This post is sponsored by BUPA
School holidays are always an interesting time for me personally. On the one hand I get so excited about spending more quality time with the kids and having space away from work. On the other hand, I can get easily overwhelmed by the constant demands and requests and a lack of structure day in day out.
I am someone who thrives on routine and structure however this can make life boring and predictable and that’s not very fun when you’re on holidays.
The two things I struggle with the most during school holidays are food and screen time. Holidays are kind of strange, as a parent you get all excited thinking it’s a holiday and you will get a break but the reality is you are still a parent and now you have your kids 24/7 to look after.
For me personally the reality check hits after about a week that it’s actually not really a holiday my days just look different to my normal work but it’s still constant work.
We do tend to get a bit relaxed with the kids around food and screens and sleep as that’s the only way we get a bit of a break as well. The problem with this is after a few weeks things can get a little cray with the 3 kids who have been watching too many screens, sleeping less than they usually do and eating worse than normal.
This is where my mother guilt kicks in and all those articles I have either read or written start mulling over in my mind about what I should be doing.
Firstly, I want to say that as parents of this generation we put soooooo much pressure on ourselves to get everything right with our kids. I am reminded when I reflect on my own childhood and think about my parents and how I was raised that it is going to be ok.
I read something recently that said parents of this generation spend 3 times as much time with their kids than their parents did AND they are working either full time and part time whereas their mothers were often stay at home mums. How crazy is that!!
I love my parents as an adult and am so grateful to have them as a part of my life and my kid’s lives despite the fact that they were less than perfect for today’s standards when I was a child.
What my parents did well was create little family traditions that became a part of who we were together which gave us a sense of family. These traditions weren’t daily things, some were just on birthdays, some were monthly and some were yearly. They weren’t super fancy and didn’t require lots of money but it was our family and our tradition and it mattered.
I have recently been participating in the 8 Week Bupa Family Challenge initiative and it got me to thinking about all of these things.
One of the challenges that has been a game changer for our school holidays has been to get outside for between 1-3 hours a day. The initial challenge Bupa set was for twice in one week but since it was school holidays we made it once a day. Setting this as a daily challenge over the holidays has given us a tangible goal which has had an awesome impact on our family.
Hubby and I are quite outdoorsy but it is often so much effort getting 5 people sorted for something as simple as a bike ride. Over the years we have spent so much money on things like bikes and skateboards and roller blades that it is such a great thing when you actually use them. We even got Miss 10 a gorgeous second-hand bike for Christmas this year which she is madly in love with it … I mean look at the thing it’s pretty awesome.
We have found that the kids have really enjoyed our bike rides together as a family. It can be a struggle to get them interested initially but once we are all on our way it has always been really worthwhile.
I feel great as I know how good it is for us to be spending time together moving our bodies outside and off the screens. I know my kiddos will remember those little moments riding around our neighbourhood streets with us or down to the local shop for an ice block. Those simple things are what I remember about my childhood and are treasured memories. I just don’t remember my parents riding around with us ha.
If you are looking for inspiration of simple little ways you can connect with your kids then check out the Bupa Family Challenge … it has some really awesome ideas and it doesn’t cost a thing. They send you a weekly email for 8 weeks with a fun family challenge to give you simple and achievable ideas for connecting with your kids. You can find all of the details here …