It’s the last day of the school term here in Wales, and as I said farewell to my daughter this morning I felt really emotional as I realised that it’s her last day in Year 1. My baby is growing up way too quickly, I don’t know where the time goes and I wish I could just pause it so she could be this cute and lovely forever!
After she left, I watched an item on Good Morning Britain where two mums were debating if a six week summer holiday is too long. One mum said it’s not too long as it’s lovely to have a whole six weeks to enjoy and make memories, and the other mum was full of dread, stating that she’ll want to kill her children two weeks in, as they’ll all be driving her mad.
As an employed full time working mum, who also runs her own freelance company as well as Mam Cymru, I know it’s hard to juggle school holidays with your working life, but I can’t wait for it to start! The thought of not having the mad morning rush and the 18 mile drive to school and all the after school activities for the next 6 weeks, will be lovely!
It makes me sad to hear parents saying they don’t want to spend time with their kids and that they are dreading having to ‘entertain’ their kids. I just can’t relate to that as I love spending time with my daughter and due to the fact that my working life is so busy, I relish every opportunity to make the most of our time together. We’re so lucky to have these children and we need to remember that and make the most of it. What’s the point of having children if you don’t want to spend time with them?!
Having said that, I do agree that six weeks is a long time, especially for working parents and I do think it would make more sense to spread out the holidays to make it easier for working families. For the first time, we’ve had to ask for help with childcare this year as I’m now working full time, I appreciate that not everyone has family or friends that can help, and having spent £800 a month on childcare for 1 child for four years, I know that childcare is really expensive.
As we embark on the 6 weeks, I think we need to be positive and make the most of it. When I think back to my childhood my parents were always working and the highlight for me every year was staying in a caravan in the Royal Welsh Show (on the Yamaha stand where Dad was working!).
We also need to make the most of the weather to explore all the amazing free stuff that Wales has to offer to ensure we don’t have to worry about budgeting and stressing about what to do on our days together; go down to the beach with a ball, take a bike ride around your area, splash in the river, have a sleepover on the trampoline and make a camp fire in the garden and toast marshmallows on twigs from the trees. Just have FUN and remember that time flies. Before you know it, our little ones will be big ones and we want them to look back on their childhood as fun times – go make those memories!
PS I’ll be taking time out from #MamCymruHQ this summer to do all of the above. I’ll see you on the other side!
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru.