There is nothing better than the day you turn off your alarm clock and look forward to happy hours relaxing with your family. At the beginning of the summer the days seem to stretch endlessly ahead. It’s amazing how quickly they get filled and it’s easy to lose sight
Back to Nature
Although the children love the days at theme parks I find that they often come back over stimulated and stressed out. Personally, I prefer a day spent in nature, at the beach or in a forest. I find we all arrive home everyone is tired and hungry but feeling calm and rejuvenated. During the summer we look for family holidays somewhere beautiful and relaxing.
At the start of the holidays I always ask the children what they want to do and make sure we plan a few days . They love expensive adrenaline filled, high cost family days out. While this is lovely, it’s definitely not practical every day. We try to balance a busy day followed by a quieter one and make sure everyone gets their choice of activity at some point during the break.As well as days out there are also so many jobs which need to be done in the holidays. As well as the usual cooking and cleaning we always need to schedule workmen or do some DIY. I try to plan doing one of two jobs every couple of days, so that it doesn’t become too much for everyone.
Divide and Conquer
I spend most of the year looking forward to the holidays but when they come the children are whiny and seem to delight in getting on each other’s nerves. Our solution is to give them time away from each other. This year the children all spent a week at a holiday camp, but we made sure they were in different groups. The time apart meant that they got on much better after that. It also gave them the opportunity to make new friends and try different activities away from each other. This isn’t always possible, however even an hour apart can be beneficial. I always encourage the girls to make plans to see their friends. We also try to take them out on their own. Even going to the shops can be fun, just to have that one on one time with an adult.
I try to make sure everyone does something active each day, even if it is only bouncing on the trampoline. As well as being healthy it puts everyone in a much better mood. I try to include everyone’s favourite physical activities. If it’s raining we go swimming or to the trampoline parks. If it’s sunny we go on bikes or scooters or simply go for a walk. It’s also good to try something a bit more adventurous. As a family we love to go on an activity break where we can go climbing, try water sports and learn new skills.
Don’t forget Me-Time
I often find I’ve got to the middle of the holidays and I’m still feeling stressed. It’s then I realise that while I’ve planned fun activities for everyone, ticked off a million things from my To Do List and made sure everyone is happy and healthy, I’ve forgotten the most important thing which is to relax. Me-Time means something different for everyone. For me it is time sitting in the garden or on the beach with a cup of tea and my laptop or a good book. After all that hard work ensuring a wonderful break for everyone I think I deserve it.
Disclaimer: In association with Center Parcs