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To wonder why people need to "Survive" school holidays?

(315 Posts)

There are always threads about this. I've been there, done the small child phase. It's hardly life shattering! We have a garden, a playground nearby and a local beach, tv and nearby friends.
I love spending time with my Dcs, but don't feel the need to occupy them for 24 hours a day! Why would you need to survive your own kids? hmm

cory Mon 18-Feb-13 10:58:40

Not everybody has a garden, a nearby playground and a local beach, do they?

Theas18 Mon 18-Feb-13 11:00:55

No the "surviving" for me was the feindish juggling of small children and 2 adult work schedules which, initially meant tha, even if we didn't take any " family holiday" we wouldn't be able to cover it all- getting them to short day holiday care etc was awful. Childminder was bliss!

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 11:01:21

Lack of money
Lack of confidence
Lack of family and friend's networks
parental disability/illness

I have had some horrible school holidays. Due to the above and more. Feeling constantly guilty that I have not done enough with the children, they are missing out etc.

It used to be very different. Now I struggle. I do my best but it is sometimes very hard.

cory Mon 18-Feb-13 11:01:57

also, lack of transport

MarshaBrady Mon 18-Feb-13 11:02:25

It's a lot better when they play together.

Groovee Mon 18-Feb-13 11:02:44

Some people aren't natural with being with children 24/7.

I work with preschoolers but can still find being at home hard work especially with ungrateful brats offspring who make you feel like the worst mother in the world!

Wouldn't the world be marvellous if we were all home makers who just breezed through life.

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 11:03:27

local beach hmm

I am lucky to have a garden now. I didn't have one for many years.

I have to say...what is the point in this thread? To prove what a wonderful mummy you are?

I love my kids too. The 6 weeks holiday can be very hard going.

What with my silly oversight in not buying a house next to a beach n'all.

Pagwatch Mon 18-Feb-13 11:03:29

And I have a broken boiler and it's fucking cold.

I think some parents feel under enormous pressure to find things or their children. And some people find lots of things more difficult than others.

I love the holidays, love having them here and chilling out. But I can understand how other people find it a bit daunting.

I never hesitated to do the 'if you are bored go and find something to do - this isn't a holiday camp' thing and I am lucky because my kids can entertain themselves.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 18-Feb-13 11:05:06

You've answered your own question OP - beach, playground, garden.

Not everyone has these things, or the means to access them easily.

Some people find the lack of structure hard - I know I did when I was depressed.

My two are playing together beautifully this morning, I wonder how long it will last?

Flobbadobs Mon 18-Feb-13 11:05:36

Depends on the time of year. I can happily do the summer and easter holidays as we generally get more good weather days than bad. Problem is in winter it gets bad up here, very cold and damp which does not make happy children as we end up cooped inside. There's only so much they can do before it becomes an occasional warzone...
It's the second week of the Christmas holidays that's the killer for me, post Christmas let down, dark mornings, dark evenings and bugger all to look forward to beforee going back to school.

MsBrown Mon 18-Feb-13 11:05:39

I admit, i do feel like i have to 'survive' school holidays.

Last week was half term for us (Scotland), and it dragged in.

Couldn't get childcare so had to take a few days from work. My parents were off on holiday (they have a garden) so couldn't escape down to their's for a visit either.

We live in a flat next to a main road, so i can't let her go out unsupervised.

She has ASD and despite having a billion toys, all she wants to do is play with a tiny toy cat from her Playmobil farm, whilst expecting me to play around her. If i say, "i just want five minutes to do my own thing/have a cup of tea please", she goes off on one.

Soft plays/cinema etc is too expensive, so we just do it as an occassional treat.

The local park is shabby and overcrowded during holidays.

So yep, i do struggle when she's off school. It's hard to entertain her all day every day on my own. And when left to her own devices, she'll just sit and stare into space. She requires me to instruct her to go and do something stimulating. It's quite draining actually.

Lovelygoldboots Mon 18-Feb-13 11:06:07

Lack of money is a problem especially as they get older and want to go cinema, ice skating etc and they can't go because you cant pay for them. Then they are bored. You can easily entertain small children.

MarshaBrady Mon 18-Feb-13 11:06:17

Mine are playing well right now too. When they're old enough to do this it's much better. Although at 3 and 7 they still have the odd squabble. Usually over sharing stuff.

