There are just two weeks to go until the kids break up for the Summer Holidays. While many of us are looking forward to the lazy mornings and time off with the kids, for other parents it can be a time of apprehension. Whether you’re worried about who will look after the kids while you’re at work or how to keep the kids amused for six long weeks, read on for five tips to keep your summer holiday as stress free as can be.
1. Organise Your Childcare
The biggest worry among working and busy parents can be who will look after the kids while they’re at work. Plan this first so you get to relax and enjoy the free time you have with them. While you may have a childminder, family member or play-scheme in place for long term childcare, it can be difficult to cover those occasional days when you have to go into the office or to cover while your childminder takes a holiday.
For occasional childcare you can find a babysitter with Sitters. As well as evening babysitting and hotel childminding they can offer daytime childcare in your own home. This can be useful for work at home parents too when they have a deadline to meet.
Sitters was created by parents for families like yours, they offer professional childcare all around the UK for an hourly fee (you pay nothing until your first booking is complete – guaranteed. After that, membership costs just over £1 per week).
2. Plan Your Summer Holidays
In addition to our family calendar I always sit down and make a “Summer Holiday Planner” with the kids. First I add all the important dates such as work days, appointments and holidays. Then we plan what we can do on our free days. By planning, it’s easier to budget the holidays. There are lots of fun free days out that you can enjoy as a family and each of the kids get to choose a “treat day” that they want to experience during summer break whether that’s a visit to the cinema or a trip to a local theme park.
3. Be Prepared
I always have a rucksack packed ready for our days out. We never go anywhere without foldaway raincoats, a sun hat, sun tan lotion and a bottle of water. Our wellies are ready by the back door in case it’s a particularly muddy day. As soon as our swimming costumes and towels come out of the wash we pack them again ready for beach and pool days.
Packed lunches don’t end when school’s out. We pack a picnic each night so we’re ready to get up and out of the house the next day. I find the day is easier if we just “get up and go”. If you prefer to pack your picnic in the morning that’s fine- do what works best for you. Picnics not only save money but they’re fun too. Even if your plans change garden and indoor picnics are an enjoyable way to dine. Check out healthy lunch ideas for toddlers for picnic inspiration.
5. Meet up With Friends
Spending every day alone with the kids can feel isolating as the weeks go on. I find that arranging to meet up with friends and their kids:
- encourages us to go out more (no excuses to cancel if we’ve made plans)
- means the kids have more fun as they have their friends to play with
- also means the kids behave better (they don’t “argue” with other kids as they can do with siblings)
- makes me relax more and enjoy the day- chatting to friends is the best medicine!
A relaxed and happy parent makes for relaxed and happy children so remember to make time for yourself in the holidays too. Sitters also offer evening babysitting so you could make a later booking and enjoy a date night.
What tips do you have for a stress free summer holiday?