Okay, I admit it – I dread the summer holidays! I can’t help it – I am a creature of habit and routine, and whilst not having to get my daughter out of bed to go to school is nice, I then drift into the realms of oh god, I’m not being productive, the house is a mess, my child is bored! Guilt piles upon guilt and before the first week is out, I’m miserable, and feeling even guiltier!
Of course I love my little girl her more than anything else on this planet, but in order to get the most out of our extended time together, it is really important that I plan! I do need time to keep the house in order, and I do need time to myself – not least because I am trying to keep Waste Not Want Not going through the holidays as well! And she needs time to be her too.
I have tried different approaches to the summer holidays over the last few years from trying to cram too much into too short a time, accepting every invitation, to doing no planning at all and ‘going with the flow’! The latter I can tell you, is hell on earth for me – it always ends in disaster! So this year, for the second year running, we have created a ‘summer holidays planner’ between us! It’s a fun project to kick off the holidays – means we have a good shot at seeing everyone we said we would see, and helps us to avoid starting holiday life on the back foot!
I have also been very pro-active this year about planning play dates, borrowing other people’s children to look after so she’s got somebody to play with (she’s an only!), trying to find the odd activity where I can drop her off, and also accepting that Henry Danger is going to feature in our lives at some point and I just need to get over it!
We don’t spend a fortune on days out – it’s just not us! But we plan one or two days out with friends that we don’t see very often, and make sure we spend time with our cousins as well. And we try and have the odd ‘daddy/daughter’ day too, where he takes the strain – he basically spoils her – they are her favourite days!
One thing I must always remember is that one day I will be longing for the days when she and I were just she and I, and that is why I try and make the most of the time that we have together!
Anyway, here’s how Ella and I create our ‘Holiday Masterplan!
What You Will Need
- 1 large or 2 large pieces of paper – A1 is ideal
- masking tape
- Post It notes
- stickers – we collect stickers from every single sticker book she’s not finished over the years, and have a massive stash for projects like this
- colouring pens
How to Do It!
- Tape the big piece of paper to the table – it makes life a lot easier.
- Measure out six weeks of seven days – perfect for practising our maths skills as well – give ourselves an extra pat on the back for being great parents! Mark things up with weekly boxes.
- Write on separate Post It notes everything you would really like to do in the holidays, be it things at home, or days out. Also write down who you would like to see – friends, family, etc.
- Write in things that are already in the calendar – holidays, days out already set, etc.
- Then work out the rest! Stick the Post-It notes on until you are satisfied that you’ve got an even spread of things. We then write things in in pen that are pretty much certain because the Post It notes lose their stick over 6 weeks, but for things that might change, just leave them on Post It Notes for now!
- Best bit of all, decorating with stickers! We theme our holidays with certain things – last year we went to Germany, and had a Minion theme for that period – playing with friends might have a different symbol, and we add in drawings too!
- Enjoy the summer holidays! And don’t worry if you don’t stick to your plan! It’s there to help you, not taunt you!