Most who say that aren't in "the small child phaase", it's the slightly older child that can bring problems, especailly when you haven't got a park (that you can use) and a beach nearby.

OP not every poster lives where you live.

I am glad that i have DD's, tbh, where i live, lads are coerced into getting into trouble and being involved in drugs and crime (from around 10),or bullied, unless you keep them off the streets, or are supervising them.

Lackof money is propably the main problem.

Stealth boast much?

ArtexMonkey Mon 18-Feb-13 11:07:27

I love the school holidays and my children but I am very lucky in that they get on well with one another. My sister's children are both very pleasant individuals but being in a building with both of them at once is very stressful due to the constant sniping, falling out, flouncing off in tears etc.

Lovelygoldboots Mon 18-Feb-13 11:08:28

"you can easily entertain small children". Did I say that out loud? [Grin]

HappilyUnhinged Mon 18-Feb-13 11:08:32

I'm with the OP. if you can't handle spending time with your children (whom I assume you love) then why on earth did you have children? I can't stand people who act like their children are a problem that has to be dealt with or suffered through. It should be a time of "yay! I get to spend a week with the people I love most in the world!" Not some sort of onerous chore.

FFS op have a [bisvuit] sorry, I'm all out of gold medals

13Iggis Mon 18-Feb-13 11:10:02

Well I was dreading half-term, first one alone with 2 dcs - I even started a thread about it. Got some advice on activities from lovely kind mumsnetters and ended up having a lovely week - we didn't even do half the things I had planned. OP I'm sure you had a lovely break with your perfectly behaved children, in your lovely sunny micro-climtate with garden, beach and friends! Not great at walking in someone else's shoes, are you?

WilsonFrickett Mon 18-Feb-13 11:10:05

Sorry, but that is such a smug post angry

'Surviving' in my case means juggling freelance work with DS. Which is fine for a week but over the 6 weeks of the summer can be very difficult indeed, and leave me feeling I'm failing both him and my clients. And being bloody exhausted after working till the small hours after he goes to bed.

At least he's a singleton, one of my DF's has two DCs who are constantly warring - she knows it's a phase, but my goodness it's an exhausting one. She positively skipped away from the school gate this morning. But then she deserves that for not having the foresight to buy a house with a garden next to a beach, hey?


Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 18-Feb-13 11:10:35

And I can't stand smug mothers who can't stop for a moment, and empathise with those people who don't find life as easy as they do.


mrsjay Mon 18-Feb-13 11:11:11

Lack of money
Lack of confidence
Lack of family and friend's networks
parental disability/illness

I have had some horrible school holidays. Due to the above and more. Feeling constantly guilty that I have not done enough with the children, they are missing out etc.

It used to be very different. Now I struggle. I do my best but it is sometimes very hard.

^ ^ this not to take anything away from MRSDV but i struggled with school holidays when mine were smaller for a lot of those reasons, doesn't mean we love our children any less OP but yes people do struggle with school holidays, especially summer

WilsonFrickett Mon 18-Feb-13 11:11:22

OneLittle stealth boast or just big fat boast? wink

MsBrown Mon 18-Feb-13 11:11:41

I wish i had your enthusiasm, Happily.

The thought of spending a week sitting next to my dd while she just stares silently at a tiny plastic cat isn't really appealing to me.

There's only so many variations of that 'game' I can play before I quickly grow fed up.

mrsjay Mon 18-Feb-13 11:12:12

infact I still struggle not just when they were smaller,

cory Mon 18-Feb-13 11:12:38

HappilyUnhinged, that is all very well, but sooner or later the time will come when the dc are not necessarily happy to spend all their leisure time with you- and then it makes a massive difference whether you live in a place where you can happily watch them go off to do their own thing or not. A little money helps too, so you can let them try safe activities.

Mine are 12 and 16. They will be happy enough to spend time with me if we are going somewhere/doing something interesting, but not happy to spend 7 days in a row just pottering at home or down the park with me.

So I am very fortunate that we live in an area that is tolerably safe for them to go out with their friends, and that I can afford to give them the bus fare for the occasional trip into town.

I am also very aware that not everybody is that fortunate.

Aspiemum2 Mon 18-Feb-13 11:12:39

I too have to wonder at the point of this thread. You are obviously very fortunate, not all parents are. Not all children, even older ones can occupy themselves.
Some children themselves struggle with lack of structure and routine so juggling the needs of a NT child, a child with asd and 9 month old twins can be pretty tiring.

