I have lots of time for this friend and I always come away from our chats feeling positive because she is happy and upbeat and her offspring are bubbly, articulate and really good company. But, I felt sad to think that the school holidays were already feeling like such a challenge. It occurred to me how easy it is to get hooked on this idealised image of a happy and smiling family life and to feel that our reality falls short.
Suddenly I was transported back years and years to a time when my own son looked forward to the school holidays and wanted to plan activities and outings to occupy the long break. He is fully grown and flown now but I can still remember how stressed I felt on the approach to school holidays as I tried to juggle the time I could take off work with the weeks that needed to be filled. How I wish that I had known then that it wasn’t my role to be ‘entertainer-in- chief’ whose sole responsibility it was to provide non-stop activities to fill every waking hour. Then, as now, there were so many other entertainment and activity options available and I didn’t always take full advantage as I dashed headlong into my juggling act. Time flies and these summers aren’t everlasting. Maybe the most important thing is just to take a breath and enjoy the longer days and lighter nights.
If you still find yourself dreading the summer break why not consider the following;
- Surprising as it may seem, it’s not just up to us as parents to provide endless stimulation for our children and young people. Sharing time and resources with friends, neighbours and extended family can really open up new possibilities.
- Local organised activities can be really useful and a little research in local magazines and papers will provide information about what’s available on the doorstep and a little further afield.
- Many of us never think about this but our children and young people spend a lot of the year following regular routines and mixing with their peers. Encouraging them to arrange to meet up over the holidays gives everyone something to look forward to.
- And finally, resist the temptation to over organise every waking hour, downtime is fine.
If you still feel stressed and apprehensive about the summer holiday stretching ahead and want to develop new techniques to promote relaxation, why not contact Francine at Orrganise?
Don’t agonise ...Orrganise!