So, that's it, the final bell of the school year has tolled and my kids are running riot. A year ago, as a novice blogger, I wrote a piece outlining my love of half term holidays. I was unaware at the time that I may have come across as a right twit to many of the parents out there who were counting the days until their monsters went back to school. To those people, I wish to apologise. Here we are at the start of the longest school break and I suspect there is a slight ball of panic beginning to form in many. Six whole weeks, how are we supposed to entertain them for six whole weeks? Since I wrote my half term blog things have changed, my cute squidgy baby is now a rampaging terrible two and my sweet five year old is now a six year old with a fearsome, sarcastic eye roll. Holidays are definitely less easy than they were a year ago. However, my vacation love has not waned, and I now know why.
I do not go gooey because I adore my children so much that I can't wait to spend every minute with them (though I actually do want to), I go weak at the knees for the chance to be Selfish. Summertime is when I am allowed to become the very definition of the term 'Selfish Mother', and I love it. Here are my top ten tips for a 'Selfish Summer'.
1- Stay in bed. What's the rush? There is no school, you do not need to force yourself, or any tiny people to wash, dress, eat and then dash across town in all weather. No, go to bed with fruit on your dressing table to lob at the infants as they start demanding, and enjoy a well earned rest.
2- On the subject, stay in your pjs as long as possible too... less washing!
3- Bring out the paddling pool. Yes I know it is a hassle. You feel a bit like passing out just at the thought of blowing it up, then you have to wait ages while it fills up (particularly if, like me, you keep forgetting to buy the Aldi Special Buy hose and you are filling it up one bucket at a time). Once it is done though, bring out the wine, put your feet up and a watch the kiddies enjoy themselves for at least twenty minutes while the sun shines.
4- Eat cake. Having the children at home is the perfect opportunity to bake, you have to entertain them somehow? It will only go off if you don't eat it now.
5- Don't tidy. What is the point? As soon as you have done it it is messed up again. Let them run riot with their toys. Most of your friends have gone away, no one will see it anyway!
6- Play dates in the park. Once your house does look like a bomb has hit it, ship those play dates out. The park makes the perfect escape. The kids are entertained, each family comes with their own snacks, so no need to cater for anyone but yourselves AND nothing for you to tidy away after (not that you are tidying obviously).
7- Buy swingball, just for the sheer entertainment factor of watching your children try and knock themselves out (bless them).
8- Indulge in the movies YOU want to watch. Ok, I'm not suggesting you stick 50 Shades on for the kiddiwinks, but go for one of YOUR childhood favourites. Buy the popcorn, pull the curtains, light some candles, the kids will love the experience as much as you love avoiding Topsy and Tim.
9- Pull in the favours... there are a lot of other people out there stuck at home with their kids, take your friend's kids for the afternoon and they can return the favour, giving both of you a childfree few hours to pop to the salon, get your nails done, or, in fact, just have a wee in private.
10- Book the holiday. You said you couldn't afford it this year but Holiday Pirates have just advertised a £99 trip to Barcelona. The kid's aced their reports, your husband is overworked, and let's face it you could use some sun. Go on, you guys earned it.
I'm going to lie, it's not all sunshine and flowers. The toddler has already bitten a chunk out of her sister's arm and we are only on day one. With my Selfish Summer tips though, I can cope with bickering and boredom, and indulge in a little Self care time instead. Summer 2017- bring it on!