I’m in the fortunate position of having children that aren’t yet of school age. This means we get to take advantage of cheaper holidays abroad, days out where under-fives go free and have the luxury of enjoying museums and soft plays and everything else off-peak when it’s delightfully quiet – except for my toddler filling up the space with all of her noise.
So when our world collides with the school holidays as it periodically and inevitably does, it’s never a good time. In fact, it pretty much sucks – especially because I’m so disorganised I often have no idea when the school holidays are until we turn up somewhere and are surprised by the crowds!
If you’re the parent of a school age child you’re probably already rolling your eyes and thinking that I should just suck it up but hear me out. There are some valid reasons why I’m just not a fan of the school holidays.
1. Pre-school play groups are on holiday too!
The regular groups we go to are on holidays too even though lots of them are only for preschoolers. Suddenly our calendar opens up and the hours and days start to feel very long when you’re trying to occupy a toddler, and as of more recently, look after a newborn too.
2. Our usual haunts become the stuff of nightmares.
They’re too loud, too crowded and my toddler runs the very real risk of being steamrolled by all the bigger kids. Plus the queues for a very much needed coffee and cake are impossibly long. Double whammy!
3. Rainy days during the holidays fill me with dread.
There’s only so much time you can spend drawing or doing puzzles with a two year old’s attention span. Thank goodness for Netflix! (Starts humming the Paw Patrol theme tune again and feels like a crazy lady!)
4. Never underestimate the disappointment of a toddler.
If we do decide to brave one of the aforementioned hell holes because our outdoor plans have been scuppered by rain, we sometimes get caught out by them being full already. There are few things worse than the tantrum that follows the disappointment of a toddler who can no longer be let loose in the soft play they so badly wanted to play in!
5. Our usual friends disappear too!
The worst thing of all is that we turn into total billy no mates. Lots of our friends who have older children are away or busy doing other things with their older children. That means there are fewer people to hang out with an complain about how busy everywhere is.
In two more years my eldest will be in school and I’ll be feeling exactly the opposite, I’m sure. I’ll be wishing the weeks of term time away so I can spend precious time with her. And I’ll need to remember to spare a sympathetic nod to all the unsuspecting pre-school parents who didn’t realise it was half-term and whose child has just been flattened by my big kid!