I took a career break at the end of June. At the start of the summer I posted about what I had hoped to do with the kids – well I made some suggestions and hoped some of it might materialise among the chaos that was going to be me being thrown from a full time working mum to a full time stay at home mum – in the summer! Deep end stuff!
Now the school holidays are over and the kids are back to school. It was never a list I referred to but I thought I would review my list and see how we did with our summer activities.
- Beach (hope weather cooperates!)
Well what can I say – the weather out did itself. Having spent three summers on maternity leave all of them incredibly wet I felt I deserved a good summer. I couldn’t have asked for more. We took a minimum weekly trip to the beach, they hit the water, they collected shells, we played ball, frisbee and made sand castles. Granted I am 5 min drive from the beach but I used it more this summer than since I moved into my house 10 years ago. RESULT!
We hit the cinema twice. Amazingly, despite the good weather both days we went to the cinema it was raining. We saw Despicable Me 2 and Smurfs 2. I only brought my older two. My 22 month old still went to her creche 3 mornings a week and we picked two mornings she was otherwise having fun with her little friends to go. RESULT!
When I wrote the list I had imagined going off for a swim in a public pool. I didn’t. But everyone (bar me) went for a swim in the sea here in Ireland and we all swam (lots) on our holidays in Tenerife both in the pool and the sea. My oldest lost her arm bands and my son gained so much water confidence. I will definitely take them swimming again and fully intend to get my oldest girl lessons over the course of my career break. RESULT!
- throw them out in the garden to play on swings, trampoline and in the sandpit
I think my kids practically lived out the garden for half the summer! One of the joys of the good weather is the ability for the kids to get out and about. I had neighbours kids in my garden too. They all had fun. The only fly in the ointment was that for a number of days my son developed this fear of the garden. He had to be coaxed out and even then would scarper indoors if he heard any loud noises. He is fine now but it was a battle on certain days. A shame too for him as he missed quite a few hours of fun in the garden. MOSTLY RESULT!
We did do baking. Not as much as I thought we would due to the good weather but scones, cupcakes and cakes were had. It was a nice morning activity to do before the day got really nice and warm. RESULT
Like baking I thought we would do more. We kicked off my career break with jigsaws but with the good weather we didn’t do as many but the jigsaw box did make an occassional trip out! RESULT
We bought new playdough which was quickly turned into a marbled effect mess! We also made some homemade playdough which was great fun but was a little sticky so playing with it was a little messy! Definitely will try the homemade again! RESULT
I thought I would go to the playground more. We did take a couple of trips but with the good weather the playground was bombarded! I hate when the playground is like that. My kids are too young for me to be able to sit back and let them off so trying to watch them among screaming kids when they run off in different directions was too much stress for me. And I am not alone. If you check out my fellow Irish Parenting Blogger Office Mum’s experience. I feel her pain! FAIL.
- Tayto Park (just bought an annual membership)
All I can say it that our annual membership was a great investment. We were there about 5 times! I guess that took care of our trips to the playground with the fabulous Pow Wow Playground. Check out my review here. RESULT
- Bike and scooter rides
My son loves his scooter. To the detriment of his bike which he got for his 3rd birthday and still hasn’t mastered. He just pedals backwards. I see little boys cycling around with no stabilisers and he can’t get moving! My daughter is great at cycling but we need to take her stabilisers off. I had hoped to get them both more advanced and I did but only a little. It is actually only the last few days that I have gotten them out and about on their bikes and about 2 weeks ago we got our baby girl a scooter. She is so good! We got it because she kept taking her brothers. At 22 months she is outstanding! PARTIAL RESULT
- Visiting grandparents
We did lots of visiting grandparents! I visited my own parents at least every week if not twice. We had both sets up for dinner on a couple of occasions and with one great grandmother also still around they got to visit her on a number of occasions and even got paid for watering her plants! RESULT
- Playing with toys
There was lots of playing with toys. Mainly in between activities or when I needed to do something in the house – make dinner, put a wash out. They have so many toys – I had intended to do a clear out over summer but with the good weather I wasn’t staying in doing that type of thing – Winter will be long enough! So I guess they got to play with more toys than I would have cared for. RESULT.
- Colouring and arts and crafts
Colouring and arts and crafts are usually my rainy day staple activities however with the good weather and to keep them occupied we moved our usual indoor activity to the outside table. Alfresco colouring and arts and crafts! RESULT!
I had planned to catch up on a number of playdates that I hadn’t had a chance to arrange due to work. There were about 5 on my list. I had 1. My little boy also had his first playdate and I had his friend back here too. To be fair I spent most of the summer with our neighbours kids (my oldest’s age) in and out of the house rather than having formal playdates. Something I now need to catch up on. FAIL
- Visit to museums/gallery – all free in Dublin City centre
Ok, we failed miserably here. We did go into the city centre but only once and did not go near any museum or gallery. FAIL
- Some household jobs!
There was a big plan to do some serious deep cleaning and decluttering. This was a big fail for me as I took advantage of the good weather. Sure, there will be lots of time in winter! There is a long list!