Tuesday 4 April 2017

Staying Sane during School Holidays

It feels like just a few weeks ago the kids were on holidays, and yet here we are, smack bang in the middle of holidays (our schools were closed for two days last week with the ex-TC Debbie weather event) If your kids are anything like mine, the house is getting noisy and messy, and there will be many cries of I'm bored and frustrated mamas will be ready to rip their hair out by the time Easter actually arrives!

I have sort-of solved our problems by providing a loose structure to our days. It looks a bit like this.

1 - stick to meal times

Nothing is more annoying during school holidays than the sheer amount of food that kids think they need to eat. By sticking loosely to meal times (we go on weekend hours - breakfast by 8am, lunch at 11.30/12pm, and we eat dinner at 5pm, with no snacks after 4pm) I've been able to keep the munchies under control a little.

Idea - have a picnic lunch in the back yard, take breakfast to the park

2 - try to leave the house every day

Two days a week, Natalie and Riley go to vacation care, and Sophie goes to daycare. I've sent all the kids to vacation care, and stick to our daycare days so that there is still some structure to the weeks off. But the rest of the days can seem to drag if we stay home, so we try to leave the house each morning for at least an hour or so. (And now Steve has gone back to night shift, this will be more important these holidays, so the kids can burn off some energy, and he can fall asleep without noisy kids)

Idea - plan a trip to a new park, visit the library, meet up with a friend

Related 5 ideas for cheap holiday activities

3 - have quiet time every afternoon

For us, this is gadget time, but for you it might mean movies or even a nap. Knowing that I have a couple of hours each afternoon of non-hassle time eases the stress of trying to fit it all in. (Granted, I usually use it for wandering pinterest, but that's research, right?!)

Idea - make a comic book about school holidays, watch a new DVD

4 - don't neglect chores or housework

Someone once told me "it's my holiday, I don't have to do anything." Then they slammed the door on the way to their bedroom. And the chores waited for them. It's easy when you're at home without a plan to neglect housework or chores. But it's a pain in the butt to get everyone motivated to clean up the day before school starts, so keep on top of it during the holidays. You can be flexible with what they do when, but don't let them off completely (and it helps if you stay on top of things, if possible.)

Idea - teach the kids to use the washing machine or sort clothes

5 - keep bedtimes similar

In order to not have cranky kids, I try to keep bedtimes close to regular times (depending on how busy we've been during the day, and what is happening the next) There is nothing worse during school holidays (especially in wet weather) than tired kids trying to make it through the day with big emotions from lack of sleep.

Now, we are far from perfect about sticking to these things. Sometimes we don't get out of the house, and sometimes I say yes to every request for food. But by having the idea in my mind that these things help our days feel a bit better, it's easier to remember to actually do them.

How do you stay sane during school holidays?
Linking up with Capturing Life for #ibot


  1. Working from home and having kids on holidays do my head in. I find I am not at all productive as normal, however have learned to embrace waking at 4am and doing most of my work before they wake up.

  2. Great tips! There are SO many school holidays throughout the year! It seems like my kids only just went back to school after their last holidays!


  3. I love school holidays because I don't need to make lunches and do any after school activities. As I work from home, the kids struggle to understand that I need to get stuff done and can't always be out and about.

  4. These are great tips, Cate. We are just about to start our first official school holidays this year and I'm looking forward to not having to make lunches for a few weeks! We've got a few things planned, but with Punky and I still getting over being sick I think we are probably going to be taking it pretty easy the first few days and catching up on sleep!

  5. These are fabulous tips - particularly bed time. We tend to stuff a lot into our holidays and they are often more tired than they would be had they been at school.

  6. I don't have to deal with school holidays yet as you know, but given I've been pretty much stuck in this house for the last 3 months I can totally understand the going nuts part! I can't wait to be able to drive again so I can get out and about, although I'm not sure I'll want to do it often with 2 kids {ahhh, seems way too scary at the moment}.


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