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Juggling Children’s Summer Holidays – Some Winning Tips

By 11th August 2021Studio Chit Chat

Summer holidays are always a bit of a challenge for a working parent. Last summer, I feel like I barely saw my children. And I’m sure that many other parents are in the same position. 

So Much to Juggle

There is just so much to squeeze into each day, work commitments, chores, meals and the kids! 

Ok, so last year was a bit of an odd and extreme situation as we came out of lockdown. Every small business owner had to be nose to the grindstone. Picking up the pieces and putting their business back together after all the lockdown chaos. But all the same, I’m determined never to miss such a big chunk of my kid’s childhood again.

children running in topiary garden.

Running round a National Trust garden. We get so much out of these visits. The gardens are always beautiful and such an inspiring place to play!

Making Children Happy

It’s a very simple thing that makes our children truly happy. We don’t need fancy camps or activity days, 0r big expensive toys or designer clothes. The best thing we can give them is us. The chance for them to be with their favourite people. We are the secret. Nothing makes a child more happy than their parents being present and actively engaged in whatever activity is on the table.

My children are eleven and twelve.  The elder is about to turn thirteen so I know that we don’t have long left of these golden days. I want to lap up every remaining moment. 

Selfie in front of a monument.

We made it! It was the end of the day visiting Shugborough, but we decided to climb the hill and look at one more thing.

Plan Your Summer

If you want something to happen, you need to plan for it. We sat down and thought about the things we wanted to do. Then we looked at the days we have available, and popped everything in the diary. A little bit of camping, a bit of swimming, sailing, a festival and lots of National Trust visits. Just a day or two here and there. Something nice for each week, and away from screens.  

adult and child sat on the floor playing with Sylvanian toys.

Making our own evening entertainment! A bit novel, but we had a Sylvanian talent show. Everyone was in charge of making a different creature perform.

Can You Tweak Your Work Hours?

I work from home three days a week. So on these days, I’ve got up that little bit earlier to crack on.  I’ve been able to squeeze more into less days and free up just a bit more time. I know that’s not possible for everyone. But if you think it would work for you, it’s worth asking your boss if you can tweak your hours a bit for these few weeks. As long as the work gets done, what’s the harm?

family sat around at a campsite.

Settling into camping at Old Hall in Coniston. Lots of good food and company and even my little niece had her first few nights under canvas.

Be Present and Engaged

So you’ve decided on your activities, you’ve got your time with the kids.  Now for the magic ingredient; You must be present and engaged. Play the game too, or join in the craft. Don’t just be a childminding spectator. Just a few minutes of you joining in will validate your children and fill them up with happiness. Then they’ll be off, being more independent, more confident, and that’s when you can sit back, relax and just watch these amazing little people doing their thing.

We’ve painted stones, been for walks, played cricket and frisbee, visited family, cooked together and more and it has been fabulous. I bet you will be surprised at how much you enjoy it once you get involved! Have fun, be daft!

Five posing in a Greek folly in Shugburough Gardens

Definitely being daft here! When we found this folly in Shugburough gardens we just had to make some shapes!

A Challenge

Squeezing so much into these six weeks does have a price though. I’m definitely a bit more tired than normal and the house is messier. Some things have to slip when fun is the priority, we can’t do everything! But who cares,  we are busy making moments, and as I said, my babies are growing up and next year, or the year after, they might not want my input or company, in fact who knows what tomorrow will bring. So let’s make the most of right now! And don’t forget to photograph these special days, or write them down.

 

Have a great day!

 

Eleanor x

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