So, SUMMER HOLIDAYS! Before I started Bambeenies I used to dread the holidays, the chaos that ensued with childcare, trying to keep three children amused and keeping myself sane. Don’t get me wrong I loved having my little monkeys around but it was a juggling act. But isn’t that just parenthood really!!
Now, that my little monkeys are no longer little monkeys more sloth like teens, my holiday schedule isn’t quite as chaotic. And, Im going to be extremely truthful here…..I’m a little sad! I know! I know!! I should be grateful for healthy, happy teens, I should be happy to have a less stressful schedule, I know I know!! BUT, I really miss the picnics, the little holiday adventures, the bucket lists. Whilst I was thinking about what to write here so many wonderful summer holiday memories filled my tiny brain and yes I am not ashamed to say a shed a little tear!
So, I picked some of my favourite moments, well actually that’s not strictly true lol! I’ve picked some that I thought might amuse you. For instance, A couple of summer’s ago a friend and I took her three children and my three children on a ‘Days adventure’ – we did a picnic, a run through the country in the car and a stop off at a well known woodland area. We had geochached in the trees and were heading back to the car. We chatted away feeling very accomplished as we had amused 6 children, no one was dead injured or traumisted – winner winner chicken dinner….or so we thought. Behind us we could hear the laughter and chaos that comes with 6 children. Next we hear my friends child shout ‘Look mum, I’m making a mud angel” Now, you know me, I love a bit of messy play so nothing to worry about there surely. So, let me set the scene a little further, we are not far from the road, a lovely woodland of trees behind us and fields at either side which home livestock. Over the fence that we have all happily skipped was indeed a lovely big muddy area. Also in that muddy area some 4 legged friends that like to go ‘moo’ had left behind some presents(incase you aren’t following cow crap!) Cut back to the child making mud angels – yip you got it…. not mud angels at all – COW CRAP ANGELS!! Totally taking messy play to another level. Then followed the crazy mummies trying to get said child cleaned and into a car without touching anything or other children. How to turn a good day to crap – pardon the pun ha ha ha!!!
Anyone like camping? This is the part I put my head and hands as far down as possible. I know I should try to be more outdoorsy but camping is just a step too far for me. I like my creature comforts and my own bed – old wifey I know! Anyway, In a moment of weakness the kiddies and hubby convinced me a camping trip would be fun, an experience to remember, a family bonding time, yeah yeah whatever… So, I pack up what feels like the entire house for a few days camping. Packing for every eventuality, packing as if my life depends on it. Packing is my thing supposedly, I think that’s just what they all say to get out of helping. Anyhooo, we head off on this lovely adventure to a lovely secluded spot, near a little beach, plenty of space for the kiddies to run wild. We actually have a lovely day, the sun is shining, the little angels were actually getting on ok and I had a huge glass of wine in hand. All is well in the land of camping…and relax. Now, I even started to think I’d been a little judgemental on the whole camping thing, this wasn’t so bad after all. Children eventually fell asleep and hubby and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset, camp fire and glass of wine together. I know you are all waiting for the but…..but there really wasn’t one, UNTIL the next morning. In typical Shetland fashion we awoke to a very wet and windy morning. With hope and optimism after last nights success we weren’t phased, we thought breakfast, a few boards games(well packed mummy – high 5!) and it would stop and we could continue our adventure. WRONG….. by lunchtime the tent was beginning to shake with the strength of the wind and my arse was yes it was definitely wet. And no, you cheeky lot this is not a toilet disaster story, although don’t even get me started on the outdoor toilet situation. Kiddies were now trying to kill each other, everyone was getting hungry and now things were becoming a matter of safety. We got the kiddies and everything we can hold bundled into the car and we went back to rescue the tent. By now it’s blowing a hoolie and this tent take down is not going to be easy. Cue the hour wrestle with the tent, me running along the beach chasing fly away parts, me now looking looking like a drowned animal, clothing saturated to the pants(there may also have been pee, I did have to run after bloody tent parts – weak pelvic floor- etc etc), screaming and shouting – from me!! screaming and shouting – from hubby! screaming and shouting from children locked in car in flying gale! In case I’m not giving you the correct picture in your mind – Camping is BLOODY AWFUL!!!