I adore all my children but the holidays can be tough at times

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 11:13:01

Nuthunz is FULL of these threads in the holidays.

'I feel so sad [sad face, sad face, crying face, crying face] for those children whose mommys don't like the holidays. I LOVE them. Just being with my little ones makes me happy. Just off to do some baking and then soft play. Yippeee!'


Me 'I have these wonderful children but organising a day out is a nightmare. OH can't walk, DS2 gets really agitated if we go anywhere and mostly all I can think about is how much DD should be here with us. Now I feel horribly guilty because DCs 4&5 are missing out on what their older siblings had'

I'm not boasting, or a wonderful mummy. They're teenagers now and it's often HELL! But they're my children and I've never needed to survive them. And believe me I'm very much from the 'healthy neglect' school of parenting! I just don't get the term survival and it crops up here often. Our local beach isn't all that, you could easily substitute park, wood or car park!

13Iggis Mon 18-Feb-13 11:14:29

Good weather, enough money for outings (ds wanted the zoo last week and we couldn't afford it sad ), space in the house to be alone at times, friends and family close by.
All these would help massively. curses tiny flat in cold Scotland
Btw I am very happy to be married, but we find the 6 week summer holiday just a bit more togetherness than we can handle! So not sure why it should be different for children.

HestonsFatCock Mon 18-Feb-13 11:14:39

I have just had a difficult half term; dss are 4 and 9. The aged gap and sibling rivalry has bitten with a vengeance this half term. They have gotten physical and if they weren't beating the shit out of one another, they were arguing over what to watch on tv, where to go as a familysad etc.
I had never had this in the past, but Ds1 is now acting like Kevin the teenager and Ds2, who we never had the Terrible twos with, is now somewhat of a Pissant.
I made two women with younger children laugh in the park the other day; while the Dcs seemed happy playing, I stupidly thought I could sneak a quick call to DH. It all kicked of with constant whining and interruption, so I cut the call short, telling Ds2 that he was behaving very selfishly. The two women with push chairs, having overhead said "oh no, the dreaded half term eh?" sympathetically as they walked past. My reply was "I am surely going to die of the school summer holidays!". They were bent over their prams laughing at such an honest response. I am dreading the summer holidays.
So Op, YABU in the kindest possible way.

Lovelygoldboots Mon 18-Feb-13 11:15:05

Christmas has the same sort of issues. Summer kids are supposed to be running in fields, clad in boden, eating dairylea with a Supergrass sound track.

piprabbit Mon 18-Feb-13 11:16:13

Because, delightful though my children are for 95% of the time, when they spend too much time together over the holidays they physically fight and I have to become a sort of ninja referee to stop them causing each other lasting damage. The house echoes with screams and crying and calls of "Mum, mum, mum, s/he hurt me". Then I sanction them, and they hate me as well as each other. Tis blissful!

When my mojo is working all runs fairly smoothly, but I am ill and very tired and broke and right at the moment my DC-wrangling toolkit is empty.

mrsjay Mon 18-Feb-13 11:16:17

'I feel so sad [sad face, sad face, crying face, crying face] for those children whose mommys don't like the holidays. I LOVE them. Just being with my little ones makes me happy. Just off to do some baking and then soft play. Yippeee!'

I remember them well I just love spending time with my little man or princess we can just chill out I love snuggiling with them just us nobody else <heave>

And FYI, when my kids were small we lived on the local shitty estate. It's not exactly Urban Surrey.

13Iggis Mon 18-Feb-13 11:18:54

You could substitute a car park for the beach? hmm (taking 9 month old to play in Asda carpark later in the rain).

Tee2072 Mon 18-Feb-13 11:19:29

Northern Ireland has 8 weeks in the summer. How shall I survive?*

*Tongue firmly in cheek.

cory Mon 18-Feb-13 11:20:13

But again, not everybody has access to a wood or park or car.

MsBrown Mon 18-Feb-13 11:20:58

You could substitute a car park for the beach?

I might try that one... Substitute the sand with old fag ends... What a castle that would make.

forevergreek Mon 18-Feb-13 11:21:02

I agree with op. they are only children, most people may have a couple. Hardly a herd of wild beasts.

