It has only just begun and you’re already exhausted. The double whammy, a bank holiday weekend and then half-term.
And no childcare! Argh!
Half-term can be stressful. There’s an expectation that you will be on holiday whether you can afford it or not. Grandparents can’t necessarily be relied on to fill the gap of 30+ hours of childcare and your more organised colleagues booked the time off months ago to go away somewhere nice (lucky them!).
For the rest of us half-term is just a bit of a pain, but we can survive it and might even have some fun.
DAD.info talked to a self-employed Dad from Hastings, UK and here are his suggestions for how he is planning to get through the holidays.
1. Get outside
Fighting against the fact that you have no childcare is perfectly natural but maybe this week is a good chance to spend some time with your small people and enjoy a change of scenery.
Go for a walk in the country, a local park or if you’re lucky a nearby beach.
Our four year old says she would happily watch her tablet all day, but more than an hour is a recipe for arguments. Get out as soon as you can. Ideally the same time they normally go to childcare to keep everyone as chilled as possible.
For the first time in ages we spent the bank holiday outside (the weather was actually very unbankholiday like). We spent the whole weekend out of the house. It was tiring but it meant that arguments were kept to a minimum and the days flew by.
2. Keep it cheap
If you’re self-employed like me then half-term can hurt you in the wallet.
You can’t earn as much and going out with the kids is a bottomless pit. So I am always looking for ways to have cheap fun. Local museums or galleries often have events on over half-term (that are free!) and then head somewhere with a picnic afterwards.
Say YES to other kid’s birthday parties. They can actually kill half a day (free tea, cake and biscuits too!). A walk in the woods and a stop off at a road side diner is also cheap! Days out don’t have to be expensive to be memorable.
3. Share the load
Find out what other parents you know are doing. Do they have any great activities they are already going to where your offspring could join them?
Perhaps you can do a swap and look after each other’s kids for the day. It’s always worth asking and if not this holiday then maybe they’ll help another.
4. Family time
It’s important to grab quality time with your kids and half-term is the perfect opportunity to do so, clients are often understanding and have kids of their own.
Work from home if it’s an option and then you can at least enjoy some time in the sun after work with the kids. Early evening meals out can save you from the daily grind of dinner time!
5. Have some rest
I won’t lie. Half-term week is exhausting but it’s important to stay calm and get some rest. Say no to people if you’ve booked too much in too soon in the week. You’ll find that the kid’s stamina for full days of fun is less than your own. Factor in an early journey home in the afternoons so they can rest on the way back (they may even sleep on the journey home!).
6. Me time
Having your routine disrupted by half-term is a shock to the system but see it as an opportunity to take a breath and have a slower week if at all possible. Find at least one evening where you can do what you like without the kids.
Whatever you are doing over half term have fun and if you need to talk to other Dads come over to our forum for some moral support – https://www.dad.info/forum/index