My son has only just finished his Reception year at school and already I don’t like the school holidays. Yes I know that he’s learnt a lot, and developed massively on all fronts since he started, but I’ve been dreading the summer holidays for weeks. Here’s why:
1. Term Time Only?
I also have a daughter who is nearly three and during term time we’d got into a nice pattern of weekly classes and activities for her. Swimming, gymnastics, Tumble Tots etc. But come the summer holidays and everything stops. She doesn’t understand why we’re not doing the fun things any more, and I have to find alternatives to occupy her as well as her big brother.
2. Pressure To Perform
No, not like that! But there’s a certain element of feeling like I should be taking the kids away on holiday or to the (super expensive) theme parks (see also mum guilt below). Whilst my daughter wouldn’t know her Peppa Pig World from her Thomas Land at her age, my son now hears about the fabulous adventures his classmates are going on.
3. Nobody Gets A Lie-in
OK, before we had kids, a day off from work meant a nice long lay-in and lazy breakfast. Heck, we even stayed over in hotels once in a while. During the holidays there’s none of that. Despite the fact that none of us have to get up for anything, the kids still wake up before 6am!
4. The Build Up
My son comes home from school bouncing all over the place and still full of physical energy. However, I know that he’s mentally tired and he’s especially grumpy and generally teenager-like when we’re nearing the holidays. Does he take it easy, catch up on sleep and emerge angelic from a good rest? What do you think?!
5. The Guilt
I am generally OK at feeding my kids, protecting them from danger and keeping them alive. I’m not the world’s best mum but I’m doing alright I think. I have my fair share of mum guilt on a daily basis, especially when it comes to work vs. time spent with the kids. Come the holidays and that guilt ramps up ten-fold. I absolutely love my kids to bits, would do anything for them and can’t imagine life without them. But I just can’t face the prospect of them all day every day. I’m just not that sort of mum, much as I’d like to be. I need to have my own space, where I can feel in control of something and sit down for more than one minute at a time. Luckily my husband and I co-parent and have lots of local family to help out, but even that makes me feel bad. Yes my kids are having an awesome time, being spoiled rotten and getting up to all sorts of fun. But it’s not with me, and it’s just highlights that I’m not chomping at the bit to be with them 24/7.