It’s a long six weeks when the kids are off school. We might have had ideas about fun days at the beach and special family bonding time, but now we’re running out of money (and snacks), and we’ve negotiated so many peace treaties between siblings we’re probably due a Nobel prize. Starting to lose your cool? Made yourself a countdown calendar for the start of term? Maybe you’ve found yourself muttering some of these sentences under your breath whilst internally counting to ten…
1. “So, when do I get to have a holiday?”
You travelled a few hundred miles to a holiday apartment in the Med for the big family holiday, only to spend most of the time making up snacks, breaking up sibling fights, yelling at your kids to put their shoes on, and cleaning up poop. You could have stayed at home to do the same thing, and at least there you wouldn’t have everything covered in sand.
2. “That’s it, I’m going to stop feeding you.”
All that extra vitamin D from the sun has caused your child to have a huge growth spurt. Now all the new school uniform and school shoes you bought at the start of the summer no longer fit and you have to take it all back and start again.
3. “OK, just fight nicely!”
Your children have had so many arguments over the summer holidays that you now only interpret their squabbles as background noise to be ignored. Occasionally you might have to intervene if it looks like one might be seriously injured, but otherwise it’s a mini version of the Hunger Games in your house.
4. “Why Is There Sand In My Bed?”
Can you even really call it the school summer holidays if your child hasn’t spent at least one day getting covered head to toe in sand and needing a hose pipe to remove it all?
5. “No, I really don’t want to watch you practise another Fortnite move.”
“How can it possibly be your favourite game? You’re not even allowed to play Fortnite, you’re just copying something your friend’s elder brother taught you at school. No, I’m not downloading it for you. I don’t care if Luke says he plays it. He’s lying, I asked his Mum. Seriously, for 1000th time the answer is no!”
6. “Really? The best part of your holiday was finding a toy car abandoned in the park?”
“But I took you to the beach, on a steam train ride, to the cinema, to a castle, on a boat ride, to a lake, to a science show, and three different soft play centres. It cost me a fortune, and you’re telling me all I needed to do was spend £5 in Asda on some Hot Wheels and hide them in the park?”
7. “I think we might need to reign in the ice cream a little bit.”
It’s not just the kids who are getting a little tubby, it’s you as well. Actually it’s just you, but you want the temptation completely removed.
8. “Is 8 hours of screen time really THAT bad?”
At the start of the summer holidays you were pretty strict in sticking to a two hour limit, but now the holidays are nearing the end and you’ve run out of craft ideas (or just can’t be bothered anymore) so you tend to throw the tablet in your child’s general direction as soon as they wake up and leave them to it.
9. “Oh, my God, where did all my money go?”
You carefully saved up money for the long summer break and were generally feeling pretty positive about your budget. But then you spent £7 on soft play entry here, £3 on ice cream there, £4 on parking fees here, £5 on a novelty item from the gift shop just so you could leave without an argument there. It all adds up. Throw in a couple of days at theme park, a boat load more ice cream, and £50 on craft activities (thanks British summer) and suddenly your healthy August is in a critical condition. You start Googling what age your child can legitimately get a paper-round.
10. “Alexa really needs a ‘please ignore everything my child says’ setting.”
Because if you have to listen George Ezra’s Shotgun one more time you might resort to using one yourself. Seriously, Amazon and Google are missing an amazing marketing opportunity with that one.
11. “I’m sure it never used to be this hard to entertain you.”
If you’re a typical UK mum then you spent the first nine to twelve months of your child’s life on maternity leave, which meant that you spent almost all of your time every day with your child. Now you’re only responsible for them all day for a few weeks and it seems like so much hard work. Of course, when they were a baby they didn’t answer back, they were easily entertained by jangling some keys in front of them, and they certainly didn’t try and whack their sibling every time you looked away.