The summer holidays are lurking just around the corner and if you are looking towards them with a mixture of both relief and dread, then you are not alone. Working from home gives me the awesome privilege of being able to be at home for the entire six weeks; six weeks of staying in our pyjamas, ignoring piles of homework and housework and generally not having to do anything we don’t want. But it also means six weeks of trying to fit in my continuing workload around children who want to be entertained. Not easy.
Having done this for almost 3 years, I’d like to pretend that I’m all over this shiz but the truth is, I’m really not. The previous two years I was super organised and made a spreadsheet of all the activities I wanted to get done, free days out we could go to and a magic balance of time when the kids would be so over-awed with the stuff I had planned that they would give me all the time I needed to get my work done.
Yes alright, I can hear you laughing all the way at the back.
It just didn’t happen.
Instead I was left with a box full of craft stuff we never used, a sore throat from my ‘yes dears?’ every 10 seconds and a need to rock in the corner with my hands pressed tightly over my ears just for 5 minutes peace and quiet.
So what exactly am I going to do differently this year? Let’s see…
I am setting the bar really low this year. I know of a few free days out happening throughout the six weeks; if we get there, then great but if we don’t then oh well! I set myself up for a fall with my spreadsheet because let’s be honest, kids are unique little creatures and you just can’t fit them into an spreadsheet sized box.
Sorry, did you think I meant snacks for the kids? I am talking about MY secret snack stash. We all need one. Think chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. An instant pick-me-up for those days when the words ‘I’m booooorreeeddd’ just seem to be following you around the house.
And, I suppose it’s a good idea to get something in for the kids too. I don’t know about you, but my kids eat me out of house and home when they are around for the holidays. I know for a fact that they have a snack at 10am at school, lunch at 12pm and then NADA for the rest of the day. So how come I get nagged for food at 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm…right up until I serve the tea with a slightly frazzled expression and the kids say they aren’t hungry any more. I plan to start with the good stuff and move onto the sugary treats as I get more and more desperate for 10 minutes alone.
Having the kids at home is an opportunity for the house to descend into mess and chaos so I plan to have a little healthy competition going. If their rooms are tidy at the end of the day then they get a sticker. If they get X amount of stickers then they get a treat. My kids love anything competitive so I know this is going to work really well. I get a tidy house and they think they are winning a competition. Genius.
I have arranged with a few other mums from school to do a swap one day a week; I will look after their kids one day a week and in return they will look after Meg and Eli. This works two-fold; it breaks up the boredom by sending them elsewhere for the day allowing me to work and it also keeps them occupied at home when they have their friends round. I just need to invest in some more of those all important snacks.
Let’s face it, we live in England which means that in the last week of the school term it will be blissfully sunny and then…hello rain. I am a big advocate of the necessity of fresh air and how important it is for stopping cabin fever setting in. I will be investing in lightweight raincoats and a decent pair of wellies so that whatever the weather, the kids will be going outside for at least an hour, if not more. Luckily Meg and Eli are quite used to this attitude of mine and actually, it’s more of a job convincing them that they will catch a cold if they don’t put on their coats…they prefer the less is more approach when it comes to clothing!
So hopefully these 5 tips will help me to survive summer. If not, you’ll find me in the corner of my study with my eyes shut just having a few moments to gather up the threads of my sanity!