It’s almost a little cathartic to say it. But rid yourself of any mum guilt, you’re not alone in feeling this way, trust us. Say it with me – I hate school holidays. And breathe.
I’m the first to put my hand up and admit I’m not one of those school holiday mums. My approach to the two-week break is a slow one with dread tipping the scale over bouncy excitement.
And it’s always been like that for me, ever since my eldest child started school back in 2004. AND I still have five more years to go with our youngest. Not that I’m counting. Well, kind of. Frankly speaking, it’s a time when I’m not my best self – my parenting patience is tested and it’s a constant battle to not lose my cool!
Here are seven reasons why school holidays make me grit my teeth a little
1. School holiday = Peak Season Tariff Rates ANYWHERE
Ever noticed how school holidays conveniently fall into accommodation ‘peak season’ just about everywhere in this great country of ours – or the planet for that matter? It’s already costly to leave the house with a carload of kids, let alone having to pay through the roof for an actual holiday roof over our heads.
I vote for a STAYCATION. We’re already paying for the roof, so let’s just enjoy it. Put a sprinkler on and it’s practically a resort. Side note: Your family is NOT likely to agree with this sentiment.
2. The constant all you can eat buffet
Kids eat A LOT. It seems they eat even more when they’re home without the distraction of school classes. From sun up until sundown, kids mow their way through the fridge, the pantry, your not-so-well-hidden Starburst stash and STILL avoid the fruit bowl. I once tried the whole packing a school-holiday-edition lunch box and encouraging kids to eat from that for the day. Nup. Epic fail!
3. A one-woman entertainment committee
MUM WHAT CAN WE DO? There’s nothing to do. At all. Which to be fair is kind of true, we do live rurally BUT these kids have toys, books, bikes, siblings for goodness sakes. I grew up an only child (in a time before the internet) with a stick and a Walkman. The end. There is no fairy garden.
4. The sibling fighting. OH, THE FIGHTING
Moments of peaceful play are fleeting. First, it starts in gentle bickering. Then an all-out argument erupts and then the silent treatment, where no one wants anything to do with anyone.
Perhaps the thing that irks me the most is that it’s always over such stupid things. The PlayStation, the last piece of bread – it all promotes a battle. After a few deep breaths, I attempt to regroup the gang with a “family is everything” spiel, only for it to fall on deaf ears. You see, that’s why I hate school holidays.
5. Vomiting money at every turn
Even when you stay at home and don’t actually holiday, you seem to vomit money most days of the school holidays. $5 here, $10 there. School holidays are definitely not the time to start a savings plan. Didn’t let the kids go to a movie for the third time? Don’t you worry, any money saved on entertainment is spent in the supermarket. Because there’s nothing to eat. Ever.
6. School holidays are just general hard work
In my experience, the older the kids get, the harder school holidays become. When the kids were young you could convince them that your everyday tasks were AMAZINGLY FUN to help out with. Yes, you can help hang out the washing – we’re having a HOOT! Now that our youngest is 12, not so much fun is found in the laundry basket. And this means Mum becomes the Entertainment Manager. Well, if you’re anything like me, I suck at my job!
7. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t
Tell me if this sounds familiar…
When nothing is working out at home (you’re sick of the arguing and tired of the rolling eyes), you decide a change of scenery is best for everyone and you make the effort to take the kids out for the day. The destination is never 100% agreed upon by all parties involved (and there is probably a few fights over it) but, it’s okay – you’re still smiling. Just.
You battle the crowds, you ignore the moans but then the bickering and scowling starts. Never do the kids appreciate the effort you’ve gone to. Finally, you explode and swear you will NEVER take them out again. Your outburst is made all the worse, thanks to the stares for a few other Judgy Pants mums.
Ah, school holidays. Such joy, such bliss. NOT!
And then things take a turn
Just when you think you’ve endured it all and you’ve lost your parenting shit 100 times over, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. There’s excitement in ironing freshly laundered uniforms. I don’t even mind finding that (now science experiment) sandwich in the bottom of the school bag from the last term.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children more than the air I breathe. I just possibly love them a teeny tiny bit more when we’re all in the thick of the school term routine.
One thing I know for sure is that I’m not a shiny, enthusiastic school holiday mum and that’s ok.
Be ready with all the school holiday and after-school snacks with these 51 snack suggestions for kids. And if you’re planning on taking a family vacay during school term, better read this article first!