I really hope you all have less disastrous adventures this summer but even if you do the remember these are the ones you will look back on and laugh….maybe not right away but eventually lol! And if all fails Bambeenies are on hand to help you out this summer with lots of two hour workshops to give you a break, classes, dance schools and much more. We stop running our usual blocks of classes and offer you a more flexible booking system where you can book one off classes all summer giving you the freedom to book just one classes or all of them.
Why not download our bucket list with lots of fun ideas to keep you busy and it has a handy calendar to plan you days. Download here
So, I wish you all luck with your holiday planning and offer you a few tips to keep your sanity and assist you through your darkest hours out into the summer holiday sunshine(please bring sunshine Mr weatherman):
- Get out – Get out of the house EVERY DAY, this is not only for your sanity but to get those endorphins going and wear out your little cherubs. Even if it raining get on those wellies and get splashing and puddle jumping, yes you too! It’s a great stress reliever.
- Have some good OLD FASHIONED fun! In this age of technology don’t forget that the good old games and activities of old can often be the most fun of all. We have spent days climbing trees and swinging through the jungle (small wood) like Tarzan, building stone houses on the beach and going on a treasure walk. Now the treasure walk sounds exciting, but to you and I, it means writing them a list of rubbish you know you will find along the way just to entice them to keep walking, but ssshhhh!! They love it, so let’s not burst their bubble!! Just don’t forget to empty their pockets before you throw the days clothes in the machine, otherwise stones, sheep pirrels and feathers do not look great after a wash – talking from experience here!
- Make the most of what’s on offer – check out what’s on in your local area. There is always museums, yes I know the thought of keeping them quite in a museum – aaaahhh stress ahead – but don’t fear most museums are now very child friendly with lots of interactive fun to keep them busy, local leisure centres, country shows, gardens, beaches. Now don’t forget your girl scout training and be prepared for all eventualities and you can have a fun day out!
- Forget routine and planning – just resign yourself to the fact that your perfectly timed routine will not happen throughout the holidays. Now this is Miss OCD talking and it has taken me years to suss this one out but once you let it go – cue cheesy song being sung in your heads (sorry) – you can achieve a strange calmness ha ha who am I kidding!! Ok maybe not calmness but it makes life a little easier.
- Messy Play – Oh my favourite of all my tips and believe me I am not just saying this because it’s my job!! Now I won’t lie, messy play used to scare the heck out of me when I first had kiddies but honestly you have nothing to fear. There are many ways of creating messy play, shameless plug coming – come along to one of our exciting classes at Bambeenies and we can do it all for you. Sorry ha ha!! Anyway seriously it can be great fun and doesn’t need to end up looking like a scene from a horror film. Try some dry materials first that can be swept or vacuumed up or get it outside in the garden. Lentils, couscous, sand are all great with the cars and diggers. Make some fairy rice (rice, glitter and colouring) for the girls to play with their barbies in. Although warning, last time I made rice I was finding it everywhere for days later, even in my underwear! For more messy play ideas check out our sensory ideas page on the website.
- Get together with friends – make a play date, meet at a neutral location or take turns going to each other houses. This gives the kiddies a chance to burn off some steam, get some social interaction and play with someone else because, let’s face it, by now they are probably getting fed up of playing with you. It also gives you a chance to exchange ideas on survival, have a good moan and come away feeling like your stress levels have been reduced momentarily.
- Sense of humour – strange tip I here you say! Well this is what you will need on those days that it all goes wrong and of course at some stage it will! For these such days I recommend a ready supply of wine/chocolate/gin or whatever floats your boat because, let’s face it, when you close the last bedroom door and slump on the sofa, life will be righted again by a good chunk of chocolate or a small or perhaps large wine.
So all that is left for me to say is go forth super mummies, take hold of the summer holidays with two hands and show the world what you are made of! We are all united and will support each other as we continue along the path of parenthood.