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?

How to get that hot coffee even if the kids are at home

Getting just five minutes to yourself when you're a busy mum can be tough. When the kids are at home, there's always something to be doing, whether that's entertaining the kids or putting another load of laundry in the washing machine, but that doesn't mean you can't get that coffee. Below are just a few ways you can grab a hot coffee even if the kids are at home.

Enjoy movies (and coffee) with the kids at home

Movies are great for occupying your kids long enough for you to enjoy a hot coffee and a bit of peace while they are at home. You could choose the latest Pixar release (check out The Incredibles 2 if you haven't already!) or something for older kids like Guardians of the Galaxy. 

How To Get That Hot Coffee Even If The Kids Are At Home | Movies on hand, with popcorn, to keep the kids busy. A bowl of fresh popcorn.

The key here is to make it a treat, so have blankets if it's cold and dreary outside, be sure to have popcorn on hand, and set them up so they can have the lights off too. My boys love it when we have the lights off and sit to watch a movie, they can almost convince themselves they're at the cinema. Whenever I say we're having a cinema day they scream with joy, and I secretly cheer too because it means I'll have some quiet time while they enjoy their movie. 

If you're struggling for ideas for a movie, look at my boys' favourites.

Reading / writing / drawing

Get your kids to be creative. If they're enjoying reading a book, you could get them to draw something out of the book. Tell them to imagine their favourite character and to draw them. If your kids don't enjoy drawing, you could try asking them to write something - again use something they really like - Fortnite motives both my boys so during the upcoming school holidays I'll tell them to write a story featuring their favourite character from the game. 

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Reading is another great way to keep them occupied, particularly if they're reading a book they're enjoying. LP is in the middle of the first Percy Jackson book and LOVES it, he read for an hour last night because he wanted to finish the chapter, and he's always looks forward to reading. It not only teaches them but it's a good way to kick start their imagination. Even someone like LP who is more logical that creative, enjoys being able to imagine scenarios for the characters in his books.

Activity book distractions so you can get that coffee

If your kids aren't creative at all, then colouring in or activity books are another good way to occupy them. Again LP loves sticker books, especially the Lego ones - he's had 5 or 6 so far and I know he'll be asking Santa for more this year. 

How To Get That Hot Coffee Even If The Kids Are At Home | Distract them with activity books!
Don't forget to grab your copy!

Like I said, school holidays are just around the corner and because I know the boys will be at home all day, I've been working on ways to keep them busy. That's why I created the Fun with AniPals activity book, it's more for LP, who at 10 years old would probably find the activities easy but would enjoy them either way. There's colouring pages, and puzzles, - and you can grab your copy of my Fun with Anipals! activity book and keep your kids busy so you can grab your hot coffee!

Let the kids enjoy games when they're home

Being a parent to any school-age child these days means you must have heard of Fortnite and Overwatch. My boys obsess over both these games and are on them almost every day. Now I'm not saying you should let them play all day, but giving them an hour to play games with their friends means you'll get a little time for yourself. They become so engrossed in the game that they forget to ask you for anything and will leave you in peace for a while. 

How To Get That Hot Coffee Even If The Kids Are At Home | A white Xbox sits on a dark brown wooden table.

My boys have time limits for their games. We don't allow them to play for hours every day, but I don't mind increasing their time during the holidays, especially when the weather is horrid. The occasional day when we let them indulge in playing their games means we get quiet time and the rest of the holidays are more bearable. 


Depending on the age of your kids you could occupy them for anywhere between 10 minutes to 2 hours with puzzles. I'm talking jigsaw puzzles here, but if there are other puzzles you have - like a Rubix cube - then give them that too. 

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. 

Albert Einstein

BP likes a good jigsaw puzzle, he enjoys helping the Hubby and I when we get ours out but he also enjoys his own. LP has a good one that teaches him about European countries. He fits the pieces together, and when it's finished it shows a map of the continent. He then has to find where places are - he has pieces with all the city names on them. It's a great teaching tool.

School holidays are a tough time for stay-at-home mums. We have to cope with having the kids at home when we're used to having the day to ourselves. But that doesn't mean we have to lose our minds, we just have to consider how we'll schedule in our 'me time'. Hopefully, these ideas will help you out - and don't forget to grab your free Halloween Activity Booklet!

What do your kids enjoy doing that could help you get that hot coffee?

9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids

The sun is high in the sky, and you're sitting on your favourite garden chair as the kids run around the garden. Happy shrieks fill the air as they splash in the paddling pool and chase each other around. Toys lay on the ground amongst the grass, but you don't care. The smile on your face says it all - this is how you enjoy summer days with the kids.

While the summer school holidays can be tough, and having the kids home (and knowing what to do with them) is draining, there are simple things you can do to make the most of the sunny days at home and enjoy the time with your kids.

9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids | Take a walk with your kids!

Enjoy Summer Days By Not Sleeping In

The first day of the holidays it can be tempting to switch off that alarm clock, sleep in (if the kids allow it), and enjoy not having to do the school run. But if you get up at the usual time, sort out the kids' breakfast, and get ready for the day, you'll find you're more energised and happy to do something during the day.

