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|| TIP TUESDAY #15 ||

Posted by Miracle Staff at

This is an old pic – but a goodie. I think it was the January school holidays last year. 5 kids picnicking in the boot of my car outside Toitu to a) avoid the rain and b) not spend my life savings on lunch at a café most of which they wouldn’t eat anyway. 

School holidays are such a mish mash of emotions aren’t they? All the feels. 

The kids are always completely drained and bordering on, if not already sick by the end of term and they are usually well and truly ready for a break from school. I mean, all those expensive extracurricular activities and the hardship of being educated in a first world country with warm, dry and functional facilities and phenomenal teachers must just be flipping exhausting. School holidays are the perfect opportunity for kids to rest and recuperate, eat all the biscuits and refuse to get dressed altogether. For some families, it’s an awesome time to consume half a day packing the car, leave two hours behind schedule and stop 76 times for wees, poos, voms and up-ended ice cream only to spend a few days doing the same shit you do at home but with a different view out the window. 

I’m kidding. I actually do really love the holidays. It is wonderful to sneak in those extra minutes and hours with the kids here and there. They’re pretty darn fabulous and extraordinarily funny as it turns out. 

Now I say sneak in here and there because I have come to discover that all those years of trying to balance and coordinate work, life, kids, the house, your partner, the extended family, friends and time for yourself are all actually just real life training for the ultimate juggling act – the school hols. 

I’ve tried both approaches, planning them out weeks in advance and also leaving it all to the last minute. I can’t recommend one over the other as there are just so many variables. Kids get sick, plans fall through, the weather doesn’t play ball, yada yada yada. Now that the kids are bigger, I tend to muddle through with a combination of time spent with me, their dad, friends, grandparents, cousins, coming with me to work and padlocking them into the trampoline. 

There’s no doubt about it, the holidays are great opportunity to spend more time with our beloved offspring but they can be a logistical nightmare. I’m no parenting guru and you can tell me to get knobbed but here are 3 of my top tips that seem to help us muddle through the breaks from school;

1) I know I sound like pretentious twat saying this but I keep the kids off the screens as much as possible and stock up on library books. Honestly, the less they have the screens the less they seem to ask for them. And then you don’t have those hideous “my child is possessed” episodes trying to get them off the screens either. I actually don’t even have wifi at home so in all honestly I’m less of a pretentious git and more just a sad ass technophobe.

2) If we’re having a crunchy morning (or afternoon or evening) and someone who shall remain unnamed (Bea) got up on the wrong side of bed, getting them outside for a play or an adventure or walk to the supermarket to buy bread, almost always results in her forgetting to be totally foul anymore. It’s like the cold air just slaps the sass away. 

3) I don’t have a lot family here in Dunedin, so I tend to rely on the highly sophisticated “I’ll look after your kids on Wednesday if you look after mine on Friday” exchange programme. Safety in numbers and all of that. Try it with friends who have kids different ages to your own. I reckon that works best of all. No petty fights and lots of looking after each other. And there’s nothing like the feeling of dropping them off at your mate’s place with a bag of mandarins and tub of hummus totally guilt free because you had their kids last week and all they brought over was a tummy bug. 

What are your tips and suggestions for muddling through the holidays? 

And let’s all drink a toast tonight to the school holidays eh? More time with the kids and let’s face it, not having to make lunches every night is quite the midlife thrill.

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