School is out for the holidays, and I find myself probably more excited than the children! As a working mum trying to maintain, and grow a business, run a household and juggle children and their active social lives I am very much looking forward to the more relaxed pace the holidays bring.
My top 5 list of likes:
No school run – meaning snuggles and cuddles in mummys bed in the morning with extraordinarily bad kids tv on
Enjoying breakfast together – treats of pancakes with very bad for you toppings, rather than the usual throwing of cereal in a bowl with milk
No pressure on time – we can do what we want, when we want
No strict bedtime – kids get to stay up past their normal bedtime, which sometimes (not always!),means that they might, just might sleep later in the morning!
Fun activities- We have rules – only 1 paid for activity per week, the rest have to be free – we are afterall like all families – on a budget. This is great, as it means we have to be inventive, the kids get to use their imagination and appreciate it’s the time together, not what we spend that’s important.
During the last holidays, I wasn’t too organised with things to do, and I got the inevitable ‘I’m BORED mum’ far too many times for my liking, there was a lot of frustration on my part, which in turn led to grumpy mum and grumpy kids, with a fair bit of falling out, snapping at each other and arguments.
I read quite recently about a highly respected couples therapist called Dr. John M. Gottman who did some intensive research and came up with the ‘magic ratio’ in all relationships that it takes 5 positive acts to balance out 1 negative.
A pretty high ratio I thought! Heavens, for each and every time I’ve got cross, spoken harshly, dismissed my kids – I need to do 5 positive acts – that’s giving me quite a mountain to climb..in fact Everest sprung to mind.
The good news was that the positive actions required to counteract the negative ones don’t have to be grand acts of kindness. A smile, a loving touch or ‘I love you’ counts – PHEW! Apparantly its all about spending time doing the things they like to do – no matter if that’s playing games on the tablet (thankfully!), baking buns or a trip to the park.
I figured that I am in quite some debt in terms of positive actions to counteract the arguments, yelling and rolling of eyes that took place during the last lot of holidays… but these type of things I can do.. afterall.. it’s the holidays - time to work of the debt
Occupying your children during the holidays is not always an easy task – especially on a budget and with our totally unpredictable weather. A day trip to the park with picnic is often postponed in favour of a Pyjama day when on waking discovering a down pour! So this time around I've decided to get them more involved in deciding how we were going to best fill our time.
We’ve introduced activity jars – all containing FREE activities - one jar with ideas of what we can do in good weather, and one with ideas of what we can do if its bad weather. We pick one out (depending of our first look out of the window in the morning and deciding on what we think the weather might do). These activities are all things we’ve all come up with together – in the hope that the ‘I’m BORED’ response will be kept to a minimum!
What are your ideas for the summer - love to hear them