How have your summer holidays been?
Some mums love the holidays, enjoying the freedom and lack of school runs, ferrying children to clubs, packed lunches and ironing school uniform. Others dread the seemingly endless hours that need to be planned, organised, and ‘got through’ without much of a break or time to recharge. I seem to vacillate between the two, loving it one morning, frustrated the next.
The two things I struggle with most over the school summer holidays are the constant mess and the repetitive, needless arguments.
The never-ending mess that my children make, and the noise and anger they express when they are arguing really affect me. However much I try not let it get to me it seems to tip me towards feelings of overwhelm and stress. Basically, they make me feel like I’m out of control.
You would have thought that after 10 years of parenthood I would have got used to these feelings – after all children seem to be designed to make you feel out of control. But I suppose I have to accept myself as I am, without judgement and keep trying compassionately to work out ways to improve.
Over the last year what I’ve learnt from my new mindfulness practice has helped me to react more calmly and carefully, and cope with noisy and messy situations better. I am also trying to ‘get comfortable with the discomfort’, which means acknowledging what is going on, and focussing on the feeling rather than trying to change it. This is as difficult for a beginner as it sounds, so I’m not having a huge amount of success!
Overall though, my school holiday’s have gone well. We didn’t kill each other and actually had some fun. The Olympics were amazing, and we were lucky enough to take the kids so see 3 events – although they did get fed up with me saying: “But it’s the Olympics. In London! Never again in your lifetime!”
As always the summer flew by and I can’t believe they are back to school next week.
It would be great if you could comment below on what you love and hate about the school holidays and what strategies you use to get the most out of them.