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 🙂
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:
- 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 www.amumtrackmind.com 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.
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?