Meeting the Summer hols with Mindfulness – part 1.

Today my son broke up from school and tomorrow I do the same.  This means that, in theory from now until 5th September we can do, pretty much, what the heck we like…. as long as we can accommodate two spirited and curious toddlers in our plans too 🙂

3 monkies

It’s fair to say that I am meeting the summer holidays with a mixture of emotions.  In fact even writing this post my hands are growing clammy (or CLAMMIER – it’s blooming hot at the moment) and my chest is tightening a little – all the signs are that I’m feeling a little nervous of the  impending doom challenge that is about to beset me.  So I’ve been trying to unpick what I am nervous about.

In no particular order I am aware that I am concerned about:nervous-sweating-woman

  • making sure I keep my ‘eye on the ball’ so everyone is safe and well
  • making sure the kids don’t notice that I’m worrying about ‘keeping my eye on the ball’ so they enjoy a playful, fun and carefree summer
  • making sure I get enough downtime/sleep/rest to be able to be a cheerful and fun mum and enjoy these weeks together (and to continue to keep my ‘eye on the ball’)
  • minimalising how irritable I can get when I am sleep deprived/knackered/running on nervous energy.

However, call me naive but there is also the ‘Mindful Mummy’ who is feeling excited, (almost giddy) about the weeks ahead of us.  I’ve been inspired by lots of the lovely summer holiday ‘bucket list’ type posts out there at the moment including this one from Fi at and know that these are the times when memories are made (hopefully good ones) and I will get to spend heaps of time with my fave people.

Interestingly my  feelings of excitement are combined with very similar physical sensations to the ones I sense when exploring my anxiety (see this excellent article from Marie Claire about dealing with anxiety as excitement and how this can help us with our stress).  So what am I feeling excited about?

In no particular order I am really looking forward to:

  • spending lots of time outdoors with the 3 kids and our/their friends – at the park, at the seaside, in the garden
  •  not having to watch the clock so much – for school pick-up, drop off, for my own lessons on the days that I teach and for bedtime
  • spending time as a five – my hubby has 2 weeks off and it will be great to hang out together and to be a bit more adventurous with our outings when it is not just me by myself with the tots.  We are so lucky to live in London with all that it has to offer, as well as having the north Kent coast on our doorstep, having family on the Lincolnshire coast to visit and having a short break at Center Parcs booked too. We may even finally make it to Peppa Pig World as we’ve been threatening to for years!
  • having rainy day craft sessions at home.



We are so lucky to have a World Heritage Site on our doorstep and so are never short of things to do!


I anticipate that there will be ‘ups and downs’ over the next few weeks but as long as I keep things simple and resist my urge to plan too many activities into our days then hopefully I will be able to live by my over-riding intention for this summer – of being as flexible as possible.  What I mean by this is that I am going to try really hard to take into consideration the children’s changing moods, needs, wants and adapt accordingly rather than having a fairly rigid schedule that we stick to NO MATTER WHAT. And let’s be honest we have this ‘busyiness’ in our days because it makes ME feel more comfortable when I look at my calendar and see it filled with STUFF – it’s not always about the children.

So, so far I have roughly two days per week where we can get up and be spontaneous.  This means we can see what the weather is like, see how well we all slept (or didn’t), monitor everyone’s mood, see who else is around and see where the day takes us i.e. live more in the moment.  I hope to keep it like this from now on so I will try super hard not to make too many more plans to fill the summer’s days.

My secondary intention is to try really hard not to have the TV on too much on our ‘free’ days.  I’ll let you know how we get on!

Let me know what intentions you have for the summer break.

Planning or spontaneity –  what works best for you and your family?




Two Tiny Hands
You Baby Me Mummy
The Pramshed
Petite Pudding
My Random Musings
Pink Pear Bear


  1. min1980
    July 21, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    I’ve been off for a few weeks already as my school has a particularly long summer holiday (I know, I’m lucky) and it has been lovely to spend some time with my son. I do have a lot of grand plans for the summer though-mostly buying a house and learning to drive. The first one is going well so far, but the second I haven’t yet started! Enjoy your summer. #abrandnewday

    • July 23, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Oooo yes you have a busy summer ahead of you – good luck with it all. x

  2. July 22, 2016 / 11:48 am

    I’m going to try and get the children out and to park every day around 9 before it gets hot and busy. I want to make sure we do plenty of inexpensive things this holiday. Last year my tot was just a baby, my daughter wouldn’t travel anywhere on foot and I’ve just finished maternity leave and not returned to work, so it was a long (and skint) summer. I can’t wait for this one!
    #ABrandNewDay x

    • July 23, 2016 / 9:35 pm

      That does sound like a tough summer in 2015, I really hope you have a fab time in 2016 and thanks for commenting. x

  3. July 22, 2016 / 6:08 pm

    I love center parcs you will have a fab holiday 🙂 enjoy your six weeks of freedom #TheList x

    • July 23, 2016 / 9:36 pm

      Thank you. I hope you have a great summer too. x

  4. twotinyhands
    July 22, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Yes, yes, spend lots of time out doors, all that fresh air will make them sleep better hopefully! My summer holidays are due in about 4 years time! For the time being I have mine ALL the time so I really don’t have to do anything different! Thanks for linking up to #Abrandnewday

    • August 4, 2016 / 4:25 pm

      Hee hee – just enjoy the longer days and the milder weather to do more of your exciting adventures with the Robot! x

  5. Kate Orson
    July 23, 2016 / 7:30 am

    We do a lot of planning for our summer holiday. As we live abroad in Switzerland we come back to the UK for the summer to see all our friends and relatives. But I love having unplanned downtime too! I think it’s a great idea, to stick to your child’s needs rather than have a strict schedule. My daughter has been a great teacher when it comes to learning to have downtime rather than rushing around the place. She really enjoys lazy days at home, as well as more exciting days!

