No, this is not another “10 amazing things to do with your kids” or “How to make homemade paint” article. Its more of a how did I get through the school holidays with your sanity intact type of article. Don’t get me wrong being at home is lovely having the kids with me is awesome, and I don’t want my posts to take on a whiney complaining theme…BUT…
3 weeks at home is tough on me and the kids. For us, school holidays mean spending the entire day at home, and if its cold… which, you may have noticed… it is, we spend it indoors. (Backstory – Praven is at work all day, and I don’t drive, besides going out is seriously pricey). The kids are used to spending time with their friends, having a variety of activities to stimulate them and keep them occupied. I’m used to a pretty structured day, being called Yash…less butt wiping, and this going to sound so bad, and it’s going to sound worse than I want it to… I’m not used to the intense continuous role of MUM. (I’m trying to not make this sound awful, I hope those of you reading this get what I’m trying to say…) After a day or two we get a little stir crazy and we can feel the walls closing in.
So I’m pretty pleased at how we got on with the holidays. There were definitely outbursts, shouting, screaming and plenty crying from everyone. But on the whole I think it was one of our more successful stays at home. So how did I get myself and the kids through this holiday? Simple me I gave them me… and it turns out that they don’t really need that much of me. What I’ve been trying to do is compartmentalize my time, I used to mismanage my priotities during previous holidays, and not really give the kids the undivided attention they needed.
For example, my old routine
- Wake up – Brush teeth – Give kids breakfast – Begin setting the beds
- Stop and scream to kids “STOP SCREAMING FOR ME!!!”… continue setting beds
- Walk to lounge, scold kids for calling for me, tell them to wait just a minute, as soon as I’m done we’ll play…
- It’s nearly 10
- I’m cranky, I didn’t eat breakfast, beds still not set
So I’ve realized, that we’re not in any rush, we’re at home all day, the beds can get set at 10, its cool, no biggy. New routine.
- Wake up – Brush teeth – Exercise – Eat breakfast with the kids
- They ask if they can go play in their room….
Back track – when I say exercise, I mean like pretend kids exercise, jumping jacks and squats (have you seen a 2 year old do squats, cutest thing ever!) It’s these few minutes together that satisfies their “mummy” requirement for a while, and it’s a nice way to start of the morning. Afterwards, I go do important things like setting the bed, and we get on with the day.
We use this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYixJH2TRwQ
Now when Thavina, comes and asks if I can draw with her, I very gladly oblige (because the beds have been set… I have a thing about a neat bedroom :P).
I know this isn’t some new discovery, or any break through tips, but for working mums, that find themselves not really doing justice to school holidays or time at home with the kids, just give in to it. Take a deep breath and go play with the kids.
What else do we get up to during the holidays
Again, no homemade paint… we do love a good craft or 2, but with a 2 year old it can sometimes get a bit messy and out of control. So I keep painting and crafts for the days I feel… more… in control.
I’m not exactly lazy, but I do prefer easy to prep easy to clean fun for the kids without extra stress for me. Here’s what we usually get up during the school holidays. Again it’s nothing new, but maybe it’ll help make you feel less guilty for not making homemade paint…(why do I hate homemade paint?)
- Gardening & Playing outdoors– We love being outside, of course its not an option these days, but come the summer holidays we’ll be able to spend more time outdoors. Its relatively inexpensive, we’ve just recently upgraded, from planting everything in pots, to actually putting stuff in the ground!
- Karaoke & Indoor Picnics – I have a couple of rising stars that love listening to music, and singing along. Current favourites include Adele – Hello and Charlie Puth – One Call away. Another favourite of ours, nothing fancy whatever you were going to have for lunch…eat it on the floor.
- Puzzles, Drawing, independent playing & movies –
- Puzzles can also be a bit nerve wrecking with the little one, but with deep breathing and soothing “aum” sounds, we get through it. Both kids love our jumbo floor puzzle of the solar system by Melissa & Doug.
- One of my saving graces is Kivi’s love of drawing, and its rubbing off on Thavina, a pack of jumbo crayons a pile of papers and they are sorted.
- Another gem is a good ‘toyset’, something that enables a scene to be played out, castles or pirate ships, keep them pretty entertained.
- And movies, yes, we watch TV. It’s during these activities I do leisurely things like cook supper or do the laundry.
- And last but not least NAP TIME – A gift sent down from the gods themselves. Days without naps can be long, dark and weary.
What do you get up to at home with the kids, what tips do you have for giving the kids a decent holiday, while maintaining your sanity?
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And just for fun here are a few links to some “amazing things to do with the kids” article 🙂