Have you heard lots mums saying, “I’m dreading the school holidays”?
Have you noticed how often we hear this and how little we hear, “I’m so excited about the school holidays”?
Here’s a “School Holidays Thriving Guide.” (Not just ‘surviving.’) Clean up your thoughts before the next school holidays and be able to say you enjoyed them and mean it:
1) Acknowledge Yourself – How often do you acknowledge yourself for what you do as a mum and for what you enjoy with the kids each day? Keeping a focus on what you DO and enjoy helps you to shift the focus from the things you don’t.
Here’s a quick route to internal happiness!
- Share with your partner /friend each day, something you enjoyed about the kids.
- Keep a daily acknowledgement journal.
- Get online and share your mum highlight for the week with Mums Just Wanna Have Fun Facebook group.
- THINK: “I ROCK..!”
2) Acceptance – Acceptance is: “I may not necessarily like it, but it is what it is.” Can you accept things like:
- Kids have needs and demands;
- Everyone needs a break from intense routines;
- Kids want time with their main role model (you); and
- Kids are going to be with you for ‘x’ number of days/weeks.
- THINK: Water off a ducks back.
3) Manage expectations –Managing expectations stops you “flying off the handle” when things don’t go as planned. Would you like to be calmer in your reactions? Here are some things that may help:
- Co-operate with the kids as much as you can and they will co-operate with you.
- Expect lots of wonderful, exciting moments during the day and lots of challenging moments too. There are going to be times when they are energetic and you are tired and vice versa.
- Adapt your daily schedule to incorporate their needs and yours, too.
- Expect to have smaller chunks of time for work if you are working from home.
- THINK: What’s the real GO here?
4) Flexibility – How much flexibility do you allow between following routines and going with the flow? What would it be like if you chose to enjoy routines in school term time AND enjoy the spontaneity that school holidays allow? Choosing this flexibility may allow you to enjoy the school holidays more. THINK: Olympic Gymnast.
5) Solid Foundation – Have you ever considered that the way you interact with your kids now is how they will accept interactions with others in the future? Spending time, being present and valuing your time with them will teach them they are worthy of love simply because they were born. This creates a solid foundation for their self-esteem. THINK: Quality not Quantity.
6) Foster independence – How much do you allow your kids to help themselves? Kids love independence and it leaves you with more time for fun with them. A couple of things that you may like to do are:
- Keep lots of yummy snacks and drinks handy so they can help themselves.
- Ask your kids to clear their dishes and clean the table after meal times – they may even make less mess as result!
- Anything that’s safe and which helps them to help themselves is worth a try.
- THINK: Little Big people.
7) Taking care of YOU – You can’t give what you don’t have. Arrange for someone to look after the children at least once a week while you have a break. Go off and do something for YOU. You cannot be there for your children in the way that you want to be if you are not there for yourself, too. THINK: Selfless Love.
8) Opportunity – How often do you get the opportunity to teach your kids about things that you love which they may not learn at school? These may include life skills, being silly, pillow fights, tickling competitions, going for walks, cooking or just how to RELAX. What are the things that you love to do that you would like to share with your kids? THINK: Hang loose!
9) NOW – How often do you say to yourself, “I am grateful for each moment I have with my kids”? Saying this allows you to focus your mind in the NOW and to be present with your kids. When you think about how quickly they are growing up you are focusing your mind on the future and missing the NOW. This is a very subtle distinction and a powerful one. THINK: The Power of NOW.
Life with kids is busy. I hope this guide will help you to be OK with that, and to enjoy your time with your kids much more these next school holidays.
Will you choose to thrive the next school holidays?