    • July 23, 2016 / 9:38 pm

      Yes we do tend to learn from the kid’s about slowing down to the pace of life – a balance is so important. Hope you have a fab summer and enjoy being back in the UK (despite the ‘hot tracks’ slowing down the trains, unfortunately we don’t have the Swiss efficiency here!) x

  6. July 24, 2016 / 11:21 am

    I will likely use a mix of both spontaneity and planning. My daughter is only 3 months old so there’s not too much we can do with her yet. Thank you for joining us at #fortheloveofBLOG!

  7. July 24, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    Definitely looking forward to these weeks too! I agree that planning too much is a recipe for disappointment when it comes to little ones, so I prefer the spontaneity option myself! #PuddingLove

  8. July 24, 2016 / 8:14 pm

    Oooh I wish you well on your summer holiday adventures. I am a planner through and through so I have already planned an activity for every day of the 6 week holidays! haha. #PuddingLove

    • August 4, 2016 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you Lucy – I really hope you have a great time too. x

  9. July 27, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    Sounds like me! I am off over the summer too with my children 🙂 I like to book in stuff to do for a few days a week and then have a few days free to be spontaneous (or not!) Hooray for no clock watching too 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #puddinglove

    • August 4, 2016 / 4:29 pm

      Yay – we seem to be fairly like-minded in lots of ways. Have a lovely summer and I hope the mindfulness is going well. x

  10. August 1, 2016 / 6:48 pm

    I’m exhausted just reading about your planned summer! We do a mixture of planned and unplanned, but Eden is only 7 months old so isn’t very mobile yet. I think my anxiety will increase tenfold when there is even half a chance of her running off. You’re doing a great job! #bigpinklink

    • August 4, 2016 / 4:30 pm

      Ah yes it does get a bit more hectic but also (in my opinion) more fun too! Thanks for commenting. x

  11. August 2, 2016 / 6:53 am

    I agree with you! I’m enjoying the holidays so far but like you conscious not to over plan too much and keep some days clear to be spontaneous. Have fun! #BigPinkLink X

  12. August 2, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    We have nothing planned for the holidays and it feels me with dread! Like you I prefer a calendar stuffed with things to do or see, but unfortunately this year we are flying more by the seat of our pants. Its week two and I am already floundering!! Enjoy your time with the kids 🙂 #PuddingLove

    • August 4, 2016 / 4:31 pm

      Oh no Zoe – I really hope things have got better. Much love and take care. x

  13. thimumslife
    August 4, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    I can see how it must be quite daunting to go from a structured working day, to having to be chief entertainment officer for 3 children!! It’ll be lovely to have your husband around to help for a couple of weeks. It seems such a good idea for you have a well balanced mixture of things planned, and some spontaneity!! Sometimes the spontaneous days are the best ones! Neither of my children are at school yet, so having both of them everyday on my own is still the norm for me, so our routine is pretty much still the same!! We’ve already been away 4 times since May, so we’ve done really well for trips!! And I also live in a city, so for the rest of the summer holidays, I hope to find interesting activities for the children, that wouldn’t normally be on during term time, to give them a break from their usual playgroups etc!! Have a lovely summer!!

  14. August 4, 2016 / 4:40 pm

    Totally with you on the structure thing – for the sake of all our sanity! One of my kids is great at using their imagination and entertaining herself but the other works better having direction so I have a list of things that need to be ticked off each day that he can do (and actually they aren’t allowed screen time until these are done!) Washed, dressed, made beds, 30mins in the garden, a craft project, 20 mins reading, a job for Mummy (sorting laundry into colours or wiping down the paddling pool or something – funnily enough they usually really enjoy their little task. OK so I may have to do it again myself but you have to start somewhere right??!) 20 mins reading, 20mins of worksheets to keep their brains from seizing up completely over the hols (just writing practice or a word puzzle or something – I’m not that mean honestly!) It really does help on days that we don’t have anything special planned. #ablogginggoodtime

  15. July 31, 2018 / 9:57 am

    I’m working at being as present as possible, so we can take in all o fthe good times that summer presents us! Love your honest take, and jealous I am not the SAHM, even just for the summer… #thesatsesh xoxo

  16. August 7, 2018 / 7:35 pm

    #thesatsesh I am awful at planning… my schools weeks are planned every 15mins so the holidays means i don’t plan a thing, this makes us spontaneous and really gives my school bell head a break. Although you have reminded me to write a post on all the things J has listed to do this holiday. enjoy x

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