School's (Nearly) Out For Summer

School's (Nearly) Out For Summer... Eek...
18 June 2016

By this point in the year, school-gate mums and dads can generally be roughly divided into two camps; those who are counting down the hours till the lazy days of the school summer holidays begin, and those who are quietly dreading them and wondering how in heck they'll ever fill a-l-l t-h-o-s-e h-o-u-r-s that lie ahead.

Now I'm not about to divulge which group I fall into but I do know, on the basis of school-gate conversation, that those who are quietly dreading the holidays feel horribly guilty for feeling that way.

Because it's not that they don't want to spend time with their little darlings - far from it. Whether it's the stress of figuring out how to juggle work with the kids being off school, or just general anxiety about keeping the kids occupied for the duration of the summer, the mums who secretly dread the summer holidays have good reason for feeling the way they do, but they're afraid to even admit to it.

Why? Because of the other camp, who just can't wait. It's already started on social media; the parents who've counted out how many more packed lunches they have to make and are excitedly ticking each one off, relishing the thought of hanging out at home with the kids without the stress of the school run, the horror of homework, or the pain in the neck that is making a daily packed lunch.

But here's the thing. Whichever camp you're in, I think we should cut each other some slack and agree that it's ok to love the school summer holidays, and it's ok to quietly dread them. Signing up to one or other perspective - or indeed flitting between the two on an hourly basis which might be sort of how I feel - doesn't make you either a good mum or a feckless one. It just makes you human, and means that your life circumstances aren't the same as everyone else's.

So let's not polarise one another or set ourselves up in camps; if you're the kind of mum that loves the school summer holidays then why not see if there's a way you could help make life easier for a mum who struggles with the summer? And if you're wondering how on earth you're going to make this summer work, why not open up about your honest feelings and ask another mum for a little moral support?

Let's remember that we're all just trying to do our best as mums, and commit to making things easier for each other instead of tougher.

All that said, I don't mind admitting that I think the school summer holidays are a tad too long. My kids get nine long weeks of school each summer and even for those parents who love the summer and look forward to it for ages before it begins, I reckon that's just way too much time to fill.

But we'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you agree that the school summer holidays are just too long? Tell us how you feel about the summer, and how it's shaping up to look in your house as the end of school looms…

2 comments

  • Smilely

    Your children must go to private school if you get 9 weeks and that is your choice, when you choose to send them there you knew that . My eldest went to a private school and we loved all the holidays.

    Now I have 2 daughters and they go to a state school and I am counting down the days to 6 weeks of freedom!!! My daughters do a  do a lot of activities after school and we all need the rest. We can't wait, we have 2 weeks on Mexico, all inclusive booked, a week in summer school doing dance, riding lessons, athletics club and swimming lessons all booked, we also have the Merlin Premier Annual Pass. It's the best 6 weeks of the year. I remember my childhood and the 6 weeks holidays were the best.

    I do not think these holidays should be reduced.

    • PForster

      Sounds great however remember there are those on very low incomes who simply cannot afford a lot of what you have planned and for whom the lack of a daily free school meal causes even greater hardship in the summer. Yes, there are many things you can do for free but if we have another typical wet Scottish summer then the options can be quite limited! 

      I'm in the mixed camp-looking forward to not having to be up and out the door every morning but know my two girls will be at each other's throats pretty quickly!!

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