Little money, no park/ garden/ beach, well:

Going on a mini beast hunt- even snails exist in cities
Bake some cheap flapjack together
Collect leave/ random 'treasure', go home and make a collage- that's half a day and only costs a bit of glue
Build a den
Film afternoon (popcorn/ duvets out)
Painting/ drawing/ play dough
Fill sink with water and let them experiment
Friends over or visit them

All above can be done at home or 5 min walk from home

Add in that most areas do have a park or something for children, children can play with everyday toys/ lego etc.. It's only 5 days this week!

I'm very fortunate that I have a park nearby and plenty of places to go with my dc, who also fortunatley get on with each other so I don't find the holidays a hardship.

I'm also openminded enough to see that its luck that I have those things and not everyone is in that position. And I'm not silly enough to start a thread more or less insulting people who struggle in the holidays because they have to cope with things that I don't.

Bad form OP.

feelingdizzy Mon 18-Feb-13 11:21:39

I never get these,I love lots of people my kids included but wouldn't want to spend 24/7 with any of them,bet they feel that way about me too.

My kids are great easygoing and are 9 and 11 now so much easier but wasn't always that way when they were 1 and 2 and I was a single parent(still am) and worked full time.

Even though things are considerably easier they are still 9 and 11 and I am 38 so not surprsingly we have very different interests,so although I have trained them to enjoy coffee shops and home and away.we still have some work to do!!

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 11:21:46

Its sunny outside and DS2 has a place on a playscheme.
I could have gone out with my little darlings (and they really are little darlings) but I have a bloody cold and am still at the 'ill' stage.
DS2 has an appointment in the middle of the day until early afternoon.

So that's it for the day really.
Work tomorrow and Wednesday and OH cant take two small children to the park on his own.
If I am well (fingers crossed) I will take DCs 4 & 5 out on Thursday.
Friday I go to the hospital with a friend while she has her treatment.

SO that is the week really.

I feel bad enough actually.

mrsjay Mon 18-Feb-13 11:22:07

it isn't even the children we need to 'survive' op you made it out we hate our children there is many factors to holidays to take into account

floatyjosmum Mon 18-Feb-13 11:23:14

Tbh I love the school holidays ... No school run. But mine are now 8 and 11 and do occupy themselves very well!

I try not to remember the toddler years as they were hard and going to farms etc used to cost a fortune!

So there are people out there who don't have anywhere outside, not even a teeny weeny patch of concrete where they can take their children to play? really?
I don't live anywhere special. We used to live on what in the 70s was the biggest council estate in Europe.
Anyway, that's a tangent. All kids fight, whine and run around like nutters screaming. But they're still our kids. The point of this thread is to counter the masses o threads which will inevitably appear here mentioning holiday survival.

wordfactory Mon 18-Feb-13 11:26:23

I've always enjoyed the holidays.

But I understand that this is due to the fact that I work flexibly so don't have to juggle. That I live somehwere surrounded by countryside, yet can get into London very easily. That I have a car. That I have lots of money. That I have two NT able bodied DC...

That said, I know people in the same situation as me who still hate the holidays. They just find their DC an inconvenience.

FlouncingMintyy Mon 18-Feb-13 11:26:53

Well people don't literally mean survive do they? Of course they are going to survive.

Some people enjoy being in the company of children more than others.

Some people have a partner who is around to share the effort and some don't.

Some people have to work and find childcare.

Some people have hardly any money and live in a tiny flat.

Sometimes it rains solidly for a week.

Pointless thread!

Needing to work
Not being a naturally child-minded person
Children with SN

A week over half-term is okay, but I can imagine feeling relief at the end. 6 weeks over summer, good lord, definitely survival time.

But I'm one of those evil full-time working mums who farm my DC out to holiday camps for other people to deal with so it's not a worry for me.

BTW, OP, do you realise how horribly smug and judgemental your post sounded? Same as any post that implies that other people are inferior parents because they don't respond to any given situation in the same way as you.

Branleuse Mon 18-Feb-13 11:27:09

i find holidays really hard. i have 3. they don't always get on and the age gap between ds1 and the others is such that a lot of activities are not suitable for all, yet due to both boys having ASD its really hard to reason with them about it. I also don't drive even though I've been learning for over 2 years and failed 7 times so we are limited as to where we can go etc. my house is small so i rely on good weather and they all pretty much climb the walls. i have sensory processing issues and focus issues which lead me to being overwhelmed and really work better with the routine of school and regular quiet time.
however i work with it and try and get help when i can but its not easy. I must be doing ok considering they still look forward to holidays andthey don't actually know quite what a strain i find it.

i don't appreciate anyone's sympathy for my children though as they are well loved and don't need your pity.

