School holidays can be fun, but can also be challenging for parents and children. Back from our travels a little earlier than initially planned – we enjoyed a great sunny bank holiday weekend with friends and family. I’m itching to dive 100%, into my work yet I’ve still got my kids for a bit longer.
How how we all going to stay sane for the rest of the holidays? Here are my 10 tips:
1. Setting intentions
This is both on the personal front and also involving the kids. Overall, I’d like to enjoy some quality time with the kids, get everyone ready for the the start of term and start to pick things up again on the business front.
My kids are old enough to understand this, so I’ve shared it with them. They get this, but ultimately, they just want to have fun (and not get stressed).
Throughout the holidays, there have been high-level plans. This includes time away versus at home, as well as a few days with specific commitments or planned activities.
Having this somewhere visible for the family to see and talking through with the family (in advance) has also helped. This helps to eliminate surprises and some of the stress that can come with these.
I naively thought I’d have so much time on my hands at the outset, but time has been strangely limited. Each evening, I’ve noted down the top 5 things to accomplish the next day and tried to get them either completely, progressed – or rolled them over to the next day. This has helped me to keep things ticking over, at least, if not to the extent I’d have liked.
4. Structured activities
I find it helpful to have some structured activities each day to do as a family. This could include swimming, games, walks, playdates, trip to the park or the zoo, doing some holiday homework etc.
5. Unstructured activities
It’s also nice to have some less structured activities – screen-time, reading, free time etc. This can also include play-dates with the kids’ friends.
This gives me the odd opportunity to get on with some of my stuff too!
6. Join in
“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”.
Sometimes I need to get over myself and just join in and have some fun! Tat different parts of the holiday, this has involved playing a lot of board games and cards, taking a dip in the paddling pool, going for a scoot or playing in the play park.
7. Get them involved
Sometimes it’s good to get the kids involved in the chores. This can be fun, teaches some life skills and can help things go quicker (in theory). Our favourite is cooking (the kids are getting pretty good at this, see Family Cooking Fun, shopping and other tasks that match their skills and abilities.
8. Be prepared
I pretty much always have a book (or other reading material) to hand, just in case I get a few spare mins. I also keep a notepad and pen available to jot down any thoughts, notes etc. as my mind is typically pretty busy.
9. Take some time for me
It’s not all about the kids – I need to ensure I’m OK, to be right for them.
This was very hard when we were away, but has been easier now we’re home. I’m a morning person and fortunately right now the kids are not. I ensure I get up and do what I want for a while before they get up.
Often this is exercise related, assuming there’s someone else in the house. The last couple of mornings it’s been yoga and affirmations and I’m loving this change of pace and focus.
10. Big picture
I’ve had an amazing opportunity to spend the last month with my kids. As a working mum, this is not something I’ve had the chance to do before. There have been challenging times (I won’t lie) but overall, I have really enjoyed this time.
Time-off with the kids in the school holidays can be great fun, but can also be challenging. I’ve survived to tell the tale and I hope you can relate to some of my tips. I’d love to hear how you survive the school holidays too.
Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out more.