School Holidays – how to thrive not just survive!
Why do the Terms go so fast as the kids get older? As Mums we ride the ebbs and flows of school terms. The ‘break’ whilst the cherubs are at school, then the final countdown is upon us. Before we know it we are looking at the calendar to see how many days left till the chaos ensues again.
I used to find the school holidays a whirlwind affair of ninja like skills from multi-skill life, kids, work, household tasks plus all the extra social activities that we would book in. And, don’t get me started on the extra food making demands and the never ending messy house! Hands-up who hears me?
Survival Issue #1 – Exhaustion hits super fast
After years and years of seeing this play-out not only in my world but also for my clients I knew I needed to do something. I wanted to create energy, be a fun Mum, get my movement in, do my work AND survive the holidays in one piece. So I created something to gain some control and to prevent me from entering school holidays exhausted before, during and after.
Does this ring any bells?
By the end of Term stress is picking up pace. You are chasing your to-do lists, juggle errands and pivoting around work. Just the thought of having the kids home, with routines out the window, and knowing that a big work project will coincide with the holidays was enough to make me dizzy. Combine this with the pressure of trying to ensure I was having quality time with the kids and making those memories became utterly exhausting. I had to do something.
Survival Issue #2 – You come second
As Mums, the first thing we we drop is our self-care including movement/exercise. We fail to notice that our energy levels are dropping, our personal space /quiet time is minimal and the feeling of exhaustion of planning an EPIC holiday leaves you pouring from an empty cup.
“The most time you will spend with your children is the first 12 years!”
The problem IS the solution – school holidays are a great way to showcase movement to your children and reduce the feeling like you are starting from scratch yet again when they go back to school.
To help me I created a school holiday planner. This became a way my family could choose activities, outings and things to do at home. With it I actively seized the opportunity to create a morning routine which allowed me to get my movement in. Scheduling it in first thing meant I knew it wouldn’t get lost in the inevitable energy lag later in the day. Once the kids were in bed, it was a prime time for my self-care activities. I set myself a goal of doing something for me, twice a week as a minimum.
Thrive Solution – Using the School Holiday Planner
Using our Planner, together we would brainstorm ideas, activities, holidays, social outings etc.
- Top Tip: Paddlepop sticks with an activity written on them is a cool idea for lucky dip days (we had a balance of $$ days and no cost days).
Now our boys are older, we use the family calendar in the kitchen but this planner served us well for many years and it eliminated the ever repeating question “what’s happening today?What are we doing?”
Our planner helped me feel in control for a few hours at least and would reduce the chaos. With it the little ones could see visually what was happening. We used drawings, stickers, pictures or attached tickets to our planner.
- Top Tip: Let’s get organised. Use this Canva Link so you can personalise it for your family.
Schedule in the holidays, plan movement, plan fun, plan connection and some well earned self-care time. And of course allow some creative spontaneity amongst the calendar too. You do not need to book yourself up solidly. A home day can be just as fun and what you need. Simple steps can really help you with time management.
Transition the planner as the years flow and kids grow and I guarantee this will make the holidays more enjoyable. Remember that you can do this!