The Truth About: school holidays

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The Truth About School Holidays

My relationship with school holidays has changed in the years since they became something to contend with. I had been lulled into a false sense of security by full time private nursery, where the only days they were closed were Christmas and New Year…

Our first year experiencing the joy of school holidays, both my husband and I were working full time. This made the holidays more hassle-filled than joy-filled. We muddled through the first six months of the school year, juggling, as you do. Then came the relief of maternity leave for me! That would solve all our problems, surely…

Of course, this meant that the next school holiday coincided nicely with the arrival of our daughter, so holidays remained firmly under the heading stressful.

And, our solution to the summer holidays that year? Moving to America… Yes, really!

By the end of that summer, the boys were ready to kill each other and we were all desperate for a return to the routine of school.

And now? In this new life of ours, with me as a stay at home mum, holidays should simply be a wonderful break from routine shouldn’t they? A time for lazy mornings and fun filled afternoons; an escape from the school run and homework.

Except of course, they are more often filled with a refrain of I’m bored.

The truth is, school holidays are hard work. While I love the escape from the school run and the general feeling of being in rush, keeping three children entertained is a challenge!

I should be grateful that both the TV and the Wii cannot hold their attention for too long, but some days, I would be very grateful if they did.

So, having now experienced several school holidays, this is what I know:

1. Children will always be bored.
2. Siblings bicker. All the time.
3. When the weather is bad, they want to go outside.
4. When the weather is good, they want to watch TV.
5. You still won’t get a lie in.
6. Holiday homework is torture for parents.
7. You can never have enough craft supplies, or wine.
8. Routine is good.
9. My children love school.
10. You will need a holiday to recover.

Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to the holidays and I thoroughly enjoy having more time together as a family. But, by the end of them? I’m very grateful for the return of the school run!

And then the fun began...
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41 thoughts on “The Truth About: school holidays”

  1. I used to dread the long 6 weeks in the summer. Waiting for the “im bored”
    Comment. I live next to a school now and the peace is nice now as there isnt anyone stealing my parking lol

  2. Oh I am so glad that I’m not the only mum out there who feels like this about school holidays….SUCH hard work! I always feel guilty when people bemoan the start of the school term and missing their children. Not me!

  3. Hahaha YES!!! I always feel bad for not enjoying the school holidays, but man is it hard work. I always love the first and even second day, but then it rapidly goes downhill from there!!! xx #thetruthabout

  4. I haven’t had to experience the summer holidays proper yet – I will continue working part time during them too, but I can just imagine the ‘I’m bored’ refrain (when you have to roll out the time honoured “only boring people get bored” which doesn’t actually help at all..) and the bickering and wracking your brain for some kind of lasting entertainment! *sigh* Ah well only another six months to go! Thanks for linking up Sara X #thetruthabout

  5. Great post – haven’t yet got to the stage of having to deal with school holidays but can imagine how stressful they can be at times and how as lovely as it is to have your children home, there is some sense of relief about the return to the routine of being back at school.

    1. Definite sense of relief! Thankfully, they really do love school, so they are always itching to get back (long may that continue!).

  6. Fiona @ Free Range Chick

    Oh my goodness, the thing I’m clinging to here is the fact that kids will always get bored. My mother is constantly making me feel bad that I’m not doing enough to entertain my kids, pointing out that they’re bored and suggesting things to do with them. I find that the days we do loads, they are all the worse for it. Today, for instance, Finley, 3, got involved with some cooking. We made pancakes, he used a manual whisk, cracked eggs, measured flour, measured milk. We also made salad, so he helped me wash and peel cucumbers, chopped green peppers, peeled an onion and sprinkled dried parsley. This is all full-on stuff for a 3-year old. We went on to do some walking, took some photos, and various other things which I’ve blocked out of my memory. And it all culminated in a whopping great meltdown whilst doing the groceries after his lunch. He doesn’t normally meltdown in public! I had to march him home and comfort him with some TV. I’m absolutely convinced that if we’d had a day free of me spoon-feeding him activities, he would have been much better, even if he did get bored. And we haven’t hit the school days yet!

    Also, totally relate to points 3 and 4. And 5 – will this ever change?


