If you don’t have it all figured out yet for the next 6 weeks, you are not alone. As the school summer holidays loom ahead, I find myself in a situation where I haven't planned or organised any childcare arrangements or anything to be honest. Instead, I am bracing myself for the reality of navigating work and having a child at home for six long weeks.
As a single parent, the weight of managing childcare during the summer break rests on me. Without a co-parent to share the responsibility and one annual leave budget, I am facing the fun task of finding ways to meet my child's needs while also fulfilling the demands of my job.
In one sense I am READY for the end of the school year. The frantic school runs, daily battles to get my child to school, washing those white shirts that remain filthy and I swear school have just checked out and just keep getting Ezra to stick bits of rubbish together and call it art which they then keep sending home with him. I have had enough of collecting someone else's recycling ffs!
However the thought of six weeks without structured routines or concrete childcare plans strikes fear in my heart. The void left by the absence of school leaves me questioning my sanity and wondering how I will navigate the long days that stretch ahead. I just don’t think there are enough snacks in the world.
Seriously, how much ipad time is too much?
With a child who clings to me and resists spending time away, the idea of enrolling them in summer camps or activities fills me with dread. But at the same time I know I probably need to do this, what else do I plan to do for the entire time I am working?
I’m not bothering to try and go abroad, it’s too expensive and too hot right now. But I can see why people choose to do this, 6 weeks is a hella long time and a holiday can break this up.
In the face of uncertainty, I am going to have to try and embrace the unstructured chaos that lies ahead. But let's be honest - it's probably going to be a shit show. The lack of organised schedules leaves me feeling unprepared and anxious, wondering how I will manage the competing demands of work and parenting without losing my mind.
So to my fellow Mums who find themselves in a similar situation, you are not alone. We will navigate the uncharted territory, acknowledging the struggles, frustrations, and overwhelming challenges that lie ahead. We may not have it all figured out, and there will be moments of chaos and exhaustion, but we will survive this rollercoaster ride, learning valuable lessons along the way. My lesson is likely to be to put my kid in summer camps whether he wants to or not…
Love, solidarity and thoughts for the coming weeks.