Holidays are great. It’s important to have time to unwind and rest. To make happy memories and to nurture relationships through recreation and play. There is pleasure and freedom in having no time pressure; things to do and places to be. To step off the treadmill of school term and cruise at your own pace. But after 6 weeks of summer holidays there are 3 things I love about going back to school.
- The sound of Silence: It’s a little unnerving the first time you experience it; the house completely devoid of all noise. However, for a seasoned school Mum, it’s something you come to appreciate and enjoy. Noise is part of the experience of motherhood. Everyday has a backing track; the sounds of children. It becomes part of the backdrop of family life, and for the most part it’s a happy one. Laughing, chattering children bring a smile to my face. However, you always have to take the good with the bad, and with kids there’s plenty of fighting, whining, complaining and crying. Not to mention the sounds of computer games, music and television, basketballs being bounced on concrete, instruments being practiced and gymnastics on the bed! It can get pretty noisy, and quite draining at times. It’s in these moments that you dream of silence and solitude. I’ve come to love that moment, when after a summer of kids at home and a hectic morning returning to school, you step through the front door into a peaceful house… bliss! You breathe out deeply, savouring the quietness.
- A clean kitchen: After 6 weeks of constantly hungry children raiding my kitchen and asking me what to eat, I love reclaiming order to my domain. It’s the first thing I do when I get home from school drop-off; I clean down all my benches. The best part…they stay clean all day. Instead of cleaning the kitchen 5 times a day, sometimes even 6, I only need to clean twice! After a summer of finding bowls, plates and cups left in every room of the house, spillages on my benches, sticky floors, and pans stacked in the sink, (seriously who makes waffles for breakfast at 11am and then leaves the mess to the kitchen fairy) it’s a treat not to chase children to clean up after themselves, and to see order return to my home. As to catering en masse…it reduces overnight. Happy Days!
- A return to structure: Every school holidays sees mothers don their ‘Event Co-ordinator’ hat. Every morning the question gets asked, “What are we doing today Mum?” and every day you have to come up with interesting ideas to keep everybody happy. It’s like being on a really long camp. You’ve got a bunch of kids that you want to keep fairly happy and engaged or else trouble sets in. Only difference, on camp you have plenty of leaders and a cook. School holidays…you’re it! Naturally there is a huge amount of time when they entertain themselves, but to avoid strife, a sprinkling of fun activities is a must. Finding activities that everybody wants to do becomes more of a challenge the older children get. (It’s nice to get to the age when you can leave them home for hours quite happily.) But for those kids who love to get out, see things and socialise, it’s exhausting. By week 3 you begin to look at your entertainment budget with concern, and when your suggestion of a free bike ride or a walk around the neighbourhood is met with groans, you know you’re running out of ideas. While I love the break from term time commitments, I love returning to the familiar routine and structure of school and giving the entertainment committee a rest.