THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

Somehow we are already halfway through the Summer holidays. Usually that statement would be one of reassurance, spurring me on through the second half towards the finishing line, where I can collapse in a heap at the school gates and be wrapped in a foil blanket by a member of St Johns Ambulance.

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This year however, something very, very strange is happening. After doing a quick check that I’d actually got my dates right and we were indeed at the halfway mark, I didn’t feel any sense of relief at all. In fact my heart sank a little knowing that the weeks are going by far too quickly and before I know it we’ll be diving into the new academic year.

So what has changed? How have we gone from a situation where I spend weeks dreading the arrival of the holidays and counting down the days until it ends, to one where the whole thing is a relatively pain-free, dare I say enjoyable experience?!

Now I know there’s a current trend of parents slagging their own children off, calling them everything under the sun and generally highlighting the many ways they make our lives a misery. While I find some of it funny, (Katie at Hurrah For Gin is just genius!) I won’t be referring to my kids as  dickheads, tw*ts or little f*ckers anytime soon (can’t promise I won’t be thinking it now and again though). Every parent knows children are hard work, they are relentless in their demands and have the ability to push you to the limit by breakfast but really, they are just being kids and sometimes kids can be annoying. As much as we would all love a tranquil existence with our impeccably behaved offspring it’s just not realistic to expect children to behave like anything other than children. In fact as parents it’s our job to deal with their little ‘challenges’ and ensure that they don’t develop into fully grown adult dickheads!

So apart from the incessant demands for my attention, requests for food, constant bickering and all the other perfectly normal shenanigans that make up family life, I guess what I am really trying to say is – the kids are alright. In fact they’re more than alright, I’d even go as far as to say it’s actually quite nice having them around! Yes, this is basically the post where I admit to sometimes enjoying the company of my own children. I can almost smell that Mother of the Year trophy.

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The obvious difference this Summer is that Flump and Spud are a year older, 5 and almost 8. This has such a big impact on many aspects of their abilities and behaviour versus previous years. In other words, they can enjoy doing way more stuff without everything resulting in some sort of emotional meltdown – HURRAH!!

Most days they can happily go from one activity to the next without needing to ask “What can I dooooo Mummy?” every 5 minutes and can play together or independently for a decent period of time too. Most days. Flump is more than happy in her own little world but Spud sometimes needs a little bit of guidance so we have a ‘Summer Rules’ sheet on the wall listing all the things they need to do before they are allowed screen time. This includes a certain amount of time reading, doing a craft, completing worksheets, making their beds, playing outside etc and usually this is more than enough to keep him entertained between breakfast and bedtime.

Days out are a much more enjoyable experience too. As long as I keep a constant supply of snacks and water on hand at all times the world’s our lobster. Playdates are a pretty relaxed affair with the little ones happy to play together (between snacks) and although there is an age gap, Flump is now more than capable of holding her own with the big boys and much to their annoyance often enjoys joining in with their games.

Where in previous years I wouldn’t have even attempted a trip to the shops unless it was absolutely necessary, so far we’ve managed a couple of pretty successful days shopping (even a Primark haul!) relatively fuss free. One of those included a trip to IKEA which the kids requested so they could go to Smalland for an hour, well I’m not gonna argue with that! Win win.

Lazy mornings, dawdling walks to the local playground, visits to the library and the odd trip to the coffee shop for a treat have broken the days up nicely and kept us happy with little effort or expense.

Credit where it’s due, they really have been pretty good company so far.

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In order to make the most of our time together I’ve made a few changes to my own behaviour which have without a doubt allowed me to enjoy the holidays in a much more carefree manner. Primarily, I’ve taken a big (temporary!) step back from blogging, writing if and when the notion takes me, dipping in and out of Twitter much less than usual and joining linkies a little less often too. This alone has made a huge difference – although I do feel like I’m neglecting my lovely blogging friends a bit I know they are a great bunch and will completely understand that family takes priority.

Spud and Flump are growing up far too quickly for my liking and every day I lose a little bit more of my babies as they figure out who they are and develop into little people! (Sad face.) I am very, very lucky to have the option of being a SAHM and I’ve realised that even though the kids won’t appreciate that now, hopefully in years to come they’ll remember the day we found ‘the tiniest frog in the world’ or knocked on fairy doors in the forest.

And so will I.

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43 Comments

  1. Beautiful! So lovely to see a blog about how amazing parenting kids is for a change. Makes me want to hold on to my one year old even more!! ❤️❤️ #bloggerclubuk

    1. Thank you – so glad you liked it, reading it back I hope I didn’t come across as a smug Mum, they’re not THAT well behaved 🙂 Yes, wouldn’t it be nice to freeze moments sometimes? x

  2. Think the summer holidays are perfect for reconnecting with your kids in a carefree scenario and benefiting from some real quality family time. We are just back from Spain and literally just hung out together and focusing on “us”. I love the holidays for that. #BloggerClubUK

  3. Aw so gorgeous! I’m amazed at how quickly the weeks are going too, and yep, mine are still very small but even I am starting to really enjoy having some time together without the constant nursery runs with the big one. I’m also neglecting my blog a bit, but I think that most of us with little ones have done the same to some extent, and as you say, we’ll all still be here excited to read about your adventures in a few weeks. We’re not skiving from the blog – we are creating future blog material :0) xx #fartglitter

