The basic reason I love school holidays has been the same since the day they started pre school. No school runs. The morning is an especially precious gift but I cant help noticing my feelings about holidays in general have changed a lot since my children were tiny. As we start our Easter holidays I thought it was a good time to let everyone know, it does get easier.
For one thing, most of mine sleep longer than me in the morning now so while my son is probably up at the crack of dawn with my 5 month old grandson I can lie in bed for much longer and enjoy an uninterrupted cup of tea or six.
The opposite side of the coin is of course that my children still living at home (aged 13-21) stay up much later and I now often go to bed before most of them. Then I get out of bed to threaten swift and painful punishments if they don't stop yelling at their gaming devices and whoever is in their headsets. I do appreciate 1am pancakes however and it was worth being woken last night's 11pm offering of a multi pack of biscuits after my 21 year old finished their shift. I do love biscuits.
Fast forward to holiday mornings and my children are more likely to be waking when the sun is high in the sky wanting me to drive them to our nearby budget breakfast destination of choice. They often treat me to Eggs Benedict which is much better than their old habit of pestering me to watch Finding Nemo for the twenty billionth time.
And the day's entertainment is more likely a shopping trip with lunch rather than soft play or the park. I'm sorry. Call me a bad mother but I have always HATED the park. I know some people's idea of hell is shopping but me and mine love a mall trip, especially if smoothies and sushi are available.
I find it pleasing that I am already mostly out of touch with the latest children's TV offerings although I'm sure my grandson will soon have me back up to date. I am however also out of touch with much modern gaming although I am now the proud owner of a Switch Lite and have a small Minecraft kingdom I'm proud of. As an aside how come I love the game Unpacking when I hate actual real life unpacking?
One thing which used to stress me out during holidays was the constant demand for meals and snacks and drinks. The many picnics I made for days out to avoid bored children bouncing off the walls at home. Wondering if it was worth buying an actual cow because of the quantity of milk they got through.
I am actually planning a picnic at Deal Castle this week (we are taking our caravan to Kent for a few days) but since the rest of the week will be quite relaxed I am actually looking forward to choosing and eating the food.
They will appreciate an Instagram-able grazing board served from a wicker picnic basket and I might even get to read my book and a glass of wine rather than play "herd the squirrels" where you try and keep track of your children in an open space with multiple deathly hazards and potentially murderous kidnapping strangers. At this time of year there shouldn't be any pesky wasps either! I will miss the handy pushchair to transport the picnic and blankets mind.
With no piles of toys to clutter the house and children who can prepare their own meals mostly I can get on with work or relax even during the hols. The main thing interrupting my day is the need to run my side hustle, Mum's Taxi Service, which runs almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week due the the fact that the children work and socialise outside our small village which has a frankly pathetic bus service and no footpaths along quite busy roads.
I'm sending big hugs and sympathy to those of you with little people who have probably been up since six and already watched 20 episodes of Peppa Pig. I've been watching the new Ice Age movie for the past hour with my youngest but that's through mutual choice.
Happy Holidays fellow parents and carers.