Saturday 26 July 2014

Schools Out – Getting Organised at the Start of the Holidays

The kid’s summer holidays started yesterday, with goodbyes and gifts for teachers and six weeks of rowdy kids for us mums to keep occupied. There are some things I am dreading: Gorgeous waking everyone up early in the morning with his singing and being so loud Darling can’t nap during the day, Little Man moaning about being bored or hungry, both boys eating me out of house and home and Little Lady guilt-tripping me about not taking her anywhere. On the other hand I am looking forward to hanging out with them for most of the holidays for the first time (as I will be on annual leave from work and then maternity leave), not having to do the school run, or iron uniforms at midnight on Sunday night or prepare packed lunches at dawn.

I’m happy to be off work at the end of term as there is so much going on. End of year parties to sort out food and outfits for, school barbecues, Little Ladies graduation, visits to her high school, goodbye gifts and cards for teachers and making sure the kids bring home their school bags, PE kits, lunch bags, water bottles and all of their uniforms.

I find that there are a few things I can do at the start of the holidays that help me be better prepared at the end:
  • I round up all of the bags, lunchboxes, bottles and kit bags an empty them out, wash or wipe them down and put them in a giant sturdy shopping bag and put them on top of the kids cupboard. Anything that needs replacing, I make a note and either put in the textile recycling or give to the charity shop.
  • All of their uniform and PE clothes get washed and inventoried before being put away – anything too small or damaged gets recycled, given to charity, passed to a younger sibling or sent to cousins in Pakistan when my mum-in-law gets back. This means that I don’t buy everyone new things – just what needs replacing. 
  • Shoes are usually ready for the bin by this stage, if I know there is very little of the school year left I refuse to replace the shoes even if they are very battered. Anything still wearable gets cleaned and stored in a tub under the bed. 
  • All of the school books and work they bring home are either recycled or if there are lots of blank pages or unfinished exercises are stored in the children’s room in their own standing box files alongside any artwork they want to keep. 
We also do a big clear and deep clean out of their room on the first day of their holidays. This year it took about four hours because of the sheer amount of junk, wrappers and colouring pencils that came out from under their bed. By the end though I knew what they had and what could be used to keep them occupied in the holidays.

To keep them busy, their stuff is sorted into boxes that they can easily take out and pack away themselves (although sometimes it still takes me nagging them). Boxes for painting supplies, play dough, lego, craft materials and all of their colouring pens and pencils in one box.

So far I’ve done most of the above except all of the school clothes are washed and sitting in the wash basket expecting someone to come and fold them (I’m trying to convince Gorgeous to do the folding). I’ve also made sure that their Eid gifts are ones that will keep them busy in the holidays such as books and comics. It remains to be seen how many hours/days pass before the dreaded call of “I’m booorred!” Of course I’ll only reply with:

a) “So go do the washing up”
b) “It’s not my job to entertain you” 
c) "Only boring people ever get bored"
d) By singing the Iggy Pop song “I’m bored” (“I'm bored, I'm the chairman of the bored, I'm a lengthy monologue, I'm livin' like a dog, I'm bored, I bore myself to sleep at night, I bore myself in broad daylight coz, I'm bored”) which utterly drives them up the wall and makes them leave me alone.


  1. Ha ha!! I also have a few songs that I use to annoy my son so much he runs away from me :) Eid Mubarak to you and your lovely family!

    1. Us mums have to have our fun sometimes!
      Eid Mubarak to you and yours too dear xx