How To Get ME Time During School Holidays

The kids are about to be off school. You're used to them being at school and being able to drink a hot coffee in peace. You like the quiet hours during the school term when you can choose what to do without interruption or just get the chores done before they get home. So how do you get time for you during the school holidays?

We love our kids but we still want time for us

It doesn't really need saying but I'll say it anyway, just because we want that time on our own doesn't mean we don't love our kids. Of course, we love our kids. But when they're at school every day, it's easy to get used to the quiet and then the school holidays roll around and you've suddenly got them around your feet every day. It's frustrating because you can't get chores done, the house is never quiet, and your coffee has gone cold. Loving your kids does not mean you shouldn't want time for you during the school holidays.

Motherhood is... difficult and... rewarding.

Gloria Estefan

Get time for you during the school holidays by planning

Knowing when the school holidays are - ahead of time - is key, that's why I spend some time at the start of the school year checking the school websites and marking the holidays on my calendar. I have 3 calendars - one on the wall in my office, a diary, and the calendar on my phone. When I check the school websites, I have my diary in hand and a highlighter, and I go through the year highlighting all the school holidays.

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Planning ahead of time will make it easier to see what time you have available.
Don't forget to make yourself a coffee while you're planning!

I've found transcribing the holidays into my diary to be quickest way to get the information. I can then go through my diary and add the holidays into the months, add them to the calendar in my office, and especially add them to the calendar on my phone. That is the most important one because I carry it around with me all the time and whenever I'm making appointments, I need to check if the kids are off school.

So, planning. If you can see in your diary/calendar that you've got a half-term coming up this month, or an easter holiday, then you can think about it ahead of time and plan accordingly. For example, as the Easter school holidays are coming up, I'm planning on taking the boys to see my family for at least one day. We're going to travel to Grimsby and spend the day with my parents. We're also planning a few walks, and LP has mentioned he wants to go to the local play centre.

Now of course those things aren't about me getting time for me, but if I know what we have planned for us and the boys, then I can schedule in time for me too. Like when we go to Grimsby, I'll spend the day driving 2 hours there, and 2 hours back, as well as spending time with my family - and that's great - but in order to get some me time too I have to make sure I get home in time to chill out. Which I always do. I'll arrange it so I come home at about 6pm and then the boys will play their games or watch TV and I can sit in my recliner, get Netflix on the go, and chill out. And BAM, in one day I've entertained the kids AND got time for me. WIN!

Spend time together during the school holidays doing something you enjoy 

If you enjoy cooking, you could get time doing something you love, as well as entertaining the kids during the school holidays.

LP has been asking me for ages if we could bake some cookies. I've been putting it off if I'm honest, I don't enjoy baking, it's not really my thing, but I told him I would and I really should. But if you are a baker, and enjoy it, it's the perfect way to get that time for yourself as well as keeping the kids busy.

When I bake/cook with LP, I have a recipe on my iPad, stood up where we can see it, and LP will read out the instructions and try to follow them. I'll be on hand to help if he needs it. Having the iPad to hand is great, it means he can see instructions and doesn't need much help unless it's something particularly difficult. We chat while he does stuff and we both have fun. And then I have an excuse to sit and have a coffee later!

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Involve them in the cooking and they learn, then you get time to sit afterwards!
Having a stand for the iPad is really useful - head over to Menkind to find an awesome one available for £21.99!

But there's not just baking, you could go for a walk or meet up with friends (and meet up with other mums!), whatever it is you choose to do with them - use it as a bargaining chip. You do the thing, and then later you get to have a coffee in peace.

Get time for you during the school holidays by keeping the kids busy

Another way to get that time for you during the school holidays is to keep the kids busy. You could let them play their games, you could give them activity books or Lego to play with, or you could tell them to play outside. By keeping them busy or occupied you get to sit down, for at least 10 minutes (but hopefully longer) and do what makes you happy.

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Tipping out a box of lego and just letting them create is a great way of being able to drink a hot coffee while they're home!
Lego can keep them busy for hours!

When the boys play their games, I make myself a coffee and read a chapter of my book. If they're watching a movie, I'll take some time to do some drawing. And if they're playing outside, I know I have little time before they'll be coming inside complaining or fighting, so I make myself a quick coffee and sit and watch them through the window. Each time I get to do something I love, and it's during the school holidays!

Forget your morning routine during the school holidays

Getting chores done, or even started some days, can be a bit of a pain during the school holidays. The kids get toys out, eat food all day, and make a mess - which makes your job that much harder.

