what you want to do in the holidays before they break up. Especially for the first week, a few lazy PJ days are great and then I plan a play date or day trip out to get them used to getting up and out again!
2 Why not do a swap with another Mum to have all children one morning so you get a morning off (even if its to go food shopping by yourself!). Having 4 kids who play in pairs is better than 2 kids who argue with each other!
3 Make a calendar just for the 6 weeks and write down all activities you’ve got planned already – its much easier to see weeks in need of some input then – especially if your holiday is at the end of the break.
4 Check out local cinemas – they usually have cheap “movies for juniors” meaning an adult and 2 children can go for under £5 – the bliss of a quiet morning is fabulous!
5 Find out what local classes are on, many independent people run groups or workshops also churches run summer groups (don’t have to go to church to attend, it’s about community). Many are a low price and even an hour of busy-ness for the kids and quietness as a parent is a good thing!
6 Plan what you personally want to achieve in the holidays – DIY, work, craft, gardening, spa day. Then break down the tasks into small chunks of time, so you know the kids can occupy themselves whilst you do it without getting interrupted!
7 If I need a break I scoop the kids up to the local soft play barn. It’s loud and busy but they have wifi and good coffee. I can take a break from minute-managing the troops to catch up with a book or coursework, knowing they’ll come to me if they need anything, otherwise they can run and scream with the other kids!
8 Presence not presents – I know I need to actually leave my phone in a different room or in my bag when I’m out with the kids, otherwise the temptation to check social media or emails is just too much! Being present to play, craft and eat with them is part of the fun of the summer holidays. If I’ve got my head stuck in my laptop or phone, then I can’t really argue when they want to copy me and have their tablets too – that’s what I’m demonstrating to them.
9 Plan some time each day for you – so whether it’s an hour early in the morning when the kids are still snoozing or in the afternoon when they’re on their tablets or watching TV or when your partner comes home. Plan what you want to achieve – get your meditations and music ready, have a book out and chosen – so you can maximise the short time of quietness and don’t spend a valued 10 minutes peace looking for the book or CD you want!
10 Let it go! In the end I can’t fill every minute of the day or keep them quiet in the garden. So I’m learning to let them be kids and to play and get bored