Dear Parent on the eve of the summer holidays

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

There’s something really important you need to know

Something that will determine how this summer goes for you

Before you’re bombarded with other people’s apparently perfect summers. The ones who have endless money, time and patience for perfect days out with children who willingly leave the house, play joyfully with others and who never squabble or utter the words “I’m bored”.

Something that could be the difference between survival and thriving.

You have a choice

You can determine how this holiday is going to go.

It may not be as simple a choice as you would like. Your circumstances, work, finances family make up may not make it easy. But you do have a choice.

To start with you need to remember this:

1. It will be hard at times (hopefully not for long, but there will be tough moments/days/weeks).

Whatever your circumstances – work wise, finances, family set up there will be points where it will be a challenging time. What you find challenge might not be the same as someone else – you are still allowed to find it hard.

2. Other people will be finding it hard too (whether or not you have any inkling of this).

Outward appearances and social media feeds do NOT give you the full story. Every parent will find some element of the summer holidays a challenge –they might not let you know, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

3. It’s ok to be human

Whether it’s moaning, squabbling, the endless juggle, losing patience with each other, or something else, your children and you and will have moments where it all goes wrong. Sometimes it’s all a bit overwhelming and that’s ok. It’s ok for them and you to be human.

When you’re faced with these realities

You have a choice.

You can choose what your priorities are this summer – Fun? Connectedness? Rest? Guilt? Comparison?

You can choose how are you going to set your expectations of yourself and your family. To be like others or to be what fits you and your children?

You can choose how you are going to make the opportunities you do have, even if they’re short and not all that instagrammable.

You can choose how much you compare yourself to others and how you view the bits that don’t go as well as you hoped.

You can choose to savour the good bits or focus on the tough ones.

So here’s permission to find it hard, have tough moments, to be completely different to everyone else and still have a great summer holidays.

Dear parent your children do not need you to be perfect, but they do need you to be present when you’re together. So please savour any wonderful moments over the next few and don’t let anything else rob you of their joy. Accept the imperfections of yourself and your children and treasure the times in between the squabbles and mess to know this sometimes fleeting, but positive moment is what really matters.

Be kind to yourselves


#selfcare #summerholidays #parenting #parentinggloucestershire #carepediem #savourthejoy #enjoyyourfamily #parentinghelpgloucestershire #familylife #summerholidaysurvival #schoolsoutforsummer #makingmemories

Julie works with parents helping them find reassurance and get unstuck. She hasn't yet found the magic wand that makes family life always smooth despite many years as a foster carer, parent and teaching teenagers excluded from school. She does know that when you have time and space to reflect as a parent and draw on your expertise you can find positive ways forward. If you'd like to talk to her further she'd love to hear from you on: 07745 448871 or find her on Facebook or Instagram.

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