I have so looked forward to this summer. Blissful sunshine-filled days playing aimlessly in the garden and staying in our PJ’s till lunchtime! Of course, now it’s here, it brings its own challenges. (And is not always as rose tinted as I would like).
The girls and I are all quite ’emotional’ and if any one of us is tired, life can be very hard work for us all. We have mornings where we are all irritated and shouting at each other, alongside the blissy cuddle-up days.
My girls don’t yet do anything for themselves. They don’t turn the channel over on the telly. Wont get their own drinks. Nothing. This is something I really need to work on in order to build strong women and to preserve my own sanity.
- Agree 5 rules of summer.
Its important you work together on these to get the children’s buy-in. it’s tempting to guide the rules, but do try to listen to the kids – its a useful exercise!
Our rules wholesale MLB jerseys are:
- Mum is not allowed to use the internet during family-time (I have three days 10-3, where I can work, as well as evenings). This is going to be a real challenge, but I’m well up for it!
- If you can do it yourself, do. Or at least, try. Bum wiping, milk pouring, toy finding, tv turning, the lot (I’m expecting to do LOTS of reminding about this, but its been agreed very readily, by my currently very grown-up-feeling girls.
- If you ask for something to eat; eat it. We hate waste! Don’t ask for green eggs and ham if you’re not sure – just try mine.
- Try something new every day. Just a teeny tongue tipping taste if you like. But be a daring superhero and just TRY IT!
- if you feel shouty, take some time out (and give each other the space for this too). Care for someone who’s feeling emotional. They don’t mean to be horrible and will be feeling extra miserable themselves.
We are painting the hoover cupboard with blackboard paint and will put (shortened versions of) these up on it to remind ourselves.
- Allocate a child-owned and managed space for the holiday only.
This could be a craft corner, their bedroom, the dining room, or even clear a space in the shed. For the summer only, agree that the child has complete ownership of the space. Agree to help tidy up if they want to though, as it can be overwhelming. Provide some stuff to play with. Could be crafting supplies, or lego or whatever they’re into. The plan is that they can dip in-and-out of the activity, or work on an ongoing project without interruption. It also means that you are not constantly trying to keep on top of keeping this area tidy. It might help if its out of your sight! If you can’t run to a space, could you offer a plastic tub with a lid to store a project in that can be stored out of site?
You may be surprised by your kids response to having their own space. I was incredibly messy until I had my own space, then I minded about it. A LOT!
- Have an itinerary.
This is not really my cheap nba jerseys style, but its good for us to agree to always be dressed and teeth brushed by say, 10, (I’m not too ambitious – this is the holiday) and to be ready for bed by 8 (even if you agree to a late night).
My children like to have a focused play session, where I am involved, but I don’t have the stamina (or will) to do it all day, so we agree to at least one hour a day of active Mum-play. By the same token, I need to focus on tidying up first thing in the morning (I am a bit ridiculous about keeping my house tidy, but I feel better when it isn’t too chaotic, so I forgive myself this indulgence).
- Recruit Mentors and Influencers from your family and friends
Put out a call to your family and friends, asking for people who could commit to influencing and inspiring the children for say, 2 hours, once a week. You’re looking for a bigger-sibling/grandparent/auntie relationship, rather than simple childcare.
It’s surprising how much your child-free friends enjoy being with your children, (I loved my friends’ children when I was in my 20’s and still love them now) and regular contact over 6 British weeks will build into wonderful, positive, long term relationships that will enrich your friends’ and your children’s lives. Do not try to direct these sessions. Some people will want to influence and inspire and others will just want to treat your kids to the cinema or something. Actively seek people to do this. Your children will wholesale NBA jerseys thank you, so will your friends, Paper, and you might get a chance for a coffee alone!
- Keep busy
Use local websites especially library, museum and ‘what’s on’ pages to build a diary full of cheap and free events, and GET OUT, as much as you can.
- Arrange a swap with friends or family
Offer to take theirs for an afternoon in return for an afternoon to yourself. You might only get the washing done, but it’ll be on your own with day the radio on instead of having to stop to wipe bums and pour juices between pegging.
If you can find a group of families willing to do this, you could even get to take a whole bunch of kids once in return for a number of afternoons off, while the other families take their turns. Its a bit all-or-nothing, and just my style!
That’s it – take from it what you will. Betsy has just passed me a picture of me being cross in the sun :S