Ashoething Mon 18-Feb-13 11:27:22

Op- I have a couple of friends like you and quite frankly they often make me stabby with these kind of comments. One is lucky in that her kids are quite happy to play on their pcs ALL day while she lies in bed. My kids wont do that!

My dcs like to be out and about-they cant stand baking/crafts at home. So I have to think of things to do that dont cost a bomb and will cover the ages of 10,6 and 3-not that easy.

But as long as all is well in your ivory tower ehhmm

wordfactory Mon 18-Feb-13 11:29:56

OP I think part of the problem for some people is that they put themselves under too much pressure.

DS has a mate here at the mo and I suspect they will play PS3 until their eyes and fingers bleed. Then they might go outside with the dog and kick a ball around...

A Mum I know has gone dashing into London today to a particular museum because it 'ties in with the national curriculum.' I guarantee a fraught day for all.

Hulababy Mon 18-Feb-13 11:30:23

I'm lucky as circumstances means I can enjoy school Holidays. I work in a school so I'm off with dd.

I only have one child so going out is much more affordable though sometimes she wants the company if other children too. Luckily we have the finances to be out and about. We also have holidays away with dh to break it all up.

I arrange for dd to see friends a fair bit - either at ours, at theirs or out and about, sometimes just children, sometimes with adults.

And I let dd entertain herself a bit too. She's 10 now but luckily she's been able to do so since being little. I just try to avoid her having too much screen time so she doesn't spend all her time messaging or on face time with friends!

MsBrown Mon 18-Feb-13 11:31:52

So there are people out there who don't have anywhere outside, not even a teeny weeny patch of concrete where they can take their children to play? really?

This is the reality for me, anyway, Saggy.

Second floor of a small block of flats. We have a veranda, but it's barely big enough for dd to stand in, let alone play.

Outside, we have three feet of walkway from the communal main door to the main road.

Nearest park is a thirty minute walk away, and is shabby and overcrowded.

But you see, I look at the multitude of Survival thread titles which appear during the holidays and think they're fairly insulting to the poor children.
I'm so not a smug parent. We're broke, too. We have NEVER done expensive day trips. We don't ever go on holiday. And they can be absolute little shits when they want to, but I find Survival really sad!

mrsjay Mon 18-Feb-13 11:36:01

I am sure these posters 'poor children' are fine some people like a moan I was tearing my hair out yesterday with a bored 15 yr old I moaned people empathised my 'poor child' is fine, forums are for people to use and if they are having a moan or a rant then what is wrong with that confused

DreamingOfTheMaldives Mon 18-Feb-13 11:36:32

Op, if it's the council estate I'm thinking of (Wythenshawe) let's not pretend it is a concrete jungle! There are a lot of green areas nearby, Wythenshawe park being one of them!

If not Wythenshawe then I apologise.

flurp Mon 18-Feb-13 11:37:20

I agree up to a point. Half terms are fine - a week is easy to fill.
Easter and Christmas - OK. They have presents/eggs and bank holidays to enjoy.
Summer = Hell on earth. 6 weeks is a long time unless you are a SAHM with plenty of money. Luckily mine are older now and it is easier but when they were small I had to plan every day with military precision - childcare, work hours, holiday, making the money last... by September I was a quicering wreck.
I love spending time with my dc but 6 weeks is just too bloody much 'quality time' for anyone.

Startail Mon 18-Feb-13 11:37:48

We have a big garden and I'm lucky enough to have DDs who mostly get on.
However, cold wet Feb half terms, that don't line up with the county next door, so DD1s BFs aren't on holiday and neither are 3 DFs of DD2s are very annoying.

DD1 gets to see her friends in an evening, but DD1 is still of an age where she likes play dates with hers.

I'm huffy because my coffee drinking mate is also tied up with DDs when I'm not.

We live right on the county boundary and many extra curricular and holiday activities are buggered by the holidays not lining up. The year our council decided not to have Easter at Easter was truly mad.

piprabbit Mon 18-Feb-13 11:38:36

So you thought you'd start a lovely positive thread that celebrates spending time with our DCs in the holidays? Perhaps a reworded OP would result in happier stories.

