Fabulous post by 3 Children & It so I thought I pinch the points raised and add my own thoughts. Could we get multiple lists going based on these points and grab some ideas of each other?
1. Think ahead and plan the 6 weeks out. ME: I'm definitely a planner. I have a few dates in the diary already and like to know what I'm doing. However, although I have some things planned, I'm currently staying quite flexible as you never know what our good old English weather will throw at us so no point planning a specific date to go to the seaside then find it's pouring with rain. Keep it fluid. Have those plans but be prepared to rearrange.
2. Pre-book play dates. ME: I have only chatted about some of these with S's friend's mums, but a few are in the pipeline for N already. Much will depend on the weather as I prefer kids outside when I have them (but am less fussy if they are inside at someone else's house *grin*.
3. Discuss together and book in a couple of full days out. ME: I have grabbed some half price vouchers that our local radio station advertise for numerous parks and events that are going on. That way we have some great things to do without it costing us a small fortune. Things like visiting a Llama park or Hawk conservatory, along with a local rainforest and having a good friend who works at Legoland and can get us in (I nearly passed out when I looked how much 5 of us would cost!)
4. Throw the ‘no wine during the week’ rule completely out of the window. ME: I don't drink but I'll happily drive anyone who does!
5. Plan a project to keep them focused. ME: Nah, I can't think of anything that they could all do. With three girls of 16, 6 and 4, it's not easy to find a compatible task (or get the teen away from her phone long enough to focus on anything else).
6. Leave some days completely free. ME: Yes! I totally agree here. I don't want to be getting up early every day, packing a picnic, jumping into the car and driving a few hours to fight for a parking space and sit on the beach until it rains. Just now and then I'd like a lay-in. This means that hubby is still up at 7am as that's when the girls rise (not the teen clearly) so he will get up with them whilst I snooze on and then vice-versa (whilst he's off work of course).
7. Try something new. ME: Well, not new but we've been a bit slack of late, but we go geocaching. Fabulous days out, picnic, long walks, fun to find the caches and best of all COMPLETELY FREE!
8. Give them a budget and ask each one to plan a day’s activities. ME: Not a hope! This would result in the biggest argument in our house and probably tears (mine no doubt). However, simple things like suggesting swimming or a day at the seaside is just fine.
9. Book in a few child-free evenings for you. ME: I wish! We tend to get out on our wedding anniversary but we don't even manage that every year.
10. Lower your expectations. ME: Agreed. Letting them relax after the school term and just get to play with their toys every day and unwind is fab. Our first week of holidays consists of nothing much at all.
11. Try and get away in the middle of the 6 weeks. ME: A good plan if you do your main holiday in the summer.
12. Make time for the housework. ME: I do not do this at other times of the year so I'm not about to start now *blush*
13. Buy the school uniform at the beginning of the holidays. ME: Done! In fact, done by about May. Getting those sales at M&S early in the year and grabbing what you want before every size you're after sells out is the best plan. I don't mind storing clothes until September when I've got a great discount. Also, pre-book your Clarks Shoe Fitting. Most stores offer this now and it takes the stress out of queuing at the crack of sparrow along with 20 other anxious mums trying to get school shoes in the last week of August. I've booked mine for the end of July as my girls' feet are not growing that fast that I need them a month later.
14. Pre-determine some rules. ME: Good idea. Later nights to bed may mean later mornings getting up (back to point 6). New rules for the holidays makes life a bit simpler. Maybe rules is the wrong word, just some flexibility and compromises. Join in! Let's find out what your answers to these are.