Why I don’t look forward to the Summer holidays
Ah, the summer holidays. With only a few days left until I walk George through the School gates for the last time this School year I find myself feeling anxious, ridden with guilt, full of comparison and in general not looking forward to the juggle.
Each year when the summer holidays loom I seem to transform into a huge mess, a little twitchy and often found fretting in a corner as I try to plan for weeks of summer clubs, days with Nanny & Grandad and the constant juggle of where to be on what day and at what time.
Any working parent of a school-age child, will know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t been dreading what’s coming and the impossible juggle that comes with it, I need to know your secret.
This boy has limitless energy, if he isn’t on the go, playing with a ball or climbing a tree he’s asking what’s next. Which is why I feel so guilty, some days he has to be content with a nothing day and whilst in the winter he enjoys that, not so much during the summer months. This boy isn’t one to hide indoors with a Nintendo or PS4. He lives for action. He sees sunshine and wants to be outdoors.
On the one hand I’m incredibly lucky that we have supportive Grandparents who are happy to share the schedule. We’re not short of places to visit in Staffordshire that said, I do feel guilty as I know he tires them out. But seriously, who can afford summer clubs 5 days a week for the summer? It has to be a blend. This year I am working hard to help George understand that some days it’s OK and good for Nanny not to be in goal and just to enjoy reading a book or watching a movie. I’m thinking of tasking him with keeping a journal all about his summer adventures, hopefully that will help.
My biggest worry is Summer clubs. I have to think about which days he can go to a club, days that coincide with his friends going. It’s a logistical nightmare. As much as George is growing in confidence he doesn’t really enjoy a summer club without at least one friend joining him. And I get that, I would be the same. It breaks my heart when one of us has to leave him upset because looking around a room where he has no one to share the day with scares him. It’s daunting. He’s still so young. There’s nothing worse than the pull of work when your heart wants to be with your child. To hold their hand.
Running a business, which is very much in its early stages of growth means that I am limited to taking just two weeks leave during the holidays. I need to remain focussed on building the business. Mr H also works full time and like everyone else only has limited days which combined makes navigating the holidays tricky. One day, one day I hope to be able to be more available during the holidays to spend time enjoying picnics, making dens, exploring, going on adventures or even enjoying a movie day. For now it’s a juggle. One huge juggling act.
Its hard to avoid the feeling of guilt. This year I’m trying to ditch the guilt, stop comparing our family to everyone else who seems to be enjoying the break together. And not let the impending social media posts screaming for their kids to go back to School affect me. We all have our crosses to bare, mine is that I am a full-time working parent and that I cannot always be there.
How do you make holidays work for your family?
I work three days a week but also have three children, 2 of school age. It is a juggle definitely as my husband holidays are limited BUT they look so forward to that time off school it is hard not to get excited with them. So whilst it will be tough and expensive at times, I can’t wait!
It’s a huge juggle isn’t it, I can imagine harder still with more than 1 child. I look forward to our family time during the holidays, isn’t that what we live for?
I’m lucky in that i can take 2 weeks leave and another week unpaid. N then spends 3 weeks trudging round after his dad on the farm. But it’s not that much fun for him. Occasionally he’ll get to play with his cousin, and sometimes go shepherding with his uncle but the OH is usually on a tractor which is really boring for N.
I’d prefer if he went to holiday club for at least one week, to meet new friends, swim every day and play with peers rather than hanging round the farm. I have childcare vouchers stacked up so wouldnt have to pay. But the OH says he should be at home not palmed off at a club. But it’s boring for him because the OH won’t even take him to day camps or to friends’ houses for playdates. Instead he has to do those while I’m on leave which means my time with him and time booked as leave is wasted.
The actual time i can spend with him is great but it just goes by too fast.