School holidays are fast approaching, and with that excitement also comes the common stress that most mothers feel. “What are we going to do every day for 2 weeks??!?!?”
So how can you prepare yourself psychologically for the juggling act of school holidays?
1. Have self-compassion
It’s hard work being a mum!! It’s ok to feel anxious, down, and like you’re not good enough. However you don’t need to be Superwoman. The celebrities you see breezing through motherhood have a team of PAs, cleaners, and chefs! Be kind to yourself, you’re doing a fantastic job!
Kids LOVE school holidays. The novelty of “time off” represents a world of possibility.
*Plan to do things that are both new and fun, but also incorporate “achievement activities” that are part of their normal routine. A day at the zoo could be followed up with helping groom or clean the family pet.
*Plan some time for rest. There’s nothing wrong with a pajama day watching movies.
*Plan some time for being active. As wonderful as couch surfing is, getting outside and being active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. A play at the park, building sandcastles on the beach, or flying a kite on a windy day, can be great, AND FREE!
3. Do what’s best for you and your family.
As each term draws to a close, parents are inundated with information on school holiday camps. From football and dancing, to swimming and gymnastics, it can be incredibly overwhelming. Depending on your other commitments, be they work or otherwise, camps may well be the perfect option. For others, they may not be suitable. The best thing to do when it comes to school holiday programs is to do what works for your family. Don’t worry about what everyone else is up to.
4. Manage Expectations
Kids naturally look forward to time off. However try and avoid making it a two week long party! If school holidays are always a fun filled time when they can do whatever they like, and the school term is all about hard work and no play, this can create resentment towards school. School holidays ARE a time to rest and be rewarded for the effort made during the term, but be sure to keep them grounded. As discussed above, “achievement activities” or chores are a great way of keeping things balanced.
5. Share The Load.
Whether you’re a working mum or a stay at home mum, it’s always helpful to reach out to other parents, friends, or family who may be able to get involved with school holiday activities. Play dates, or an afternoon with grandparents will help ease the stress of having to be “switched on” for the entire holiday period. You are not expected to be constantly entertaining your children. It’s ok to ask for help and take time out for yourself. You’ll find this greatly improves your patience and general mood.
What have you got planned for the school holidays???
For further help and ideas to help cope with stress and parenting, feel free to contact Dr Aileen Alegado (www.mindsetpsychology.com.au)
*NB This are article was is also published on http://www.mouthsofmums.com.au/5-steps-to-cope-with-school-holiday-pressure/