    1. Thank you! It’s not neglect, it prioritising, plus you’re right, you’ll have lots of material for more poems after the holidays. Thanks for hosting, enjoy your time with the kiddos x

  4. I was thinking exactly the same thing this morning – where has the time gone? Admittedly, I have had my kids all over the place, so have spent much of the time down to 1 or 2. This summer has flown by. Next week, however we have taekwon-do camp and have to entertain about 70 kids every day! I’m looking forward to a holiday after that. This post is so lovely though, because it just comes across as so honest and you sound so content. It is important to recognise the good times with our kids and it is so positive to be able to enjoy the holiday time with them. Good for you for taking a step back from blogging…I am told that the world doesn’t end! I shall be stepping out for a few weeks from next week for tkd camp and then a holiday 🙂 I love the idea of your summer rules chart, btw. A great post. Alison x #brilliantblogposts

    1. 1 or 2 is enough! 🙂 Oh God 70 kids?!?! Good luck. I bet it will be good fun though, yes you’ll need a holiday.Enjoy your little break from blogging, I think it does really do a lot of good to have some time away from bloglife now and again. Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

  5. What a lovely post! That age where they can entertain themselves feels so far off to me but I love that you’re enjoying your summer with them and rest assured they will cherish those memories too. Hope the rest of the summer is as lovely and chilled as the first half has been! #ablogginggoodtime

  6. Wow, that’s a relief. I’m counting down the days with my two year old but even a hint that it gets easier is reassuring. Hope you’ve not jinxed it and the next half is enjoyable too.

    #fartglitter

  7. I know exactly how you feel, I wasn’t exactly dreading a whole 6 weeks playing referee. However it’s been really tough at times but I don’t want them to go back. I don’t want to wave them off for school anymore, I want them at home. My son starts reception in September, so I think that’s why I feel worse, I hope you enjoy the rest of your holidays.

    #Brillblogposts

  8. Ha ha I can smell that Mother of the Year Award for you lovely! Brilliant! I so agree though – it’s just so wonderful when they get to a stage where you really enjoy spending time together – it’s refreshing to actually read a post like this – has to be said! Beautiful photos – enjoy the rest of the weeks my lovely xx #ablogginggoodtime

  9. I am so pleased that you are all enjoying the holidays together. I love the summer rules before screen time, such a good idea I will be adopting that as my girls get older. I have been taking a step back from blogging to enjoy this time with my girls and before Alice starts school in September. Enjoy the second half x #picknmix

    1. Thanks, yes the rules have definitely helped a lot this year, not sure the kids are quite as enthusiastic about them as I am but whatever works right?! I think it’s so important to enjoy every second leading up to the first day of school, hope you’re having lots of fun with the girls x

  10. I hear you. Can’t say I don’t have to take deep breath about 20 times a day before saying ‘yes? What is it?’ but I would never call my gorgeous kids little sh*ts. And every day they get more fun and give me a fuzzy feeling inside!
    #BloggerClubUk

  11. I looked at doing a summer rules this year, but as I’m working most of it & the girls get to spend days with their Dad, grandparents and cousins they have been too busy! I can’t believe we are half way through all ready, time is flying this year. Like yours mine are 5 & 8 but with them both being girls they are bickering quite a lot when they both want their role plays/dressing up games to go different ways! #PicknMix

    1. I only enforce ‘the rules’ on lazy, hanging around the house days as like you say, a lot of the time we are out and about or on holiday. Oh yes, the bickering – we get that too, drives me nuts but I think they’re actually getting tired of it themselves now 🙂

  12. I love this and completely agree – it’s going so fast!! September will be here before we know it and I could cry!

    I’m really having my girls home they have their moments but generally we are having a really lovely time together xx #ablogginggoodtime

  13. It really does get so much easier as they get older, I am always really sad when September comes around. But then I love Christmas so I’ll start getting excited about that then 😉

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  14. Aww lovely! My kids are 2 and 3 – it would NOT be true to say that they can happily go from one activity to the next! Nonetheless, I still agree with your sentiment – they’re great to have around & you can’t expect kids to behave like anything other than kids (or two toddlers to behave like anything other than feral chimpanzees ;)) #ablogginggoodtime

  15. I can’t believe how quickly it is going either! Mine are 3 and 6 and are so good at entertaining themselves when my husband and I have our work from home days. We make up for it by making the most of our days off by doing fun things though! #PicknMix

  16. Yay, you for putting family first! I love that selfie of you all, it’s so cute.
    I realised you had dropped off the linkies a bit…Obviously, I have looked for you amongst the titles as usual. FOr a while I suspected you were using humongous titles just to throw me off the scent. I cannot be thwarted because even though I am sure I have subscribed about 20 times, I’ve tried again and it tells me I’ve joined all of your other followers so I’m stuck to you like a limpet now….Unless, you keep unsubscribing me and cutting me loose 😉

      1. Aw. It’s nice to be wanted 🙂
        I am subscribed now. I get your notifications. Mind you, the ones you sent today showed the entire blog post in the email. You should try and set it so it just gives us a tantalising snippet so we need to come and visit your site. I did anyway because I wanted to comment (try and stop me). Mine al just show excerpts of my posts.

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