There are just four days left of the school year and I am not sure how that flew by so fast- one minute Joshua was starting the new Autumn term last September and now, here we are, it has gone. In previous years I have panicked about childcare in the school holidays, as I will have a fortnight off with Joshua during his 6/7 week holiday, but I am relaxed about this summer. I will have my Friday’s off and I will use the services of Yorkshire Grandma as well as our new respite service if we need weekday cover, as they have told me that is available should I need it, so I am lucky in that regard. I think I am not as anxious about it this year also, because I am more focused on the end of school permanently, rather than the end of school for 6 weeks. This will be the last summer holiday that Joshua has when he will be going back in September, so rather than being worried about the holidays, I am grateful for the new term I think.
I also know how fast the school holidays fly by and Joshua is so sleepy at this end of term, that I can see he is ready for some lazy days and lies-in too. We will start the holidays with a weekend away at our holiday cottage, as we have not been able to go for months, so that will be special. Joshua will be back at respite for the second weekend of his holidays, as I am going away with my husband, sister and niece to scatter Mum’s ashes in a special place from her childhood, and we are looking forward to that very much. Then we go on our family holiday for a fortnight, from the third weekend , which will be very special. When we get back it will be halfway through August and we will go back to our holiday cottage for the bank holiday weekend and after that, it will be back to school. So with long weekends, due to my Fridays off, we will not feel too deprived of time off together.
It is difficult making my 20 days leave stretch to cover the school holidays, but my day off every week and any accumulated lieu time helps a lot. I know there are several parents who are concerned how they are going to survive the long summer with their children at home with them everyday. I do not have that worry as I find the time flies by, they are back at school before we know it. But if you have a child with behaviour difficulties, or one who requires routine so asks for school everyday of the holidays, then that must be very challenging.
As I did last year, I am inviting a few Mums and their children for lunch in the garden on the first Friday of the holidays. Hopefully, like last year, it will be a carefree play-date, when the Mums can chat – in between chasing after their offspring – and the children can be themselves, where nobody will judge them, all around a buffet in the garden. We had a good time last year, so I have invited more families this time, and we will just have to hope that we are blessed with decent weather again so that we can be outside. Last year we were too ambitious and followed lunch up with a group outing to a farm, which was too much for some of the young people, so I have learnt from that, this year the invitation is only for lunch and to chill in our garden, that is probably enough. Hopefully that will be one day in the school holidays when those parents do not have to worry about how they are going to entertain their children and I will enjoy hosting this energetic party.