KellyElly Mon 18-Feb-13 11:39:22

AIBU, yes you are. OP, no I'm not. One of those threads grin

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 11:40:34

I think if you are a SAHP half terms and holidays are fun.

If you work ft they must be a nightmare if you don't have full-time care.

I always read the summer holiday threads like this >> grinshockgrin and wonder how parents in the UK would cope with the Irish 9-10 weeks in primary and 13 weeks in secondary summer holidays.

mrsjay Mon 18-Feb-13 11:41:10

so if your children are being little shits how would you describing your coping mechanism then op? because I do think people saying surviving is there way of saying coping with the holidays or not

No, not Wythenshawe. Our playgrounds are overcrowded and scruffy too. But the kids don't really care to they.
I know most people are just moaning and venting, we all love out kids, it just makes me a bit sad to read these titles.

mrsjay Mon 18-Feb-13 11:42:22

with the Irish 9-10 weeks in primary and 13 weeks in secondary summer holidays.

13 weeks WHAT shock I think it is about that in america too

Startail Mon 18-Feb-13 11:42:25

I love the long summer holidays. Yes I'm a SAHM, yes we aren't broke, yes I have a car and we have bikes and a garden.

Also if you go for a day trip it isn't hell.

In wet half terms everything is crammed with other depressed family's, with six weeks and holidays and play schemes etc. most places are pretty civilised.

cory Mon 18-Feb-13 11:42:29

I do actually enjoy those holidays dc and I spend together. And feel fairly confident that they enjoy those when I work. But smug threads just make my skin crawl. Is it so difficult to imagine a life different from your own?

MsBrown Mon 18-Feb-13 11:43:25

Our playgrounds are overcrowded and scruffy too. But the kids don't really care to they.

Well, my dd does.

Crowds upset her. People running around, screeching, bumping into her - upsets her.

Diversionary tactics mainly, MrsJay, and being slightly deaf helps! grin Get the felt tips out, put a video on, give them a duster and some polish...

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 11:45:08

OP I think you are assuming the "survive word" means surviving their kids company?? whereas I think for some people its hard logistically, either of both working, or have no ££££

in your situation I'd love the holidays!

If I send my children to play in a car park on a regular basis then surviving the school holidays would indeed be something of a challenge...

spanky2 Mon 18-Feb-13 11:46:43

Mine have already had a huge argument this morning . They need constant supervision as they are chalk and cheese. They enjoy the drama of winding each other up. I am educated have a car and parks but it is still hard to please both of them and keep the peace . I love my boys but the holidays are hard work .

HumphreyCobbler Mon 18-Feb-13 11:46:48

Some people have to juggle working over the children's holidays. Not everyone can manage to stay at home the whole time.

I agree with Mintyy - survive is just a term ffs. It doesn't mean you hate your children.

I love it now but when mine were smaller it was challenging.

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 11:46:59

I know what you mean though. I work FT and I do feel a bit sad when I read some threads

KellyElly I can accept IABU. I wouldn't have started a thread here if I couldn't!
There are plenty of subjects I wouldn't start threads about! grin

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 11:47:57

and there we go with the sad face

FFS people vent. If they didn't care they wouldn't bother. They would think their kids doing nothing and being ignored was perfectly reasonable.

Its usually out of guilt, often made worse by smug 'luv my little man' threads and facebook tales of trips to legoland, shopping with my best friend, my daughter and instagrams of fresh baked cookies hmm

cory Mon 18-Feb-13 11:48:47

If I had had to spend the entire summer holidays alone in town with dc and no family back-up or money, the difficulty of juggling the needs of dd (physically disabled, suffers from cold, hated being outdoors for long) and ds (basically your average puppy, needed to be taken for long runs) would have been horrendous.

Fortunately, that never happened to us. But I can well imagine how it would to others.

Oh, and I'm not a SAHM. I'm a minimum wage pt-ft worker.

Tee2072 Mon 18-Feb-13 11:50:08

Yes, America used to be about 13 weeks. I think it's closer to 8 or 10 now.

Which is good for me as we are heading there for 2 weeks in July and my nieces will be all ready to play! grin

LittleChimneyDroppings Mon 18-Feb-13 11:51:56

Jeez, I fooking hate these threads where the smug parenting brigade crawl out of the workwork. Everyones circumstances are different and this is obviously going to impact on how hard or easy people find the school holidays.

