As schools open up again after what seems like months and teachers return from their benders in Ibiza to look after your feral children it may seem like all is well.
After all, you’ve survived the longest 6 weeks of your entire lives and can now get back to lounging around the house for large chunks of the day, immersed in frankly appaling daytime TV whilst drinking gin through a straw and a cloud of regret.
But wait! It’s not all as great as it seems. Here’s a few reasons why the summer holidays weren’t that bad after all:
1. The Traffic
With people jetting off to spend their time watching kids’ entertainment in foreign parts whilst getting fat and burnt it does make for a bit less traffic on the roads back here in Blighty. Unless you live on the coast of course, in which case, yeah, you’re probably screwed.
But for me, driving between Reading and Heathrow the holidays are lovely, with journey times cut by at least 4 minutes, so I can spend an extra 4 minutes in bed. Trific.
2. Car Parking At Work
Again, people being away with their families means it’s a lot easier to park at work. For 6 solid weeks I’m able to sail into the work car park and get a space rather than having to circle round a few times and then give up and push my car onto its side against a tree. Blissful.
3. Meals Out With The Kids
They may get under you feet at times, but having kids around is a great excuse for going out for dinner. If you prod, encourage and cajole your little ones they’ll eventually tell you they want to go wherever you want to go.
‘What shall we do for dinner, son? Do you fancy going out for pizza?’
‘No thanks, daddy. Let’s eat here at home‘
‘Are you sure you don’t want yummy pizza?
‘We might buy you some Lego on the way to getting the yummy pizza. Fancy it now?‘
‘No. Eat at home please.’
‘Um. Lego, a chocolate mouse, and you can watch YouTube for 4 hours afterwards?’
‘OK daddy. If we must.’
‘Right, mummy, little one is desperate to go out for pizza and I’m too tired to argue so let’s go…’
4. No School Run
One massive benefit of the summer holidays is the lack of the school run. Instead of having to put actual clothes on before 10am, ensure your little one is dressed, finish off homework, brush teeth and walk to school, you can stumble downstairs in your PJs and gradually wait for your eyes to come back to life and for your brain to function. For me this comes at around 11am. Some days it doesn’t come at all…
5. Play Dates
Summer holidays give you the opportunity to meet up with your own parent friends in the guise of it being a playdate for your offspring. So whilst your children are running around a piss-sodden room of plastic misery in their socks you can be sipping a hot chocolate with your parent pals and talking about all the things you did before you had children.
Obviously your kids will pop over every 4 minutes to make sure you’re still staring at them / needing a wee / needing drink / having fallen over / grassing up a friend or sibling but still…
6. Going On Holiday
No summer holiday period would be complete without a family holiday! Amazing entertainment, top class food, stunning accommodation, spas, massages and ultimate relaxation are just some of the things that you’ll come nowhere near on a family summer holiday. But it’s better than sitting around at home, right?!
Summer with the kids is all about eating outdoors with good friends. Al fresco dining, boozy lunches and letting the kids run wild is the order of the day. There are definitely a few things to be wary of, but assuming you come away without food poisoning and with your sanity in tact you can’t beat a good BBQ.
8. Excuses For Not Doing DIY Etc
With the kids at home, there are a lot more excuses for not cracking on with DIY or other household chores. There’s no point in painting the wall, because your child might walk into it. No point in doing anything structural as it’ll create too much dust and will be bad for your kid’s lungs. No point tidying up as it will just get messy again within a few minutes.
Let’s just put it all off until September…
9. Reasons To Eat, Drink & Be Lazy
Summer holidays are stressful. Kids get bored easily, childcare is hard to fit in around work, shops are packed, attractions are busy and holidays are twice the normal price.
So you deserve a drink or two and some junk food, right? Maybe crack open a bottle of wine of an evening to celebrate making it through the day. Maybe two. Grab a takeaway as there’s no time to cook. You DESERVE that cake.
Sod the gym too – impossible to fit it in with the looking after the kids thing. We’ll get back to normal routines soon…
10. Kids Can Be Fun…
The most important thing I’ll miss about the summer holidays though is actually, shock horror, having our little one at home!
Yeah he can be a lot of work, and he doesn’t stop, and he’s always begging for snacks and making a mess and sometimes he’s a proper pain in the bum. But he’s actually a top little bloke and although we’ll be happy to have some time back to ourselves we’ll definitely miss him. Nearly time for that back to school front door photo!
Roll on the Christmas holidays. Just not too quickly…