As the children finished up school last week there was a general sigh that swept across the country.
Or maybe, like me, it was a bit of both. I work from home so I’m fortunate to not have to worry about the childcare costs and logistics this week. I do still have to get my work done though.
I find myself feeling excited about the relaxed mornings and the opportunity to stay in our PJs a little later. On the other hand, I’m anticipating cabin fever, a messy house and a lot of extra money spent.
I’ve sat down and made a plan of sorts. We’ll call it my Easter Survival Guide. Here’s my game-plan to maximise the good times and minimise the stress.
- Plan but don’t over-plan play dates. Does anyone else get excited and anxious and agree to way too many outings? Before you know it the entire two weeks is full to the brim and that downtime you looked forward to didn’t happen at all.
- Outdoor crafting for the win. I am not a crafty mammy but the kids love all things glitter, sellotape and sand. Instead of promising copious amounts of crafting I’ve decided to stage it in the back garden when (and if) the weather is decent. I’ll lay out a rug and let them at it for as long as they want. Meanwhile, I can get a bit of housework done and the house won’t be showered with the evidence.
- Prepare snacks in advance. I’ve filled little containers with grapes, breadsticks, cubes of cheese and healthy inexpensive snacks that are ready and waiting for the many daily demands. Less mess and stress all round as they are ready to go.
- Keep it simple. Instead of putting pressure on yourself to visit the expensive theme park or play-centre pack a picnic and bring scooters and bikes to the local playground. Kids are a lot more easily pleased than we give them credit for. The pressure tends to come from ourselves a lot of the time.
- Where possible try to keep some semblance of a routine there. Days are long and filled with more activity than normal and for this reason, you will need that downtime in the evening more than ever. Two weeks will also pass very quickly and you will have a battle on your hands to try to get the routine back to normal when school returns.
- Keep the menu simple. The temptation is there to eat out more and rely on takeaways but that will burn a big hole in your wallet. One tray wonders like lasagne and Shepherd's pie work well as they can be made earlier in the day when you have the energy. They simply require reheating and adding some vegetables or chips.
- If you are planning a treat or day out save it for the end of the week so there is an incentive for good behaviour on the other days. The promise of a treat is powerful!
- Baking doesn’t have to involve 10 ingredients, a fancy mixer and an Instagram filter. The kids will not judge you for buying the “add water” baking sets. Better still, rice crispy cakes are a crowd pleaser and involve two ingredients. It could be a great way to use up the Easter Eggs too.
- Bring the cinema to your house. It’s simple, cheap as chips and this is memory-making at it’s finest. It also might just give you a chance to put the feet up and finally read that book you’ve been promising yourself for weeks.
- Make sure you’ve a good reserve of coffee and a secret stash of chocolate to drown your sorrows in when it all gets a bit much.