Thursday, 6 September 2018

It Really Was A Summer Of Fun

I'm not sure how other parents working full time during the Summer months feel but in my 5 years as a parent and working a 5 day week during the Summer holidays I've put myself under immense pressure to make sure we make the most of the time off we have together and subsequently feeling like we need to compensate for not going abroad.

The mother's guilt kicks in about the boy child spending a majority of his time with his Nan while me and his Dad are at work, his Dad working 3 jobs over 7 days this Summer so a bit tougher than previous Summers.

The mother's guilt over the fact that because our jobs are seasonally busy, means Summer is the busiest time, we can't take Summer holidays during June, July and August. 

The mother's guilt that there aren't enough days out with the boy child, with either him and I or as a family of 3. 

Then there's the daughter's guilt (yes that's a thing for me now too!) that I'm asking too much of my parents, mostly my Mum as my Dad is at work, to keep the boy child entertained throughout the holidays. The pressure put on her of having an energetic 5 year old to look after 9+ hours a day 4 or 5 days a week, depending on our work patterns. 

I was browsing my photo gallery on my phone the other day though and while I thought we didn't get a chance to do much over the Summer holidays, I was mistaken. 

I have numerous pictures of afternoons and evenings on the beach thanks to the heatwave that came our way.

There was numerous play dates with his friends and ice creams a plenty.

There was spur of the moment take away suppers from the local chipper with his best friend which was a big novelty for them.

There was two different Summer camps.

There was day trips to local attractions and an abundance of trips to different playgrounds and play centres.

We got to the cinema twice when the heat became too much.

There was family fun days in local clubs that we went to, places where we always bump into someone we know.

There was quality time with his cousins, impromptu days with his Aunty and some much needed quality with his Dad's side of the family. 

I lost count of the times we'd stop off at the local strand on our way home and he would wade into the water in his clothes, going home in the back of the car wrapped up in one of my jumpers (or the spare towel when I remembered to replace it for times like these!)

There was many an evening in the garden until it got dark and movie nights were almost every night. 

Not forgetting the biggest adventure this Summer, going down town at night for the local Regatta where we watched the fire works from the roof top of the local hotel, ate chips by the pier and candy floss that made our hands all sticky, there was rides on the fun fair attractions and a flashing light saber bought that is now wedged down the side of his bed - the most exciting part of this for him was being "down town" late at night while it was dark - it's the simple things eh?!

And in the middle of all that was some chill time, days where he stayed in his pj's all day, snacked as he was hungry instead of the usual meal times, where he strolled between the house and the garden as he pleased in his bare feet with no rushing and hurrying trying to get to where we needed to be. Just the right amount of rest time for his last Summer as a care free preschooler. 

Someone said to me recently that next year now we'll have to make sure we take him away on holidays as he'll be older and all his friends will probably be going away and he can't be left out, or something along those lines but for us and I'm sure some other's that not what the Summer holidays are always about. 
Not everyone can go away on a holiday during the Summer months for many reasons whether it's financial. time restrictions due to work, illness or whatever, sometimes it's just not possible but that doesn't mean your Summer holidays were unsuccessful and I'd hate for anyone to think like this because they didn't get on a plane or stay in a hotel somewhere.

The Summer holidays for us are about letting go a bit, easing up on the routine and restrictions of the school year, it's about making the most of the nice weather and getting out and about to enjoy our surroundings, it's about taking the foot of life's accelerator for a few weeks and enjoying time with family and friends, making the most of the longer days, spending the extra hour in the garden or going for a walk on the green in the evening, having chips on the beach as our dinner and going for a 99 after.

Maybe in the coming Summers we'll manage to get away on holiday at some point and some day in the future I won't have to work a 5 day week and the OH won't be working 3 jobs but for now these are our circumstances and we make the most of them and the most important thing - we've made lots of happy memories this Summer regardless and the boy child was smiling at the end of it and really that's what matters the most. 

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