School adds a level of complexity to the lives of busy working parents. There are strange middle-of-the-day drop off and pick up times to contend with. On top of that, for 12 weeks a year there is a logistical challenge to entertain and supervise your kids. Somehow you also need to make sure their batteries are recharged for the term ahead.
School schedules were set in the days when most families had a stay at home parent and when the average mortgage was paid on a single salary. How times have changed!
School holidays in the Story Mama household means flipping my work schedule on its head and Master 5 coming on the post office run.
This is our first official school holiday and there have been play dates in the park, cultural outings and some down time. I did laugh this morning though when Master 5 was off to his first ever day of a school holiday program. Was he wallowing around sad to be leaving Mummy at home to work? Hell no! He dressed himself at least an hour before it was time to go, right down to shoes, socks and jacket. Then he sat himself down, backpack packed and on his back ready to go. Parents of children of a similar age may be amazed by this self-dressing, independent Easter miracle. I know I was!
I had been feeling guilty about sending him to holiday care whilst he is so little. Guess I can get over that now…. He was super excited and raring to go. It is funny the ridiculous pressures and standards we put on ourselves.
So in the interests of sharing what works for our working family I am sharing some tips below:
- Ask for help. Grandparents. Aunts and Uncles. Friends with kids.
- Check out your local school holiday program. Rebates may apply.
- Be prepared: stock up on healthy snacks, craft supplies, whatever keeps them busy.
- Try not to pack too much in. Down time and free play at home will help prepare them for a busy term ahead.
- Accept that in the current day and age not all kids will be home with their parents full time during the holidays and that is OK.
- Remember that how you manage the logistics is a personal choice and don’t saddle yourself with any self judgement.
- We keep bedtime the same as term time and keep his bedtime routine the same.
So that is how we are managing school holiday’s here at Story Mama. We would love to hear how you manage it at your place? Holiday care? Send them off to Grandmas? Take extra leave from work so you can be at home with them? Tell us about it in the comments below.