Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Are the school holidays over yet?

So, it's 3pm and I'm hiding in my office tucked away at home, hoping desperately that the children won't find me - well for five minutes ideally.

We are in week 6 of an 8 week summer holiday and I'm starting to question, scrap that, I am questioning how my mum made it through all those holidays being a full time stay at home mum?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my kids with all my heart but today as we attempt our first "let's stay at home all day" I'm contemplating putting them on Ebay. No refunds.

My children are most definitely spoilt. I will deny it to the hills but I know that there is no denying it. They have too many toys, watch too much tv and are used to going out to eat at great places and hanging out at all the super cool hangout places that kids of four years of age like to hang out it.

I'm creating monsters. Please say I am not alone?

Growing up in the same area that I am raising the boys in is very different today compared to how it was in the late 80's early 90's when I was little. Really? Yes really and really for a few reasons:

1. Soft play did not exist - the nearest you got to "soft play" 90's stylee was what is now Leatherhead Fun In The Foam which was reserved purely for birthday parties where as soon as one received the invitation my mum would sigh "oh not the place that smells of cheesy feet". Yes that place.

2. Merlin passes? Er no. I remember the days when Chessington World of Adventures was a real treat that your parents would psych themselves up for months before attempting to take you, whereas now you're almost a social leper without one of those laminated bad boys hanging around you neck and boasting that "we only nip for a couple of hours". Of course you nip, hell if I've paid near on £100 to take the kids we are queuing at 10am and staying till the bitter end, whereas when nowadays you can pick up family passes for under £300 for three gazillion attractions why wouldn't you not just nip for a couple of hours? NOTE TO SELF - MUST BUY MERLIN PASSES FOR NEXT SUMMER!!!

3. Memberships did not exist. We have memberships for National TrustHobbledownHampton Court Palace (yes that place that you pay for to send your children on an educational school trip we have a membership for that too) basically we have enough family memberships to shake a stick at. Whilst this is all well and good I think it's taken the fun and excitement out of visiting these places, if I'm being honest I've taken Charlie and Hector to more of these places this summer than I have to Sainsburys or the big Tesco and that is a sad state of affairs.  Staying at home is just plain boring for them.

4. We made our own fun. We played in the garden. We made mates we never knew existed by knocking on our neighbours doors asking if they had any kids. I made friends through that method that are still friends of mine to this day. We hung out till dusk and we walked to the nearest shops on our own, ok maybe not at the age of 4 but parenting 90's style was certainly more free range and care free than today. The likes of weirdos and kiddy snatchers  from years gone by have put the end to that and replaced those free range years with years filled full of fear of letting the little ones out of our sight and that saddens me.

 Heck I even found myself justifying the benefits of Pokemon Go to Tom the other day where he was telling me that it's got to a sad state of affairs when in order to tempt kids out of their bedrooms and into the fresh air had to be used in conjunction with a video game - you know what he was right.

Places like Chessington World of AdventuresLegolandGuildford Spectrum these places growing up were reserved for real treats and ones you would really look forward to and the problem is now with all these places being so cost effective with various offers and 2 for 1's on every sodding day I find myself asking the question - what exactly do our children have to look forward to these days?

I want my children to realise that these days out should be seen as a treat but how do I reverse what has sadly become the norm for them? How do I get them to realise that we simply cannot do something every single day?

Sod it. They've found me, my five minutes of reflection time is over, but first, please don't judge me, I am not trying to brag about how many times we take our kids to all these places as I am very aware that I am lucky enough to be in a situation to be able to take them to all these places but from here on what I am going to do is to make far more of an effort starting now to entertain the kids at home and to enjoy what we have here.

I would love to know how you guys are all entertaining the kids at home during the summer holidays?

Big love,


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