    1. 3, 4 and 5… when they leave home?! I think you are absolutely right about giving them too much to do, my kids definitely need down time, school and activities exhaust them and the holidays need to be a bit of a rest too.

  7. Ha, love this post! So much truth here. I laughed out loud at #7, never enough craft supplies or wine. The thing is, I often start the holidays or summers with such dread and worry, and then somehow the time zooms by and it’s the night before school begins and I’m (vaguely!) nostalgic for the time off.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad it made you chuckle :) If we’ve only had a few days of a break, I’m sad(ish) to see it end. But the ten weeks in the summer… definitely not!

  8. This is sooo true! Every word. Thank you so much for being honest. I feel awful when I read about people loving every second of school holidays and writing that they wish they were longer. What?!? Are they for real? I’m happy for a break and I’m happy for family time, but I always feel ready to send everyone back due to what you just wrote! :)

  9. I know what you mean here. As much I love little Z, I run out of things to do when it’s a really long period of days altogether. He has so much energy and I can barely keep up a lot of time. I’m already eyeing up a holiday club for a couple of days a week in the summer holidays!

  10. I have to disagree – I may change my mind in later years, but currently I still enjoy the holidays. Mostly because I am not a morning person, and I do enjoy having time to brush my hair and have a cup of tea before heading out! However, if they were both in school, then I would have time to myself so holidays would not be so appealing lol! #sharewithme

  11. Oh gosh this is how I feel at the moment with both my toddlers crawling all over me 24/7 I cant wait for school to start in september and be one less child to entertain all day and night and never tires ever. lol I know I am tired. I bet it gets even worse as they get older. lol Thanks so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    1. In some ways it gets easier as they get older as they can entertain themselves, but then they also get bored and decide they want to be entertained…! Thanks for hosting lovely x

  12. We aren’t near the school holiday time yet, still have a couple of years to go but I’ll probably still be working and so for me, the dread is to sort childcare out! Not got to think about it for a while though so I may have won the lottery by then! #sharewithme

  13. The Mothers say – Yep! This sounds about right………… Great post :)
    Lucas says – We do like to keep you on your toes, don’t we??????? #sharewithme

  14. Wicked World of Lucas

    I only have one kid but I know exactly what you mean especially the one about staying in when it’s sunny and wanting to go outside when its raining. I’m convinced they do it on purpose!!!!! #sharewithme

  15. You’re so lucky that your kids love school so much my dear. Although it sounds like the end of the holidays can get rather fraught, at least you know you’ll settle back into the routine and everyone will be happy again quick snap xx

  16. #7 is hilarious and #6 is true. Having been on the other side of the circle, I know when holidays come about, no matter how long or short it may be, I never gave my students homework. I’d rather have them finish what they started in class than have them endure it during their long break (where I know they’d rather be doing something else), and in turn having me endure grading it when they get back.

  17. All so true, Sara. I try and put my school-age ones in sports camps for one or two days just to break it up a bit and give them a full on dose of exercise! All the other days are hard but I go for safety in numbers and meet up with friends as much as possible! Holiday homework is a total killer! You start off thinking you’ll just do a little bit each day and …well, you know the rest. Great post! x

  18. As a teacher, I loved the holidays so much! And thats even with all the work I used to bring home! Now as a parent, I find them a double edged sword. I still look forward to them so much, an end to the school run for a while and a chance to spend time with the kids… then I realise Its impossible to work while the kids are home and everything they want to do costs money! Now there are 2 at school its even harder, and Elsie was born on the day half term started so I know you know how that went!! I find the younger ones react differently when the older ones are home too. Its a hard juggling act! x x x

    1. I think that’s right, they are a double edged sword. Part of me loves the freedom from routine, but another part just finds it so exhausting!

  19. Pingback: The Truth About: school holidays | LAB

  20. Hello there, we have just done our school application and have all of this to come from September! I so know what you mean about private nursery, ours is open until 6.30pm and so we have been spoilt-all change from the end of the year though, so thank you for a glimpse of the future! x #sharewithme

  21. I always look forward to the school holidays and then half way through (or sooner) i start running out of things to do and Z never wants to stop. They are lovely but oh so tiring1

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