I read a thread on Mumsnet today, where one commenter stated that no parent used to dread the summer holidays like so many of us do now. Mostly because previous generations had more family help and their children played out more, not expecting to be constantly entertained. And she has a point. How the world is now, with the sometimes unreasonable expectations we have of ourselves (and of our children on occasion) means that 6 weeks, without the safety net of nursery, school, clubs, groups and activities, can feel like a REALLY LONG TIME. And I admit, I swung from looking forward to having my oldest at home before he starts school, and thinking ‘how am I going to keep both of them amused without losing the plot entirely’? With no summer holiday planned, and a very busy work period ahead for me…..I was starting to get the fear.
But we are in to the third week of the Scottish summer holidays already here, and bar a few rainy days, there’s been nothing stopping us from going out and having fun. We have play-dated, gone to the park, visited a farm, popped past local National Trust properties, seen family, and went for an overnight stay in the countryside. Last night, I was trying to plan the rest of our week, thinking of ways to fill our days and make sure the kids were getting a summer holiday ‘experience’.
Then this morning, I woke up, the sun was shining, and I thought, ‘no’.
We don’t ‘need’ to do anything today. We don’t ‘need’ to go anywhere. The children won’t be deprived by having an ‘at home’ day. Will they? Nah, they won’t
So I stuck the kettle on and had two HOT cups of tea in quick succession. The kids had breakfast, snuggled under a blanket, while they watched Curious George. Don’t judge – some mornings you just need your tea hot and in copious amounts, and if Netflix can facilitate that, then so be it.
With it being an absolute corker of a sunny day, I did feel those gnawing pangs of mummy guilt for not getting organised to take the kids out. I’ve seen too many gorgeous Instagram feeds of late, detailing beautiful summer holidays. Beach trips, ice creams on cobbled streets, and little explorers climbing through forests….was I letting them down by not having the energy/patience/enthusiasm to do the same?
But to be honest, today they couldn’t give a toss. They spent the first part of the morning in the garden, barely dressed, splashing in the water table, chasing each other round with sports bottles full of cold water to squirt. (Note to self, warm water, always warm water, because they will inevitably squirt you too). There has been den making, lego building, snack eating, book reading, cuddling, running, jumping, singing and the just the smallest amount of sibling fighting. We have been dentists, doctors, dinosaurs and purple minions. I’ve done washing, bathroom cleaning and tidied up ‘the pile’ in the spare room (you know, that pile that no matter how often you start to tidy it up, it just grows, grows and grows some more!). I’ve had more tea, made lunch and now the littlest is napping and I’m blogging….in daylight hours! (this never happens).
And it’s been wonderful. I love watching them play together, creating their own little games and mischief. Seeing their relationship grow, away from the the relentless cycle of the school term routine, is one reason I am grateful that we get this time together. All too soon I will be standing at the school gates waving my boy off in beyond the school gates, so grown up but at the same time, still my baby, and I don’t want to be wishing this time with him away.
How have you been spending the summer holiday so far? Have you been busy with lots of activities, or have you taken a quieter approach? I’d love to hear your summer holiday plans, and I’ll be back with a post or two for summer holiday activity inspiration – both locally and in general!