Welcome to my post for Day 1 of #12daysofparenting, so lovely to have you from Lady Bug Home & Designs. Complete your giveaway entries through the rafflecopter at the end of this post, for a chance to win some top parenting goodies.
It’s holiday time in a week and I can’t wait. 😁The school holidays are one of the things I really like about my job, but this upcoming one is different from the rest.
- It’s the cold end of the year
- The days are much shorter
- It gets dark quicker
- There will be more traffic on the roads
- Shops will be more jam-packed
I’m alright with all these; it’s the end of the longest school term in the academic year and I’m definitely ready for a rest, and some catch-up.
But wait a minute … I have a child … a toddler … a moving and very active little one.
Unlike my pre-motherhood days, this holiday is like no other in the school year. It’s the one where both babes and tots’ groups close for a break, and children’s activities pause.
I was especially gutted to find out that Precious Sparkle’s swimming lessons wouldn’t be taking place during this holiday. I enjoyed taking him swimming during the half term, and I was really looking forward to taking him again, but it’s not to be. 🙁 I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge his swimming instructors their time off. They deserve their holiday, and it is right that they have a break.
It just that this is the only time of the year where there are so many adults and children around with limited daylight and space. Local parks and play areas gets filled up through the day, and the children activity centres that stay open tend to be very busy.
Staying indoors all day, whilst appealing to someone like me with so much catch-up to do, is not an option with a toddler. My house is definitely not big enough for my little person to run around and stretch his body and mind for long periods of time.
So, what I’m I going to do?
Working full-time means that I feel very isolated from the mummy groups world. I used to enjoy hanging out with other mums every week, at my local ‘babes and bumps’ group, then later at my church’s ‘mother’s and toddlers’ group. My monthly breastfeeding group is also really fab.
However, work and life has made these lovely and meaningful pastimes a distant memory. I can’t even remember when last I made it to my monthly group which happens on Saturdays when I don’t have to go to work (though I do sometimes).
So, what do I do?
I can’t go to the mums and tots groups because they’re closed, tots activities are on a break, and I haven’t planned well in advance to meet up with my mummy friends and their children?
Tots groups in all their varieties are fantastic ‘day breakers’. They help to carve out the day into manageable chunks, and support play, eat, sleep routines (however lax) which are essential for parental sanity. I find that my little one and I are more in tune with how our body rhythm works when we have some sort of daily structure to work with.
I mean, I’m happy to work without structure in my day for periods of time during my holidays, but I question whether that’s the best for my little one. It would be so easy to get caught up with all my catch-ups, and I tell you, there are lots of them, spanning my relationships with family and friends, housework, my paid job, and blogging.
It’s crazy really; I seem to have this bottomless list of what needs doing with such a limited time to work my way through them. And whilst ticking them off, more are added. 😓
Another perk of tots groups is that they take me away from what needs doing around me, to especially focusing on my little one, my mothering / our parenting, and building lovely memories outdoors. I’m an indoor kinda girl, but I also love the outdoors. Tots groups definitely help me to engage with it in a ‘belly full of laughter’ kinda way. There is so much pleasure in watching one’s child interact with others and the world around them.
So, it’s back to the drawing table for me, and I hope I draw good. This time last year, my little one was just finding his feet, and I could get away with going with the flow more. He is a year older, and I have to woman up and find ways for us to thrive in this holiday without tots groups.
So, I’m setting myself a challenge …. yeah, I’m giving myself the opportunity, despite the challenges I think this holiday poses for me, to plan for meaningful days during this break for my little one and us. Whatever we do, it wouldn’t involve any reference to the chimney, our #12daysofparenting code word, because we have none at our house for starters. 🙂
Thanks for dropping by; happy holiday and all the best in the new year.