School's out | my tips for a stress-free summer holiday

Friday, 22 July 2016

I love having the kids at home with me over summer. No school run. No after-school club rush. No uniform and kit on constant rotation in the washing machine. And it's nice to have their company every day. Even if it's accompanied by the odd sibling battle over the remote and having to lock myself in the garage for a nano-second alone with my own thoughts!

Having said all that, there are a few things I like to stick to over the school holidays which just help to make things a little less... stressful.

What are your school holiday tips? Please share them below, I'd love to know :)

Separation anxiety

Thursday, 7 July 2016

So apparently I'm suffering from separation anxiety. Yep, me. Not my three year old little man who will be starting pre-school in September. Nope. Me.

I'm not sure if it's because he's my littlest. Or that I've loved having him with me every day so much. Probably a combination of both. 

And it marks the start of him growing up... and this is where I fall apart. He's my baby. I still think of him as a toddler. Even though he's way past that. My tiny little baby boy. My shadow.

He seems to be pretty comfortable with the idea of going to pre-school. He's pretty adamant that I can come too though. I think it helps that his big brother and sister are already there and, because of them, there will be lots of familiar faces and friends for him to play with.

But me... how am I going to cope with this!? I suspect the teachers will have to scrape a sobbing, clingy mess off the classroom window on his first day. I'm already preparing myself for the worst.

He'll only be there part time - a few mornings a week - so I need to remind myself that. Also, on the positive side, those few mornings a week will give me time to work, uninterrupted, so when he is at home I can give him my full attention.

Yeah, I need to keep telling myself that.

...I wonder if they need any more classroom assistants....

We're camping | a camping vlog

Monday, 4 July 2016

So we survived our first family camping trip. Eight adults, ten kids, minimal rain and plenty of s'mores made for a weekend of memories we'll always treasure.

It helped that the campsite, Three Cliffs Bay, was so utterly beautiful. I can't believe we live so close to such a stunning beach and haven't visited before. Seeing the kids run around with their friends and spend most of the day outdoors was lovely. It really felt like quality, family time with no interruptions.

We've been back a week and, although I was very happy to be reunited with my mattress and duvet, I'm already excited to go again. Camping enthusiast? Me!? Apparently so. Now where's my spork?

Get them outdoors | Capture the Flag

Friday, 1 July 2016

When the kids are running around outdoors, we're all happy. They might moan when they're tucked up inside clutching their iPads, but the second we set foot out the door they run off with a smile on their face. Even better if they have friends to run around and have adventures with.

We spent last weekend camping at Three Cliffs Bay in the Gower. I don't have the words to explain how utterly beautiful it is, so I'll just leave it to this:

With eight adults and 10 kids, we had the perfect crew for some team games. After multiple cricket, football, swing ball and glow stick light saber battles, we took to the beach for a game of Capture the Flag.

To get to the perfect spot we had to walk stoney paths, cross stepping stones and wade (shallow) rivers. It was so worth the journey. The view was just stunning.

The kids had never played Capture the Flag before, but loved the idea of being able to put grown-ups in prison. They ran around until their legs were exhausted, then skimmed stones and splashed in the river until it was time to walk back to camp for hot dogs and s'mores on the BBQ.

Have you played Capture the Flag before? Here's how our game went down (spoiler: it got pretty competitive, pretty quick 😬)