Friday is the official last day of term for my eldest daughter, who will be joining her sister who left her pre school on Monday. This means, by the time you read this I’ll have already been doing the juggle for days and after a week of limping along it’ll be time to set the schedule onto summer mode.
With a few years experience on the summer holiday thing now, I’ve joined team ‘LOVE SUMMER’ and I’m agreeing to disagree with those who grumble about six weeks off with the kids. After all, I’m as happy as them (probably more) to have over a month off the school and nursery run, after school club race and swimming lesson sidelines sweatathon. This is literally my favourite time of year, I live for the summer and the girls are (for most of the time) the most amazing company these days.
I learnt pretty damn quickly that a summer filled with ALL of the days out isn’t much of a rest after all. Balance is the key and we all love the lazy days slobbing around the house, playing and drawing just as much as the day trips to the zoo. Possibly more.
Over the holidays we might perhaps attempt one or even two big excursions, but for me it’s all about keeping it simple and schedule free, going with the flow and seeing where each day takes us. That might be exploring hidden gems locally, heading to the park with friends, jumping in the car and driving to my favourite Kent coast, or even just camping out round my Mums drinking tea all day. The beauty is in the simplicity, and for once, being able to be a little bit spontaneous.
Finally, I’ve learnt through experience not to hinge all our summer plans around other people, but to enjoy our own company and make our own plans, inviting others along if they want to join us. After all, during the summer everyone else is also busy doing all of their own fun, so don’t be waiting for them to make yours happen.
Term time mealtimes can feel just as much of a tie as the sound of the school bell. The dreaded rush home, what’s for tea is a bit of a drag on my day as I rummage around the cupboards wondering what nutritious family meal I can knock up for one vegetarian and one sausage addict with the dregs of the freezer.
In the summer most meals revolve around what can be thrown on the BBQ, eaten between two pieces of bread, and accompanied by a bowl of salad for greenery’s sake. Obscene amounts of halloumi will be eaten and outdoor dining reccommended most days (to avoid the need to clean the kitchen floor).
Dairy intake will be mostly in the form of ice cream and milkshake, and there will be ad hoc meals of fish and chips on the beach at EVERY opportunity.
Hopefully we might even recreate the allotment success of the allotment 2017 and we will be frantically experimenting with various ways with courgette…
The normal 6.30 bath time routine will be cast aside and as we have no where to be in the morning, I’m all for letting the overtired grubby kids have a lazy late morning bubble bath.
On days where the sun cream and ground in filth is REALLY bad, a paddling pool or sprinkler may count as a bath / shower.
If there is nothing for it other than a real scrub down in the bath, then boy that must have been an awesome day.
Let’s face it, we cannot be alone in struggling to accept that the kids are having NONE OF IT at seven thirty right now, or for the last few weeks. No amount of blackout blind, patience or even screaming “GO TO BED” is going to get a certain three year old to sleep before nine pm lately.
Of course, once we are onto no school / nursery, it really doesn’t matter as much, and if we allow the girls to fall into bed when they’re tired, maybe a cumulative effect will mean one night out of four we get an evening to ourselves. It’s time to embrace the summer evenings and let the bedtime stress fade away… We can worry about it on September the third.
As a stay at home Mum / work at home Mum, having the kids at home all summer means churning out content can become a little tricky. The days of little tired ones in bed by seven, as previously mentioned is also far from likely, so unless I fancied spending the late summer evenings being up until midnight trying to catch up every night, it’s time to accept it’s going to be a write off.
In all honesty, that isn’t how I even WANT to spend my summer. I want to sip on a glass of wine in the garden with Dad Muddling Through, indulge in a new Netflix series, and spend one of these golden 18 summers or whatever that ‘thing’ rambled on about, with my family, not trying to get rid of them so I can write about how much I love them. That would basically be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?
And so, as I slip into something a little more comfortable, called SUMMER MODE, I wish you all a fabulous time – see you on the other side and perhaps here or there if I get a chance, because when writing’s what you love, not just what you do, it will probably find a way.