Monday 5 August 2019

Finding 'me time' during the summer holidays

During term time I'm on my own in the house quite a lot. I do my work, go to the supermarket, meet with friends, go to the gym and keep up with the housework, as well as just generally pottering about enjoying my own company before it's time to collect the children from school. I like being at home, and I'm quite happy to spend time by myself. So it's a big adjustment for me when the summer holidays come along, all eight weeks of them, and I no longer have any time at all to myself.

Even when the children are busily occupied doing something that keeps them quiet and out of the way, whether that's playing together, reading, or on their tablets, I'm always on edge because I know that at any moment I'm likely to be interrupted. I find it difficult to concentrate on anything because I can't be guaranteed a long stretch of time to complete a task.

However, I really love having the children around during the holidays, and I wouldn't change it for the world. I know that I'm very lucky to have this time with them, and I do genuinely enjoy spending time in their company. But sometimes I find it a bit overwhelming!

Kids playing in the garden

Here are some of the ways that I can find a few minutes to myself:

Working in the garden - the children aren't very fond of gardening so they are quite happy to leave me to it and not disturb me, in case they get roped in to help.

Giving my uninterrupted attention for a set period - I've found since the children were little that if I spend some time doing an intensive activity with them, when it's finished they will go off and play by themselves for a bit. For example, baking together or working on a craft kit. It's like they reward me for my time by giving me a little bit of time to myself back!

Using a clock - They both have Fitbits now, which has really helped with their understanding of time. So I can tell them that at a certain time we will do something fun together, if they can occupy themselves until then.

Reading - We all love to read, so I've built a reading den in the living room with an old plastic Wendy house and some blankets. By scheduling it in as joint reading time, rather than when they just happen to pick up a book, I'm more likely to have some time when I can read to myself too.

Going to the gym - This isn't something that I can do with the children of course, but if my husband is around then I can get out to the gym first thing or in the evening for a bit of a break.

Movie nights with Daddy - Many evenings my husband will watch a film with the children after dinner, and now that they are older they are both more likely to last through the entire film. So I have a bit of time to myself in the evening to do some work (or scroll aimlessly through Facebook!)

How do you carve out those precious minutes for yourself when you need a short break over the holidays?

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