I made the decision to move to a term time only contract a year ago, Mum guilt had crept in! I felt I needed a better work/life balance and to spend some quality time with my children while they were still young and I was really lucky when the opportunity presented itself – at the perfect time
I was also really looking forward to having six week break!
The first half term I had off was definitely a case of being careful what you wish for! I felt I was constantly managing arguments over who had the toy first, who had the most drink in their cup, who breathed over who!! Inevitably I would end up upsetting one of my children who would then proceed to scream and cry and this in turn felt like a never-ending cycle. Whilst T.V. and iPad’s provided some much needed relief I didn’t want my children indoors all day and not being active, especially for six weeks!
With less money coming in, I gave myself a weekly budget for entertainment. I made a list of outdoor and indoor activities (as you can never rely on the Great British weather) including what we could do for free as well as what had a cost attached. Looking at Local Authorities website is a great place to find free events and services happening in the area. Libraries are a good source of information too and often have activities running keeping children of all ages entertained. A parent also informed me about “Hoop” a free app which highlights events happening locally according to your child’s age.
Finally I time tabled what the children and I wanted to do and if I was able to keep my spending to a minimum during the week I would then treat the children to a more elaborate day out on our list of activities. I found play dates to be cheap and enjoyable, it is also an opportunity for parents to offload while the children played together. Picnics are a cost effective way of keeping spending to a minimum, here are some great ideas of what to pack in a lunch box.
Remember it is always good to be one step ahead when parenting and to factor time for yourself (easier said than done I know!). The six weeks holiday can be a stressful time for many parents and it is important you have some time when your calm and relaxed as it means you will be better equipped to manage when problems occur. Here are some activity ideas from the Triple P parenting team.
Please let us know of any useful tips you have of surviving the long summer break. #sharingiscaring
By Sue Brown