The things I love (and hate) about school holidays

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The Easter holidays are on! This basically means no school until 28th April. By the 27th June we will be finishing up until September. For many, holidays are full of excitement and happiness but for others the mere thought of the kids finishing up fills them with dread.

There are things I love and really look forward to while other parts drive me mad. Don’t get me wrong I love my kids, love spending time with kids (sure I took a career break to be with them) but holidays can bring about mixed feelings. Some aspects have me skipping around with glee while on the other hand I am filled with dread over other parts of the break.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

I love……….

Lazy mornings: there is nothing nicer than not having an alarm go off. Ok, my three are natural human alarms but not to have to jump out of bed, shower, make sure everyone is dressed is pure bliss. We can stay in jammies until whatever-o’clock.

No school run: as much as I actually enjoy the walks of the school run (it’s my built-in exercise). It is also lovely to take a break from the monotony of walking the same route up and back three times a day – that’s six times walking the same path. A holiday from it is a welcome distraction. Just need to make sure I don’t pile on some extra pounds. Difficult when each holiday involves some sort of indulgence!

No making packed lunches: making the kid’s school lunches is in my view one of the most tedious jobs of being a parent to a school going child. I make the lunches in the evening And refrigerate them. It’s not like I don’t feed my kids lunch during the school holidays but there is something much more chilled out about not thinking at 9.30pm “better get up and do lunches”. Actually making them at lunch time seems less of a chore.

Sunny skies and dry weather: when I started my career break last summer it was the day that the kids finished school for summer holidays. A heat wave hit days later and it transformed the holidays. Everyone was in a good mood. Options of things to do were limitless.  There was so much fun had by everyone. There was just such a ‘holiday’ feeling. Can’t beat it when the sun makes an appearance during school holidays. For future reference weather, I don’t need heat wave (but won’t complain if we get one) just dry. That’s all I need. Then I can throw the kids outside! Happy days.

Camps: Camps are great. Not camps in the tent form but summer or holiday camps run by various organisations. In Ireland we have GAA – Gaelic games. They are great in my locality for running camps. Three to four hours of fresh air exercise and, come evening, time tired bunnies. Mine are currently doing a three morning Easter Camp and having a blast. The great Easter weather we are having is certainly helping their enjoyment. For those less sporty there are all sorts of other camps from arts, crafts and Lego.

I hate………..

The lack of structure: kids love routine. Any sort of diversion – even for the nicest possible reasons throws everything off kilter. Simple things like not getting dressed (a pure joy for me) can cause upset and confusion. Particularly for my little man who likes order and structure. If they start feeling the lack of structure I know all about it. A little sting in the tail of some of the joys of holidays from school.

Trying to keep them occupied: having three kids at home ALL day is hard work. The constant drones of “Mammy I need…..” “Mammy I want…..” “Mammy I’m bored” could do your head in very quickly. When it comes to summer holidays – 9 long weeks of keeping them busy can be a pain. This is where the joy of camps and good weather comes to the rescue.

Bickering: Three kids together all day is never going to be sweetness and light. There are going to be arguments, going to be tears and tantrums. Add in other kids calling to play and it can be tearing-the-hair-out central.

Rain: Just as I love good weather during school holidays I hate the rain. It (literally) puts a dampner on everything, makes keeping them occupied harder which only results in more bickering. Living in Ireland there is often a high probability of rain. Last summer was glorious.  To be fair we expect Christmas holidays to be cold.  So far Easter holidays have been lovely. Maybe this rain lark is a thing if the past? There has to be an upside to global warming right?

Image courtesy of Idea go /

Image courtesy of Idea go /

Cost of going away: a big bug bear of mine is the cost of going away. Everyone would love to be able to get away either for a short break or jump on a plane to sunnier climes but the travel agents like to put paid to any major travel desires by hiking all the prices up in July, August and whenever there is a mid term or holiday coming. Ok, I know all about supply and demand but boy is it irritating. That said some shopping around and some DIY package holidays can result in affordable breaks even at peak time.

Checking in with my Facebook fans I can see that kids waking up at 7am during school holidays (when trying to get them to wake at that time when they actually do have school is impossible), jet lag from travelling abroad and the ease of travelling to work in a lighter rush hour are some of the loves and hates of school holidays. What are yours? Do share!

I thankfully found a super deal in a hotel in the sunny South East of Ireland for 3 nights to celebrate Easter and will be eating lots of chocolate eggs!

While I’m away why not catch some great posts from my fellow Irish Parenting Bloggers:

Happy Easter everyone!!

Image courtesy of gubgib /

Image courtesy of gubgib /


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