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Messes can just pop up when the kids are home - give yourself a break!
There'll be the messes that just pop up, so why bother with the usual routine?

In term time I have a good morning routine that leaves me with the rest of the day to do the things I enjoy. But in the school holidays that morning routine doesn't work as well. I can't get the kitchen looking spotless in 10 minutes because the boys have used 1 billion glasses overnight and the dishwasher will need to go on 10 times before the kitchen is clear. Despite that, I try to stick to a routine. So, if the boys have used all the glasses (and plates!) I fill the dishwasher to its capacity and then leave the rest. Yes, it means the kitchen isn't spotless, but it also means that there are clean glasses and plates, and the kitchen looks a little better. I don't have to get it perfect, after all the kids are home and I can't stop them from using things!

You don't have to make sure you do everything during the school holidays, like you do in term time. If you try, you'll be working all day and end up with no time for you, so instead leave some cleaning for another day - or better still get the kids to help!

Get time for you by booking a Spa Day 

One way to guarantee you'll get some time for you during the school holidays is to book yourself a spa day. Yes, the cleaning won't get done and the kids will run riot while you're gone but you deserve a break and the Hubby can cope for one day at least - right?

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Spa days are brilliant, it's about time you spoiled yourself!
Aaand.... relax.

I love spa days - an entire day just for me doing what I love. The last time I visited Eden Hall I spent the day reading, drinking coffee, and best of all? Eating cake! I had a lovely massage, facial, and even had my nails done. It was very indulgent, but utterly heavenly. I always come home from Eden Hall thrilled, and even if I have to cook dinner when I get home I am happy to do it. Getting an entire day for yourself, one where you don't have to think about anyone else at all, is freeing and you will feel 100% better.

Indulge in your hobbies during the school holidays

If you have a hobby, and it's one you could teach your kids, why not teach them about it during the school holidays?

By teaching them about your hobby you're showing them something you enjoy doing but you're also giving them the chance to find a hobby too. You get to do the thing you love; you get to spend time with your kids, and perhaps even give them something to occupy them the next time they're off school!

Shopping is a bit of a relaxing hobby for me, which is sometimes troubling for the bank balance.

Rebecca Hall

I have a few hobbies, writing and drawing being a couple, and BP loves writing too. We'll spend time during school holidays going through some of his writing and editing to make it better. The last time we did we spent hours talking about his writing and after editing he was really proud of what he'd come up with. It's so lovely to pass on stuff like that and seeing him progress and take in what I'm saying is brilliant.

Step away from the phone

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | It's amazing how much time you lose when you spend all day scrolling!
Stop scrolling and use the time to make yourself a coffee!

We all know what a time suck social media is right? You scroll, and before you know it 3 hours have passed and you've got nothing done. I do it in a morning and sometimes I forget the time and then have to rush around to get things done. So instead of spending hours staring at your phone and losing time, during these school holidays why not agree with yourself (and your kids) that you'll step away from the phone. You'll keep it in your pocket instead of in your palm. That way you may find that you have more time for yourself than you realised!

Enjoy evening drinks and time for you

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | Have a good drink at the end of the day - this is your time, when they're in bed!
We do love a good bourbon!

When you have older kids - I'm talking 8+, after they've gone to bed your time is pretty much your own. You could even let them stay up a little later during the school holidays, but you still end up with a good chunk of time for you.

My boys are 10 and 14 and in term time they go to bed at 8pm and 9pm. During school holidays we let them stay up a little later, after all there's not really any reason they can't stay up. So in the holidays their bedtimes are 8:30pm and 10pm - LP only gets an extra 30 minutes because he's younger and still needs a nice long sleep. BP loves the school holidays because he gets to stay in bed in a morning!

But anyway, back to my point - your evenings are yours. Once the kids are in bed and the house has settled down, you can sit down and enjoy the time. How do I do that? With evening drinks. The Hubby and I love to drink bourbon and coke from our favourite glasses while watching House of Cards, or a movie on Netflix. We get to sit together, enjoy a good drink, and chill out - and we know the kids will stay in bed.

How To Get Time For You During School Holidays | A lovely glass of bourbon to enjoy in the evening!
Bring on the bourbon!

Once your kids are in bed and settled, why not check out Netflix and choose a movie, then settle down with a glass of your favourite drink and relax. The rest of the chores can wait until tomorrow!

Getting time for yourself during the school holidays can seem impossible, but if you put the right things in place, and forget about the chores for a while, you can enjoy that hot coffee or even read a book!

How will you get time for you during the school holidays?