Making the most of the summer

As we celebrate the last day of school, I’ve been preparing for the summer holidays. This is kind of a one-time thing for us: I’m effectively a stay at home mum this summer, and it’s my first summer holidays with a school-age child. I see an expanse of six gorgeous weeks with my boys. Even the weather has been unusually dry, sunny, and hot. What could be better? And I’m reminded of something I read recently: we only have 18 summers with our kids. Not much at all, is it?

Then I think practically about it. I’m approaching the last thirteen, unpaid weeks of maternity leave as summer holidays start, so money is tighter than tight. And I’ve been enjoying my time with my baby while my older son is at school, which is my quality time with baby but also when he is nursing or sleeping in my arms, it’s my only me-time all day. During the week-long holidays so far this year I’ve not really had time to read or write or meditate. How will that go for six weeks?

And then there’s also the very real situation when my son stands in the lounge and asks me what is something fun we can do together today and all I hear is crickets chirping in my head?

So holding both the amazing opportunity and the challenge of full-time and largely-solo-parenting, I’m sharing my brainstorm of ideas to make summer work for my kids and, importantly, for me, too. Here we go. Continue reading “Making the most of the summer”

Dinner on the table – tips for busy parents

I think we’ve all been there: you’re walking in the door with your kids coming back from the nursery or childminder’s and a full day of work. You’ve got your bags and your kids school stuff (often with an oddly-shaped-but-extremely-fragile-and-difficult-to-carry craft project your kid made at school – what’s up with that?). You walk in, throw the stuff down, set the baby down, help the kid get his shoes off. All you really want to do is sit down and have a cup of tea and five minutes to yourself but you also know you needed to start dinner about five minutes ago and the baby has started chewing the legs of the furniture for good measure (no? just me?).

Continue reading “Dinner on the table – tips for busy parents”