How to cope through the summer holidays

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My boys are still at school at the moment but they break up on Friday, the summer holidays are imminent. The summer is always a stressful time if we're not going on holiday because I have to find things for the boys to do for a whole six weeks. It is especially tough when they both like such different activities. While LP likes to be outdoors running around BP would much rather be indoors sketching or watching TV.

The other thing to cope with is the fact that there are no breaks until the boys are in bed. There's no six hour break during the day when they're not nagging or fighting. They're at home. 

All. The. Time.

Being a stay-at-home mum to school-aged children means the six weeks holidays are the most taxing time of the year. You have to find activities, plan days out, and keep them busy so they don't drive you absolutely crazy.


Here's how to cope through the holidays:


Make a list

When it comes to daytime activities you can be overwhelmed with ideas from your children and the best way to organise them is to write them down. That way you get to see what the ideas are, you can add your own, and you can plan when you'll do them.


Top tip: don't try to cram too much in, yes it's six weeks but you'll be wiped out if you try to do something amazing every day.


Diary Dates

Once you have your list written have it in hand while looking at your diary. Try to work out when you can fit in specific activities and pencil them in. Take note of any special dates during the summer, for example it is BP's birthday in August and we need to plan to do something special then. 

If you're planning a weekend away perhaps do some research into the area you'll be staying to find out if anything special is happening during your stay. It could add that extra something to your trip.


Tablet Guilt

The guilt you feel when your children spend time on their tablets should be banished during the holidays. You cannot entertain them 24/7, it is okay to let them have time on their tablets. 


Movie Nights

The summer is a great time to find new movies, a lot of the animated movies (think Finding Dory, The BFG) schedule their release for the summer. There's always plenty to see at the cinema and the children will love a trip where they can scoff popcorn and watch their favourite characters on a huge screen. 


Talk to friends

If your children are anything like BP they'll want some time with their friends. Older children will be able to arrange meeting their friends on their own but the younger children will need your help with this. Be sure to get in touch with other parents to arrange play dates or trips out together. The children will love the opportunity to play together when they're not at school.


Visit family

Both sides of our family live far away, my parents live in Grimsby and the Hubby's are in Stoke-on-Trent. Although it's tough not seeming my family enough I do love the holidays because it means I have the time to see them. We always plan at least one day for visiting my family and the boys love it because they get spoiled. 

Visiting family is great, it's a chance for your children to talk to other family and it gives you a little break too. If you can arrange an overnight stay somewhere even better, then the children get to have a mini holiday too!


Days out

Research your local area, the council will usually organise free and paid activities for the summer holidays. From sports activities and classes to music festivals and culture days there will be plenty to choose from. Local activities are great because if they turn out to be dull or the children just aren't interested you're still close to home. Win!

Looking further afield you may find some gems. As we live in the East Midlands there are plenty of places to visit, like the English Heritage sites which the boys always love. You may find adventure golf, castles and museums, or even caves to explore! We usually set a limit for how far we're willing to travel in one day, there's only so much time stuck in the car that you can all take.

My boys in front of the Star Chamber at Bolsover Castle

The summer essential

Every single parent of school-age children needs one essential item to see them through the summer. Alcohol*. There is nothing like an ice-cold glass of bourbon (or tipple of your choice) at the end of a taxing day.

*Okay, so it's it's not essential but it certainly helps with the relaxation! 



Of course, being a parent you'll know that all the planning in the world cannot fight the inevitable chaos that will descend on your house during the next six weeks. 

But know, we're all in this together.

