Ten rules for surviving the summer holidays


It's the last full day of the school year, and I've taken time out to sit down and have a coffee on my own. And I'm feeling guilty about it.  Someone shake me please..

I know it's still May, but in Ireland, secondary school students enjoy a three month summer break. Their parents don't always enjoy it so much.  For working parents it means worrying that their teens will still be in bed when they arrive home after a full day's work, for SAHMs it means a daily battle to prevent same.  For carers it's time to take the vitamins and a few deep breaths.

Of course I've been here before with Angel, but life was very different then, and she didn't get much time to lounge around the house.

Now it's my son's turn, and it's going to be a challenge for both of us.  There's a lot of time to fill, and I'll be the one trying to offer alternatives to the siren call of screen and console.

In July and August I will have Smiley full time too.  So that's one of me, and two of them.  Before I throw in the towel and run for the hills, I decided to jot down a few things to help me get through...You do know how much I love my kids, right?

So here's my top ten rules for surviving the summer holidays:

1. No one is going to give you a break, it's up to you to make it happen.

2. Brownies should be baked regularly, as they solve most things.

3. No-one is going to see or care about the back garden, so don't worry about it, not unless the weeds are actually waving at the back door.  Some of you will know what I mean by that.

4. Plan to organise an activity every day with the kids, but don't beat yourself up if you don't manage it.

5. Baths are not actually a luxury.  So take them.

6. A pyjama day is not a crime.  You can always close the door on the kids if unexpected visitors arrive.

7. Do not, I repeat NOT, get overwhelmed by all the forms that need to be completed, and the hoops that need to be jumped through.  They will still be there in September... 

8. Stock up on antiseptic wipes.  They can give the room the appearance and smell of being clean in about 30 seconds.

9. Hibernation is for hedgehogs and other small mammals.  If you feel like hibernating, it's probably time go to the GP.

10. Make time for friends.  Because without them, where would you be?

Would you like to share your tips?


16 comments:

  1. This year im handing out GOAL cards on the first day..... The youngest ones goal for summer 2014 is to learn to cycle his bike without stabilizers..... he is 6..... The next ones goal is to stop biting her fingernails and have them grow before September.... she is almost 8...... The next one is almost 11 and his goal is to go to the shop and remember the three things he needs to buy without a list and bring them all home...... The next one is 12 and his goal is to cycle six miles four times a week...... When they reach their goals they will set a new goal and receive an achievement reward...... Incidently the eldest is almost 18 and his goal is to get a job..... same as last year...... he achieved his goal last year and this year he doesn't seem so enthusiastic!!!!

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    1. Brilliant! I will be sitting down with my son tomorrow and agreeing some goals for the summer too :)

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  2. hahaha! I like the one about the Brownies! Great advice x

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  3. My children are in pyjamas for most of the day. They reckon making chocolate biscuits and eating them all themselves very quickly as a right due to their age. Last summer a creeping plant came in through the back door and ran along under the saucepan rack. I could easily have removed it but I rather enjoyed having it in the kitchen. As for the siren call - screens act as excellent babysitters. We gather as a family to watch videos. That provides conversation. But in a rural area where they have lived their whole lives, finding tempting places beyond the house is a challenge. Thus, my children have become troglodytes! I'm working on getting them hoovering as a way to exercise. What admissions!

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    1. A creeping plant in the kitchen could be quite attractive, especially in the country - like a pot plant that you don't have to water? And here I count running up the stairs to the toilet as exercise x

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  4. My tip is to have a daily routine so that you can see the free hours in between the regular daily stuff that need filling. You'll see that there are not actually so many free hours if you add jobs for your son, screen time, a walk, etc... to the daily routine. Of course you don't have to stick tot he routine. I find that if I don't have at least a loose routine then the whole summer becomes one long lounge about and stuff your face fest.

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    1. The fest thing is the big worry alright...

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  5. The children here in Greece also get three months off for the summer and almost four months if you include the time off for exams before the summer it's crazy! My two have had enough of brownies - I went through a stage of finding the best brownie recipe ever and they now refuse to make them or eat them!

    Even though my two are in their teens we do like to play games or watch reruns of Friends together on hot summer afternoons. Sadly they don't really enjoy swimming that much either, probably due to overkill when they were younger.

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    1. Perhaps that's where I went wrong too - my children spent as much of their childhoods outdoors as I could manage, and now they're teenagers they just want to sit in darkened rooms...

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  6. Oh, I ALWAYS start the holiday off with a huge list of ideas of all the great things that we are going to do. I am very inspired in the weeks BEFORE break starts...and then the first day comes along and...well....*sigh* I find that I improvise a lot..we do wind up doing some great things and overall spending some nice time together...but, nothing that I plan in the weeks before break ever happens...At the beginning of June, I hope for the best...by the beginning of August I hope for the school bus! :)

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    1. We've actually got off to a good start :) But I know I'm going to find it hard to keep going :)

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  7. Cricket. Three months? I have just struggled with a half term week. I loved this list and hope you get to live by it. I have never made brownies (the shame!) but maybe I should try. My favourite you could probably guess... Yep: number 1. I am seriously going to write that down on a post-it.

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    1. Do write it on a post it. Actually maybe make a giant poster of it, we all need breaks xxxx

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  8. Great tips. I definitely echo the one about pyjama days. We deliberately have at least one 'quiet' day every week, where the kids just mooch about at home, play in the house/garden/on their bikes without there being a big activity. This gives them a chance to recharge their batteries. Otherwise they just wear down, get overtired, and then they (and consequently we) get grumpy too.

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    1. Yep, it's no fun at all when everyone gets grumpy!

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