February half term holidays.

Now call me crazy, delusional or maybe you think I can’t be telling the whole truth – But I love spending the half term holidays with my girls.

You won’t find drips of sweat rolling down my face as the half term approaches and I am not slowly rocking in the corner as the holidays draw to a close either.

I am certain there must be others out there who like me, actually look forward to this time and don’t dread it.

Sometimes I read comments from other parents spouting about how much they dread the approach of the holidays and they have a countdown clock for the return of their children going back to school. I personally think it a shame to think like this.

Before you think that I am raising the Brady Bunch and see family life as anything less than an idyllic day to day existence, I am more than aware of how testing children can be at times and I too seek solace in the bathroom for just a minutes peace.

But give me the chance to spend some quality time with my family that doesn’t involve a weekend consisting of commuting to and from dance classes, food shopping and children’s parties and I will embrace it with open arms.

After all they aren’t going to be this young forever and I want to know that I have cherished (occasionally pulled my hair out) this time of life with them because before you know it, they will be off doing their own thing that doesn’t involve us.

Something which I find helps us as a family to alleviate the boredom and monotony that can come with the half term holidays is to plan activities. That is the key to my success and enjoying my children being at home with me.

A sleepover is usually planned for my eldest daughter and her friends. She is at the age where, when her friends come over they hide out in the playroom or her bedroom for most of the duration and it probably the quietest she can be when she has company over! It also pleases my youngest daughter as she is often made a fuss of from her big sisters friends.

You can make the holidays as cheap or as expensive as you like depending on your activity choice.   This particular holiday has only cost me £11 so far, on one activity and we have Friday – Sunday still to go.

So far we have had a birthday party on Saturday, a sleepover on Saturday evening at home and then onto another birthday party on Sunday.

I wouldn’t usually have the sleepover at home in between such events as they usually tire her out, however the birthday parties were very last minute invitations from 2 school friends.  Cost = Free (apart from Presents)

I took my eldest daughter Ophelia, to the cinema on Tuesday as I think it is important for her and I to have some quality time together and my youngest spent the day at home for one on one time with Daddy. Cost = £11

Wednesday, Ophelia went on a local trip with her Dad, Uncle and Cousin to the woods where they participated with a group called Natures Den. This was a gift from her Uncle, so we didn’t pay for this activity.  It has been given a big thumbs up though from both Ophelia and Mr.S. Cost = Gift (Tickets usually £20 for the child, adults go free)

Today, (Thursday) we are having a day at home as rest days are important.  I don’t think you should jam pack your schedule as I really believe that children need to learn to use their imagination and have free play time on their own.  Plus today it’s raining and we are all full of a cold, so some respite is needed.

Friday’s original plans of a playdate with 2 other friends has been cancelled so we are instead going to go for a picnic and a walk around Heaton Park. Cost = £1 for a loaf of bread to feed the ducks.

I’m not sure what the weekend has in store for us yet, but it’s certainly no worry to us and I will be a little bit sad come Monday morning when we are back in school run mode.

The half term holidays aren’t something to be afraid of, not even the big Summer break! It is most definitely something to embraced and looked forward to.  I believe that a bit of organisation and a loose structure of ideas can save you from going crazy at the thought of entertaining your children.

I know it isn’t everyone’s forte, trust me.  I run for cover when my eldest asks me to play make believe ( That is my downfall as a parent!) I just find it really hard to get into that make believe mode and really struggle to enjoy it in all honesty.  But I’m trying.

The company of others can go a long way in helping to keep you sane, so you should plan activities with your friends also, and make playdates, visit the local park and plan arts and craft activities. Google is a great place for inspiration if you aren’t naturally crafty.

As clichéd as it may sound, Children really do grow so fast, blink and you might miss their childhood. So lets put an end to the fear of the half term holidays and welcome them into our hearts one half term day at a time.

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