By getting up early you're getting the usual stress and strain out of the way early and you may even find you'll feel better for it.

The Peaceful Mom has some great tips on how to enjoy the summer too - quick and simple, which is great for the summer.

Invite Friends Over To Enjoy Summer Days With The Kids Together

One great way to enjoy the summer days with your kids is to get together with friends. Invite them over, maybe even sort out a picnic for the garden and you can all enjoy the sunshine. When the kids are in the garden playing nicely together, you'll get to enjoy a chat with a friend. It's a great opportunity for you both to get that adult conversation you crave, while the kids have fun outdoors.

Let the kids go crazy, get out as many toys as they like, and enjoy the sun.

Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.

George R.R. Martin

Let The Music Play During The Summer Days

When the sun is out and the kids are in the garden just stop and think for a moment - is there anything that could make this moment better? Probably not... 

Except maybe blasting some 80s tunes from your iPod (or ghetto blaster!) and getting the kids involved in a dance-off Run DMC style!

Playing music while the kids play in the garden, or getting them involved in that dance-off, is a great way to enjoy the summer days. The kids will probably recognise some of the music, because they include most of it in their favourite movies, and they'll enjoy watching you smile and have a good time. Nothing can make your kids' day like seeing you have a good time.

Head To The Local Water Park Or Swimming Baths

You don't have to spend every summer day at home, so why not take one of those sunny days and head out with the kids. Pack up their favourite swimwear, a few towels, and maybe even a picnic and make your way to your local park that has a pool - or perhaps the swimming baths. The kids will have fun playing in the water and you can sit by the side and watch them, or maybe even get in on the water fun too! Why not forget about being the "mum" and enjoy the summer days with your kids by splashing in the water with them!

Picnic, History, And Fun!

First, scout out the best location - that could be the best park equipped with play areas for the kids. Or it could be an English Heritage Castle with an enormous field and actors to make the day seem more historic. Then pack a picnic, filled with yummy sandwiches, awesome cakes, and snacks and drinks to keep the kids happy. Pack up the car (not forgetting the outdoor fun toys) and head out to your chosen destination to spend a day of family filled fun. 

9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids | Visit a castle and have fun with history!

Picnics are great, you can sit and read or play with your kids and you all enjoy the sunshine (while it's there!). 

Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids On A Bike Ride

When the sun is out and the wind is low but cooling, it's the perfect weather for a bike ride with your kids. My youngest, LP, loves bike rides with his dad - they ride for hours and talk the whole way, but the best thing is that they're getting outdoors and enjoying the summer while LP is still young. He loves being able to race his dad; he loves being able to challenge his dad, but he also loves that they can connect with each other while riding along.

9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids | Riding bikes is fun!

Bike rides are great for getting a little exercise, taking in the fresh air on a gorgeous summer's day, and best of all - connecting with your kids.

Camp In The Garden And Enjoy Summer Says With Your Kids

Pitch a tent, build a fort, or just grab a large stick and a blanket and make yourself (and your kids) a tent. Make sure you have blankets, pillows, and plenty of entertainment - but get out into the garden and enjoy those summer days with your kids.

We have a tent, but I don't really enjoy camping. That's why camping in the garden is great - I don't have to do the whole sleeping outdoors with no amenities thing and the kids can enjoy time in the tent playing make-believe. The best bit is that I can nip into the house, make them a wonderful snack and surprise them with it - to make their make-believe fun even better.

Stargaze In The Garden At The End Of Those Summer Days

After letting the kids spend the day camping in the garden, why not get in on the fun. As the sun goes down and the stars come out, make your way into the garden with the kids and enjoy the summer nights too - because it's not just the days that are great. You could even educate yourself on the finer points of star spotting - or rather constellation spotting!

Oh, the summer night, Has a smile of light, And she sits on a sapphire throne.

Bryan Procter

If you struggle a bit with identifying Orion's Belt or the Big Dipper, why not check out the many apps in the App Store. They can help you spot the right stars and you can amaze your kids with your wondrous knowledge.

Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids By Learning In The Garden

9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids | Watch bees in your garden - and learn!
Watching the bees can be fascinating. 

From creepy crawlies to chirpy birds, there're loads of things you can learn from the comfort of your picnic blanket. Get the kids out in the garden spotting bugs to start with - have your phone on hand to teach about the bugs you see. Watch the bugs, let the kids see how they move and maybe even what they eat. Do the same with birds. It's a great opportunity to pay attention to nature and also spend some proper time with your kids, enjoying the summer days. This and many more are ways you can enjoy the summer days for free - why not check out Lauren Greutman's list of 31 ways to enjoy the summer for free.

The summer doesn't have to be stressful... or rather it doesn't have to be stressful all the time. There are going to be bad days, but with a little planning and taking the time to see that summer is a wonderful thing you can really enjoy summer days with your kids.

How do you enjoy summer days with your kids?