I don’t really feel the year has started properly until school kicks in … any one else like me?
So I am looking forward to school starting again next week and the return to routine.
But I am also going to be a little sad. We have 18 summers with our kids before they are adults and I want to soak up every day of each one.
Does that mean that it has all been sweetness and light over here? You have to be kidding me! But I have done some things that have kept me (and the girls) sane this holidays.
Music to change the mood
There have been days when the words in our house have been grumpy and unkind, and voices have been raised. There have been days when as the sole parent present, I have not had the capacity to change the mood. So I put on some music from my ‘soul food‘ Spotify playlist. As the life-giving words are sung over us the mood in the house changes, and our response to each other does too.
Quiet rest time
This is an institution in our house. Not just on holidays, but for weekends. It is an hour after lunch every day where we all go off to our rooms and read, or do our own thing. In a house with at number of introverts this is a valuable reset, and the extrovert benefits as well from this time alone.
Being relaxed about mess
My girls have taken over pretty much every available space in the house with their creativity. The couches in the playroom are a pirate ship. The dining table is covered in scraps of paper where they made their own paper baby dolls complete with accessories.
One bedroom houses a cubby on the bed, and the other is an ice-cream shop. I love their creativity, which can be so easily squashed if I am continually hounding them to clean up. So I have had a more relaxed attitude to mess this holidays. They need to be able to sleep in their beds, of course, but it’s okay if the pirate ship sofa stays for a few days.
Cosmic Kids Yoga
My kid’s school has used Cosmic Kids Yoga in the classroom, when the class is getting a little too hyper, and my girls love it. It’s a short yoga session with a story, and a little meditation at the end. There have been a few days when they have requested it themselves.
My family benefits from space in their day. So I intentionally leave that space. If we have play date one morning I don’t organise anything for the afternoon. It gives us a chance to chill out if we need, or the flexibility to make our own plans. Another benefit of this unstructured time is it gives me an ability to say ‘yes’.
“Mum can we please make a pirate ship? Mum can we please create a home for insects? Mum can we make jelly from scratch?”
My girls often come up with zany ideas, and in the past, it was all too hard, so my default answer was often ‘no’.
This summer I have tried to say ‘yes’ as much as possible. Often this has meant I have to figure out how to do it. Or get the girls involved in the effort of bringing their ideas to fruition. But it has also cut down on the grumps, when I have a policy of saying ‘yes.’
Moments of Mum time
Each day I make sure I have something I look forward to. Nothing too grand or difficult, but little moments just for me. Reading a book; painting my nails; flowers in the house; having a cup of tea; lighting a candle. All of these things are little moments of joy that help keep me sane.
How have your holidays gone, have you managed to keep your sanity?
Enjoy the last few days, embrace 2017, embracing the holidays.