I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with school holidays.
Yes, it’s nice to get out of the routine, the rush out the door, homework, after school activities etc, and it’s nice to hang out, do some fun things, catch up with people.
But at the same time, I can find it bloody hard. Days where I wonder if a wine at 9.30am is ok.
My three kids seem to cross the range of all behaviours – one is a challenging child (love them to bits, but most of the time they’re a pain in the butt), another who is half and half (sometimes wonderful and other times very difficult), and another who is my easy peasy.
Sometimes we have great days, where, mostly, everyone gets along ok most of the time.
And yet other days …. well, I swear they get up before me and have a ‘meeting’.
“Let’s make today one of THOSE days – where we drive Mum nut’s”. “Let’s fight like crazy over everything, let’s all have a melt down over something, and let’s do all those little things that drive her crazy – someone do a poo in the loo and forget to flush. Someone grind porridge into the carpet. And someone talk twice as loud as we normally would. And remember lots of fighting. Deal?”.
Plus, you see all the pictures on FB and Instagram of everyone having a marvelous, smiling happy time and you feel like you’re the only one about to pull your hair out. Everyone else’s children are behaving perfectly except for yours.
Sometimes it’s so easy to feel isolated with your feelings when it seems you are the only one struggling.
Well, let me tell you, this is so not true.
Most mum’s I speak too have that look of “hurry up school” towards the end of the holidays, and let’s always remember, most people just post happy pics on social media – hardly anyone posts the meltdowns, fights and talking back that goes on in families most days. So, don’t take social media as a comparison, as most of us are having days/moments where we’re struggling.
So, here’s a few things to help you get through those tough times, and things I'm trying to do myself too. And, no, they don’t include the 9.30am wine (damn it): 1. Make sure you take some time for you - where you can. I know it sounds hard, but if you make it a priority you can get some here and there.
2. Ask for help (am loving my kid’s grandparents – even if they just take one of the kids – blissful),
3. Catch up with friends or do a swap – they have yours one afternoon, you have theirs another.
4. Get into some school holiday programmes, even if it’s just a day here or there.
5. Remember to BREATHE through the tough times. You will get through this. Most kid’s crazy moments only last a short time (mostly) and they will get through it. Learn to locate your ‘calm’. Breathe deeply into your gut and walk away, or send them to their room or outside until things calm down. Learn to zip your lips, don’t lecture and ride it out.
6. Fights – separate them and send them to their room or distract until things
7. Have fun. Do something silly for the day, or have some crazy moments. Get into your kid-zone and join your kids in their crazy world. Mine seem to love charades at the moment or else all of us looking in the mirror and pulling funny faces. PJ day is a big hit too.
8. Spending time one on one – this is a great idea if you can pull it off. Sometimes they just need some connection.
9. Wear ear plugs. This truly does help – try it.
10. Smile. Sometimes I get caught up in what I’m doing or what I want them to do, that I forget to smile at them. Just a small thing to do, but it means the world to those little people.
Ultimately, we will, at some point, miss these days (sometimes hard to believe, I know – two of mine had a tv remote fight this morning, which ended with them both hitting each other. Sigh) and wish we did more fun stuff.
So, enjoy the enjoyable bits whilst you can, and try and get calmly through the other bits (whilst trying not to drink at 9.30am).