Being a Mum is hard work. That’s just a fact. The Summer Holidays can be especially hard when there’s no set routine and you’re feeling under pressure to do everything and keep the kids entertained. So this post is just to say be kind to yourself, it’s okay for everything not to be about the kids. You need to make sure your needs are being met too!
Be kind to yourself, it’s not all about the kids this summer, and that’s okay!
Here are ten ways you can be kind to yourself this school holidays.
1. Try and share the load a little. Think about asking relatives to have your kids for a short stint. Two days spread across six weeks is not much for them, but knowing you have a break coming is invaluable for you. If you don’t have relatives who are able to help them think about teaming up with some friends and offer to have their kids for one day and they can return the favour which means you get a ‘day off’ once in a while.
2. Arrange for friends who live further away to come and stay, they may have their kids too – but sharing the load and the chat over wine when the kids are in bed is better than going it alone.
3. Plan a night or two out over the six weeks with your Mama friends. Everyone needs some time out and knowing it’s in the diary not only makes it more likely to happen but gives you something to look forward to.
4. Keep a record on your family calendar of what you’ve done each day, even if it’s going to the park or scootering to the shops. By the end of the six weeks you’ll look back and feel you’ve really achieved something and it gives you a positive feeling to record what you’ve done for that day.
5. Get your partner on board, explain that the days are long without routine. You’re the one who isn’t getting a break. See if one day a week they can leave later for work to help with breakfast or come home just a bit earlier. Small things make a difference when you’re ‘It’ for the six weeks. Your partner needs to know it’s not all ice creams at the park and picnics for lunch.
6. Introduce quiet time, we have ours after lunch, when we’re at home, it replaced nap times for the Small Boy and we’ve kept it up! Everyone sits down for around an hour and watches TV, iPad or reads. By enforcing it I find they’re less likely to want to sit and watch telly at other times. It also means you get an hour to yourself everyday to read a book, catch up with your Facebook feed, paint your nails or watch something on the iPlayer. You need to look after yourself too and feeling guilty is not what it’s for!
7. Try to do some of the things you like to do yourself with the kids. For me it’s baking, I love to bake and even if it’s just buns or bread the kids love to help and we all get something out of it. Before you start get into the mindset of knowing it’s not how t’s going to be when you enjoy these things on your own, but none the less it’s something you do really enjoy. It might be gardening or walking, but you choose what it is and they will pick up on your enthusiasm and enjoy it too.
8. Be kind to yourself. Teachers and nursery staff get coffee breaks, lunch times and get to go home at the end of the day – you don’t! So don’t beat yourself up when it gets tough. If I need time out in the middle of the day I have been known to lock myself in the bathroom for five minutes with my phone and just be ON.MY.OWN for a couple of minutes, when you’re a full time Mama 14+ hour days are not unusual so five minutes on your own (although you’re not really on your own) is okay!
9. Meet up with other Mamas. Don’t invite them to yours (playdates can be hard work with extra tidying up before and after!) go somewhere you like to go, a coffee shop is always a good bet for me. I feel like I’m part of normal society for a bit, the kids are happy with a gingerbread man and I can chat to to another human grown up for a short amount of time.
10. Try and enjoy it. It is only six weeks. My kids love their summer holidays, playing in the garden, late nights and they get do to loads of things they don’t normally get to enjoy. So even if you’re stuck in all day and they’re just mooching around the house, that’s okay! Try and hold on to that thought in your tougher moments. You’re giving your children the chance to be kids, which in today’s age is so infrequent. Everyone needs time to just chill, so don’t feel guilty for not packing every moment full of making memories!