The school holidays are here! If you’re not going skiing or jetting off to Fiji then chances are you’re probably staying at home, juggling work and the kids.
I love being with my kids during the holidays, but I have realised the hard way that I am not superwoman, and try to keep ‘work’ to an absolute minimum. The first week of the holidays is usually a real joy. My little monkeys are loving being on holiday and are the best of friends. However, the second week is a different story! It’s just survival. Thank God for wine and chocolate!
Here are 6 tips to help you survive the winter school holidays:
Ease up on the normal rules and routine. Who cares if you lounge around in your PJ’s all morning? Have a day at home. Enjoy not having to be somewhere. I love having a break from the morning rush; yelling at everyone to hurry up and tripping over them to get into the bathroom. Can your kids make their own breakfast – with a little assistance? Can you make pancakes? Do something different. If it’s the end of the day – why not have an early dinner and watch a movie or have a fish and chips in front of the TV? The little monkeys could even sit in the bath until they turn to prunes! Does it hurt to stay up a little bit later?
Catch up with Old Friends and Family
The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to keep up with friends you don’t see very often. I have a friend who regularly comes to stay with her kids during the holidays, or we go and visit them. My in-laws live 4 hours away, so the holidays are usually when we would catch up. Why not Skype or FaceTime your family if you can’t face a long drive or they are overseas? Maybe when the kids are in bed you can pour yourself a wine and call an old friend?
Go Easy on the Housework
During the holidays you must lower your standards. The kids are going to produce more muddy clothes than you can cope with, and the bathroom is going to look disgusting. Decide how much mess you can live with and leave the rest. Get the kids to tidy up for a reward and you can whizz around with the vacuum cleaner. Do the necessary cleaning and washing – and suck up the rest until they go back to school or some saint takes the kids away. Blitz it then. Your friends that visit won’t give a shit because their house will be just as bad. If you’re worried they will judge you – stop giving a fuck!
Make some Yummy Food
One of my boys spends his entire day asking me what the next meal is. Food, food, food! It’s all he thinks about. We love baking together and he is always poking his nose in to see what I am cooking at dinner-time. I’m too busy to bake during the school-term, so the holidays are usually when I give it a go. Muffins, crumbles, cookies, slices, and puddings. Have you seen what yummy things there are on Chelsea Sugar? What about making easy meals in the slow cooker? Then you can make your dinner in the morning and forget about it for the rest of the day.
Whether you have no budget or a massive budget I am sure you can think of something fun to do with your kids. Find your inner child and get into it. This is a chance to make lasting memories by just spending time with them. Have a tickle fight or a pillow fight. Build an indoor fort. Paint their faces or make some slime! If the weather is good and you want a day out, just make sure you plan it in advance, so it is relaxed and enjoyable. Could you visit a child-friendly museum or take them to see a show? If your kids like crafts, but you can’t face it, maybe you could organise the materials the day before?
If you have work to do or desperately need a break from the kids, maybe you can put them into a holiday programme for a day or two. But be warned, they book up quick. What about swapping some play-dates? Then you get some ‘me time’. At the end of the day, tell your other half you deserve to watch whatever you want on Netflix! If my husband is away, I’ll watch something he would hate. On a bad day I’ll have a double gin and tonic with dinner thanks and then some red wine when the kids are in bed. It is also essential that I have enough Whittaker’s chocolate to see me through the whole fortnight or I will kill them. (Not really).
Good luck! I hope you enjoyed these survival tips and get through the school holidays. Go on indulge yourself– you bloody deserve it!