There’s something quite special about getting to the school holidays (if the dates work) & being home with the kids.
I treasure how, by the end of the week, the kids seem more like mine again – sounding less like the pressures of the classroom and less like the person they have to be to fit in; just space to be themselves the way God intended.
When the school holidays kick in, it’s always good to be prepared, & being mindfully present, not just physically present, makes all the difference.
I asked some other mum’s for their survival keys – here is their collective wisdom:
Alison, mum of 5: “Think Minecraft. I don’t mean PLAY on Minecraft – but get out of Survival Mode and into Creative Mode!”
Laura, mum of 2: “Yes of course, a measure of planning is really helpful. But definitely allow for free time, dream time, grow your imagination and character time, pyjama time, allowed to make a mess and make dens in the laundry basket time, run around a field time, look for bugs under rocks time and it really is ok to have a measure of bored and grumpy time too”
Lisa, mum of 3: “Don’t look at Facebook if the kids are playing up – it will be filled with pictures of families looking functional. Look at Facebook if you are feeling functional, for ideas in your area”
Sacha, mum of 4: “Get a childminder for a couple of hours the odd time so you can have some time to do something by yourself! Keeps me alive and kicking!!!”
Kristy, mum of 4: “Don’t over plan or overload the time off. Let the kids get bored and see what they come up with”
Kelly, mum of 3: “Plan a family day for all to commit to. For instance put it out there ‘nobody plan anything Thursday, we are doing something together'”
Emily, mum of 2: “A MUST for me is having an evening or afternoon child-free with my friends so I can have an uninterrupted conversation!!”
Liz, mum of 3: “Get outdoors, and stock up on washing powder…”
The Main Things All The Mums Agreed On…
Home Time Always leave a good chunk of time to do nothing in particular; space breeds creativity. When we overfill our kid’s time with adult led activities it stunts their imagination. Let the kids get bored and then come up with their own solutions to resolve it! Turn off the wi-fi, put ALL the devices on the kitchen table and leave space to create (and time to clear up after).
Friend Time Invite other children & adults (for you) to come hang out, especially when you have active kids. Or set up a few play dates when the kids go to their friend’s house and you repay the favour.
Family Time Make space for just you and them, siblings and parents/caregivers, planned or unplanned. Just To see, listen, touch and be with. It could be a movie night, day trip or eating at the table together.
Planned Time Kids need to be focused at times, even in the holidays. Over doing sofa/devices/phones leads to mischief and unhappy children. Plan fun and mind-stretching activities & mostly stick to bedtime routines. One mum suggested planning meals & planning snacks. (Anyone else’s raid the baking cupboard if there’s nothing else in?)
Also, why not try…?
1: Holidays are a great time to rearrange bedrooms, de-clutter and freshen up rooms.
2: If you have to work, keep it to a set time everyday. Then put on your out of office and be present with your children.
3: If you cannot resist social media, include the kids in a daily posting schedule & use it as a way to record the holiday.
4: Find new things to do – I have some Pinterest boards for inspo.
5: Get outside rain or shine.
“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather”
Holiday/home based/activity/pinterest boards :
BTW Your kids love YOU & YOU are their favourite person,
They will be happy if you are happy; enjoying time together is priceless, and finding something to do that everyone enjoys is tricky (but not impossible).
I look forward to seeing your school Holiday posts,