When the boys were toddlers I used to dread the holidays. No toddler groups, no toddler only swimming, the park would be full of big kids and woe betide trying to do to soft play without an older and larger child pushing my poor smaller babes.
Yes I really did hate the holiday times. In fact I would sometimes sit and cry at the thought of what I was going to do to keep them occupied without our regular hangouts and places to go. Even story time at the library was cancelled over the school holidays.
I felt that I needed to have a routine. that my whole world would collapse without the organised, regimented activities that we did each holiday. I used to fool myself that the children needed these things. That they needed to socialise and be with other children, but the real truth is that I NEEDED to go to these things. I needed the adult company that going to a regular activity brough. Those Tuesday morning toddler group at the Church was the only hot cup of coffee I got all week and what’s more it was always made with hot milk!
The boys with the Frugals!
My two boys are fifteen months apart and going to these activities often kept one of them occupied whilst I could concentrate on the other or even better kept them both busy for five minutes peace. I was never one to have friends at the groups, but I did used to enjoy getting out of the house and away from the monotony of the early years of parenting.
When other parents, inevitably the ones with school age children would tell me they looked forward to the holidays I would inwardly wonder if they were mad!
However, I couldn’t feel any different now they are both older and in school full time. I long for the holidays. For the lack of routine and the ability to relax and slow down. I love the fact that there is no rush in the mornings to get ready and get to school. That we can be a little more relaxed about bedtimes and really enjoy each others company.
I love the thought of not having a week of activities planned and being able to just go with the flow. If we fancy fish and chips at the beach there is nothing stopping us. Want to try a different park? Yep lets just jump in the car! We all love getting so engrossed in an activity that the hours role by and we have no where we HAVE to be.
In fact the longer the holiday the better. One week is too short, it takes a week for the boys to decompress and stop fighting with each other. The second week is much better, they learn to make there own fun. To cooperate with each other. They start to get into the groove of playing out with friends and making their own games.
But what do you think? Are you a school holiday lover or hater?