**Please note that this post is very much focused on the stay at home parent, however, I’d love to hear some tips from all you working parents as I know that the holidays are a stressful time when trying to find alternative childcare arrangements**
In a blink of an eye the school year will be over, our first school year, and that only means one thing… summer holidays!!! I’ve been feeling quite anxious about having six weeks at home with both my girls. It’s also the lead up to the arrival of P3 and probably a time I should be relaxing but I keep worrying about the tantrums, the arguments, the boredom, the food consumed and the lack of “me time”.
But then I remembered something vitally important – I’m a stay at home mum with a husband who frequently works from home. I’m going to have six weeks of zero rushing in the mornings, plenty of chilled PJ days, lots of duck feeding with both my girls, millions of hours of quality time with P1 and as a family.
It’s still a little scary thinking of all the things I’ll have to come up with to keep entertainment blooming. In no particular order, I’ve come up with six tips to keep you sane during the six weeks of no free childcare.
q Take up on any requests for play dates and sleepovers round family. This is how you’ll gain some time apart and not let your child get bored of your face and nagging each day.
Go shopping. Pack those cupboards with plenty of snacks. Remember that kids are used to having breakfast, mid-morning snack and then lunch whilst at school. That’s their routine so stick to it to also help in the transition of back to school.
The internet is your friend. Research some simple game ideas that you can do from home. As much as we’d all love to be out everyday, it probably won’t happen so you need something different to do, even if it’s just one thing each day or every other day.
Look for deals on restaurants or days out. Especially if a holiday isn’t on the agenda (like us). Going out to eat not only gets everyone out of the house but promotes family time and teaches social skills. Plus it’s fun! Even if it’s only to McDonalds. Days out are what will spread your holiday out and make it fun and exciting for everyone. But remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive, a trip to the ducks or a park will probably create memories that last much longer than a trip to an indoor play.
Stick to your usual routine. It’s all too easy to think that by having a later bedtime just because you don’t have to get up in the morning is a fantastic idea, but the truth is, kids don’t work like this. They will be awake at their usual time give or take a few minutes and all you’ve done is lose quality adult time with yourself or your partner. Make an effort to get dressed each day, even if it’s just joggers. Do what you normally do and involve the child that is usually at school.
Have fun. Easier said than done. Embrace the extra time you have with your child. They are only young once. You are the one creating their childhood and their memories. So when their bedroom is an absolute pigsty, try to keep calm and remember it’s only for six weeks!! Close the door on it and go out for a walk.
What are your tips for surviving the six week holidays? Are you all excited? Are they a welcome break or a hindrance?