School holiday pressure

 

It’s nearing the end of the school holidays and my little baby girl is about to start school this September. Previously she was at preschool 3 days a week. At present I’m on maternity leave with my 6 month old. Well timed you might say, I think so.

I really thought the summer holidays would be hard work, a 4 year old and a 6 month old to entertain for 6 solid weeks, every day, EVERY DAY! Just me for 5 days a week. Where would I take them, what would we do. I need to be stimulating my children, take them places, new places, entertain them…and yet where have the last few weeks gone? 

I check the calendar (because that’s the only way I know where I am and what day it is at the moment). I have less than 2 weeks with my little girl at home with me before she starts FULL TIME education! No more lazy mornings together planning a day out. A tear rolls down my face as I write this and the realisation kicks in. 

Up till now (and I still am) I was excited at the thought of my funny, bright little star going to school. She is definitely ready. I am so proud of what she can do and who she is already. I also thought I would struggle over the holidays and be glad when she has school as stimuli.  Yes, there have been days when I’ve been ready to throw the towel in. Tantrums at an all time high, late nights and tired pleas to stay up later. A grouchy teething baby who doesn’t want to be put down and a begging daughter, “please mummy I want to make a house for Tallulah (toy turtle)”, “where’s the empty egg box?” as she rifles through the cupboards! Some days were hard, very hard. So much that some days I just wanted to stay in and not face the outside world. Feeling like a terrible letdown of a parent.

I sit with my daughter filling in her school holiday book titled ‘all about me’.  Filling it with photos of family, things we’ve done and places we’ve been over the holidays. Good times with friends and family. I realise that actually we’ve done so much. During the week the three of us and at the weekends as a family of four. 

Plays in Sefton Park Palm House, Liverpool, pond dipping and playing in Ness Botanic Gardens, playing in Runcorn Hill Park and Castle Park enjoying picnics with friends, the cinema, good old farm parks such as Stockley Farm and Park Hall, camping in the garden, swimming at the local pool, Gulliver’s Theme Park in Warrington and walking in Hawkstone Park and Follies in Shropshire. All of which I thoroughly recommend to families with young children.

In doing all this the holidays have gone so quickly and I feel rather proud that we’ve managed to do all this. The North west is full of great days out and ways to entertain children. But most importantly we’ve made memories. Maybe I’m not that bad after all.

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