So the start of the summer holidays has officially begun and we now have six whole weeks stretched ahead of us. Whether you’re working and have had the insane task of finding childcare for this time, or you’re at home hanging with the kids, there is an undeniable pressure on us parents to provide our children with the BEST. SUMMER. EVER!
Whilst Instagram might tell us that every day of the holidays should be filled with sunshine, smiles, adventures and kisses, the likelihood is that the odd day here and there will inevitably be tainted with tantrums, tears, arguments and, occasionally, all out war. But here is a newsflash; that’s OKAY.
Of course it’s great to get out and about. When the kids are driving me round the twister the tonic has often been to bundle them in the car and go somewhere…anywhere! And thankfully we have a raft of fun-filled places to choose from, be it the playground, museum or beach (in case you missed it you can find my handy list of kid-friendly attractions here).
However, with this post, I hereby give myself permission (on some days) to do something revolutionary for the holidays…absolutely NOTHING!
Believe it or not, but it’s tiring work packing picnics, bundling kids in cars, shepherding them like stray sheep all day, wiping ice cream smeared faces and then wrestling them home again, day in day out. And some days, after the 6000th row over ‘who had it first,’ you might look at your kids’ sweet little faces and find that simply making some toast and flicking on the TV feels like a mammoth task, and you know what? That is FINE.
Yes the sun may well be shining, and yes, you’ll be sure that handy list of places to go stuck on the fridge is giving you the stink eye, but it’s IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to be ‘Fun Mum’ every day. You’re allowed to have the odd day where you plonk your kids in front of Paw Patrol and flick mindlessly through Facebook. You’re human, not a fun making, ice cream buying machine, filled with endless energy and enthusiasm.
In days gone by I used to pile on the pressure to go different places, try different things, to hang out with friends, and never be on our own. To always do something fun! Each day my eldest would ask, “where are we going tomorrow?’ and I would scramble to think of somewhere exciting to entertain her. But this inevitably leads to ‘Fun Mum’ burn out and without even realising it, I was crying more than Tiny Tears on a tough day.
Of course, play dates and hanging with your mummy mates always makes even the hardest of days a little more bearable, but I have to admit that some of my happiest memories have been made at home, simply watching the kids play/torture each other in the garden. By removing the pressure, to meet people, get somewhere on time (never happens) and to have a super duper day, everyone relaxed and our time together became much more enjoyable for it.
So the next time the thought of heading out fills you with dread? Take a well-deserved day off. Put Dora on loop (it’s educational, right?), stick your feet up, have a cuppa, and most importantly do this GUILT FREE. I guarantee the next day you decide to head out will be far happier for it!