How To Survive Half Term

Half term is here. One weeks off school for the children (and the teachers) to wind down and have a little break.

Anyone ever noticed how young children don’t seem to understand that half term is a “break”? If anything, I’d say my daughter uses more energy during the week off school. 

As a single mother to one it is my sole responsibility to entertain her for the week. With limited resources and a shoestring budget, that can sometimes get tricky. I can’t tell if it’s better or worse for multi-child families, as they will play together, but also squabble together – and that’s just more little hands to keep busy! So without further ado, my list of things to do (or not to do) to maintain some sort of calm and sanity during the February half term:

  • Do invest in some indoor activities. I know we all want to take the kids outside where possible, and I know being cooped up is no fun, but at this time of year the weather is crap. So invest in some cake mix, play doh or craft supplies, and maybe a movie that you can bear to watch a couple of times.
  • Do try to keep some routine. Sure, it’s a week off school, but it’s only a week off school. Not long enough to reset little human alarm clocks before they go back, so try to avoid the super-late bedtimes. Stick to getting up and dressed, and bath and bed times as usual, for the best chance at an easy Monday morning next week.
  • Do get some bribes. For half term we usually have one big “treat”; this week it has been a trip to the cinema and a McDonalds tea. After that, you’re gonna need something sugary to bribe your kids with once the stir-crazy-ness sets in. I’m not saying overload them, but a little Kinder chocolate goes a long way.
  • Do buy wine. I know we all think a week off with our little angels is supposed to be lovely bonding time, and we fully intend to spend it being perfectly-polished parents, crafting at the dining table and walking in the park, but I guarantee that by Thursday you will feel frazzled and exhausted and cranky. A tall glass of (insert your favourite) will really take the edge off.
  • Do not try to explain what a lie-in is, that you are having one, that they should have one, just don’t. Small humans don’t understand the concept of sleeping late, and any attempt at explaining it triggers something in their brain that makes them wake you up two hours earlier than usual.
  • Do not plan a crazy busy week full of outdoor games and playdates. The weather will plot against you, and you will be utterly exhausted by the time back-to-school rolls around. Half term is a good time for you to recoup from the daily school run, too. By all means fit in a couple of playdates, and plan a trip to the library/park/local town centre; just don’t completely overload yourself.
  • Do not tell your children about any outdoor plans like the park. If you say,”We will go to the park tomorrow,” and it’s blowing an arctic gale and thtowing it down tomorrow, they will not forgive you for not taking them when you said you would. Try saying “We will go to the park this week, if the weather is okay,” to avoid being asked 200 times an hour when it is time to go.
  • Do not lose your shit. This one is easier said than done. A week “off” with small humans is hard work, and you’re bound to feel stressed at some point. Maybe it will be the play-doh smushed into the carpet, or the repetitive, annoying, high pitched noise your child has been making for the past hour because they think it’s amusing. Whatever it is, do not lose your shit. Take a leaf out of Elsa’s book: let it go. 

I hope everybody has a lovely half term with their little ones! Thanks for reading! 

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