30 comments:

  1. I love the idea of movie nights! It's not so much of a change for us because Marianna's too young, but I'm mostly off work for a few weeks now for recess, so I'm planning lots of activities. :)

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    1. Aw that's great Jessica. I hope you have a fantastic time. :)

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  2. Oh yes I'm a SAHM too and it is really tough in the holidays. I love having them at home but keeping them entertained (without spending a fortune) can be really tricky. Thanks for the ideas. #PoCoLo

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    1. You're welcome Lucy. The holidays are the most trying time and having tips to refer to can make it so much easier. Hope you're enjoying summer so far. :)

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  3. Lovely tips! The one that I will remember the most is to forget about the guilt! Not just with the tablet I think but just guilt in general. I will (try) not to feel guilty if he looks bored haha! Thanks for sharing =) #pocolo

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    1. Thanks Merlinda. Yes that guilt is a pain, just remember that you have them at home for six weeks! No sane person could manage six whole weeks without turning to the tablet. Hope you're coping okay. :)

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  4. I'm usually fine for the first half of the holidays then I start to flag...
    Alcohol is essential. Stuff the bottles of wine. I'm buying a box. lol x

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    1. Haha Kim! Totally. Yes the first half is easiest isn't it? As we're entering the second half soon I wonder if we'll still be enjoying it! :)

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  5. Great suggestions! I love a list and a diary planning session for over the holidays! #Pocolo

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    1. Thanks Hayley, planning is essential! :)

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  6. Looks like organization is the key! My baby is only 6 months old so we got a while until school. I know my parents have got my nephew a lot over the summer while my sister works. But my nephew loves it with them as they have a small holding so he gets lots of outdoor fun with the chickens, geese goat and cows! x
    #PoCoLo

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    1. You do have a while before school don't you, tell you what though it'll be here before you know it! Organisation is definitely key. It sounds like your nephew is going to have a great summer with your parents. :)

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  7. I'm spending the summer hols, well 2 weeks of them with my 5 year old niece, i don't have to do housework, bedtimes, cook dinners etc it's just all days out, painting and fun

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    1. That sounds great Suzanne! Have fun. x

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  8. Great tips you have here. Whenever we go anywhere the tourist information centre is the first port of call. #PoCoLo

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    1. Ooh a great tip, I never thought of the tourist information centre. I'll have to remember that one, thanks! :)

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  9. Great tips - organisation is the key, especially as 6 whole weeks feels a bit daunting! Thanks so much for hosting #pocolo xx

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    1. Oh boy, it's definitely daunting. :) Hope you're having a great time!

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  10. It can be so hard to come up with new and fun ideas at that age. Thanks for sharing your ideas! I also love the idea of a movie night.

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    1. It's so difficult keeping them both entertained, movie nights are great for that. They get to choose and then enjoy popcorn and a great movie. xx

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  11. Fantastic tips! Love the one about letting go of tablet guilt xx #pocolo

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    1. Thanks Laura. It's difficult but you really need to try. xx

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  12. Love the last tip - sometimes after a day at work it's essential too, whatever the season. And I do love a list. Have a great summer holidays together xx

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    1. Oh yes definitely after a day at work Steph! xx

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  13. Good tips! It's funny, isn't it - when kids are little, this is every single week of the year, then they start school & you get used to them being occupied! Plus, it's less easy to occupy them with play doh & Mr Tumble, of course! #PoCoLo

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    1. I think you're right hun, it seems easier when they're younger but I agree that when they go to school you get used to it. It somehow seems more difficult when they have to be occupied! :) Glad you like the tips.

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  14. we used to have a 3 week holiday away, either uk, camping or abroad and the rest of the time would be summer holiday clubs and/or parents as we were working

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    1. Ah a holiday is great, but sometimes, for whatever reason, you can't manage the holidays. The holiday clubs sound like a great idea. :)

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  15. It's really funny to read posts like yours Morgan because as a working mum (not that SAHM isn't working in its own right!...), I relish the time with our little girl during the holidays. But much as I love spending time with her, I KNOW that we'd drive each other a bit crazy if we were having to come up with ideas/spend time with each other constantly in the hols. Our childminders and holiday club bring more than a little sanity to the home! #Thanks for hosting #pocolo

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    1. Haha, thanks Carol. It has been difficult over these holidays but I think we've managed to do a good job. We were definitely ready for the boys to be back at school but after a lot of organisation we had a great summer! ;)

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