Friday 18 August 2017

Coping with a lack of me time over the summer holidays

I'm very lucky that I'm able to spend all school holidays at home with the children. But I'm an introvert and I need time by myself to recharge, something that I learned from the fab book Quiet by Susan Cain. During term time I very much enjoy my quiet days at home by myself, catching up with my blog and social media work as well as housework and other chores, leaving my evenings free to spend with the husband once the children are in bed.

The school holidays are a different story however. I'm very grateful to have affectionate children, but it can be overwhelming at times. They don't like to be far from me, and while reasonably content to be in the room next door they are very reluctant to be on a different floor to me for very long. Ideally they like to be sitting as close to me as they can, which often leads me to bemoan the fact that we pay so much on a mortgage for a good sized house when most of the time we are only occupying a tiny percentage of it! Even when they are playing quietly away together I'm constantly on edge, anticipating imminent chaos.

My husband is very good about taking the children when he's at home, and most evenings he will take them away after dinner to watch a film together, leaving me time to get on with the things that I need to do in my study. They still like to come and visit me from time to time, to request a drink or a cuddle, but generally they understand that I'm busy. Sometimes he will even take them both out for an hour or so. They like to go down to the nearest beach playing Pokemon Go, although while Harry is always keen to go lately Mia usually prefers to stay at home with me.

Another time that I truly get to myself is if I go out for a run, something which I don't fit in as often as I should. The children have been staying up later so they've been sleeping in later in the mornings, a luxury that I've been dreaming of for many years, so I don't like to ruin it by setting my alarm early!

Tired Mum squashed by children

I've also found that a good way to get some space from the children during the day is to get on with some housework. Mia in particular is often keen to help, but I can distract her with a spray bottle and a duster and find her something to clean and she'll get on happily before she gets bored and wanders off to find something else to do. Also popping them in the bath is a good idea, obviously I have to be in there too to supervise them, but I can be cleaning the bathroom, or just sat on the floor faffing on my phone!

My big winner though for having some time to myself has been Minecraft. It's not always peaceful, they play in the same game together and there are often arguments. It also means that both our PCs are occupied, so it's not an opportunity for me to catch up with work unless it's something that I can do on my own. Unfortunately I can't let them play Minecraft all day!

How do you manage to get time to yourself when you are at home with children?


  1. I remember the feeling well....

  2. My job has actually helped my holiday sanity as I work alone for most of the day and can complete all my trains of thought! Other than that, Mark will take them out sometimes or I run away for a bit when he's home, and grit my teeth until September


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