The Pressures of Half Term

We’ve just come through a long bank holiday weekend and it is now half term. I’m sure I’m not alone in the fact that I think I should be a children’s entertainer for the entire week? But why do I feel immense pressure during the holidays to be busy and do something exciting every day with the children.

I keep forgetting the fact that my children are now of an age where we don’t have to get out of the house every single day. It is so important to me that they do get some fresh air though – it does us all the world of good – so even if they are in the garden for a couple of hours I think that is sufficient enough. When they were little, Amelie was just over 2 when Charlie was born so it was extremely challenging keeping her occupied whilst trying to take care of a newborn – thank goodness for the double buggy.

I was always out and about walking with them when they were small, we would walk along Exmouth seafront in all weathers, go on the sand, walk around the marina and walk to the shops or the park. As both of them were not of school or preschool age we didn’t really have the knowledge of school holidays as every day kind of felt the same, including weekends. The days merged into one and nothing felt really different, I really loved those days and I miss them terribly.

But I guess I found them quite difficult if I’m honest, trying to keep an energetic toddler entertained when you have a tiny baby to breastfeed is more than a full time job as well as keeping up to date with housework and providing the care your family needs. I wasn’t just – and still am not – just a stay at home mum but also a housewife. Everything to do with the household/shopping/running errands/taking care of the family rests on my shoulders but I absolutely love it. I relish in the fact that I’m a stay at home mum, I’m extremely house proud and I love taking care of everyone it is one of the best (and most stressful) jobs I’ve ever had but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Since Amelie and Charlie started school I now have the pressure to be fun mum all the time, booking activities in, going on day trips which cost the earth, arranging play dates – you get the picture. But, I’m putting a stop to it and going back to the way I used to parent. My children are very lucky and have had so many exciting trips and days out already this year that I feel they have been a little spoilt and now expect to do something each weekend or each holiday. They are always asking “what are we doing next?” and I cannot sustain that kind of lifestyle – I don’t want to. We don’t need to go out all the time, they are quite happy drawing, crafting, playing games, reading or watching movies. I want to enforce some subtle changes to my parenting in preparation for the long slog of the summer holidays.

I want to enjoy the time off together whilst they are still young and not feel stressed and flustered trying to make everyone happy. So for this half term our time looks a little like this:-

TUESDAY – Food shopping / running errands / crafting / playing in the garden

WEDNESDAY – Taking the children to the gym with me / walking into town to buy a magazine/ visiting the park

THURSDAY – A day trip to Devon visiting the beach / soft play / catching up with family / dinner out

FRIDAY – Going to the garden centre for a milkshake / going on a bike ride / watching a movie

SATURDAY – Going to the skate park / feeding the ducks / cooking dinner together / playing a game

SUNDAY – A family day out with friends

The children have so much of me but I feel guilty every single day when I haven’t got enough time to be at their beck and call (even though majority of the time I am). But, I think it is important for them to know that Mummy still has to do the cooking/cleaning/laundry/bum wiping/food shopping and that they have to entertain themselves at some points. The main thing that I have to work on is to drop the mum guilt and high expectations.


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