OP I think you are assuming the "survive word" means surviving their kids company?? whereas I think for some people its hard logistically, either of both working, or have no ££££
Actually your probably right! I do often get the impression it's the kids they're surviving. I fully understand the working, no money, no transport problems. I've had them all.

PostmanPatsBlackandWhiteCat Mon 18-Feb-13 11:54:26

Lack of money
Lack of confidence
Lack of family and friend's networks
Thats me to a tee.
We are going to bake this afternoon.

diddl Mon 18-Feb-13 11:54:29

This is where teenagers come into their own.

You can have a lay in & by the time you´ve got back from walking the dog they are up & lunch is underway.

akaemmafrost Mon 18-Feb-13 11:54:53

I love school holidays and I actually HE one of my children. It's great having them both at home AND I don't even have a garden! We just get out and about a lot.

KobayashiMaru Mon 18-Feb-13 11:55:18

"I'm so amazing, why aren't the rest of you losers? I feel sorry for your children"


Lack of money
Need to work freelance even though no childcare (see point 1)
Child with severe disabilities who needs to go out somewhere each day or becomes unmanageable but can't access a lot of places and who much prefers the routine of a school day
Two other children who don't want to do the same activities as their disabled brother

MonthlyNeedsToTakeHerTime Mon 18-Feb-13 11:58:17

op I don't think you sound smug.
I grew up in a second floor flat as a child, we never went on day trips or did organised activities or went to clubs. I don't feel I missed out. We just played with the few toys we had

I'm not amazing at all. Im a mediocre parent at best. You all hate my thread title, I hate the others. This has actually clarified the issue for me a bit. I can see why people have issues with the holidays. I've had plenty of them myself. It's just the wording I don't like.

RedHotRudieParts Mon 18-Feb-13 12:00:23

Oh piss off op.

I tell you I hate most about the holidays, finally getting a few hours break from my own dcs only to go out and surrounded by every fucker elses unruly offspring, I got a chuffin coffee cup lobbed at my head on Thursday ffs. I spend enough time willing myself to find the parts of parenting I actually enjoy, I do not extend that courtesy to others ! And yes, I did lob the cup back.

My dcs went back to school today, i've dusted myself off and had a shower, in an hour or so I will be sat in a pub with 8 other school mums having our tradtional ' thank fuck the holidays are over ' meal.

It may be worth pointing out that the 8 other parents have children with multiple disabilities ( same as my dcs ) so whilst it may well be fine and jolly if you have lovely outdoor spaces and a jolly attitude it becomes much more tedious after 14 years of the newborn no sleep years, living in a crappy terrace, your kids legs / brain doesn't work properly or they simply can't cope with the world in general.

Find something to do then without it becoming groundhog where did I put those party poppers ??

SashaSashays Mon 18-Feb-13 12:02:22

Survive is just a turn of phrase. Boo hoo for you if it makes you feel sad, my DC won't give a shit.

Lots of people are 'surviving' a change to their usual routine which they and their dc often don't take to kindly, for just a week or two before you have the battle to get back to the old one. Lots of people are 'surviving' the sudden increase in expenses or decrease in their time even though they are still expected to do all the same things they did before as well as care for x number of children. It's not always about surviving the DC, its about all the other stuff.

There was a time when I enjoyed school holidays, I now hate them. My DC now range from 6-21 and then theres my 4 year old grandson, (eldest one is working so not really an issue) but the others require varying degrees of attention and money. Yes the 17 year old isn't really expecting to go out with me but he will be around, he might hear I'm going to Bluewater and deign to come. Keeping 5 individuals ranging between 4 and 40 happy is no joke, and I'm lucky because we live in London, have a car and do alright financially.

Also did I mention I'm really unwell, last week Friday was the first time I really got out of bed, this week is not much better. I won't be going into work at all, I won't be able to really work from home and I'm probably not in a fit state to be going out so yeah this week is going to be perfect! grin

DowntonTrout Mon 18-Feb-13 12:03:30

Smug, smug, smuggity, smug.

Using DC and survive in the same sentence. How dreadful! shock

I feel I survive the holidays. I feel I only just survive the rest of the time.
Holidays are a time when we just stop. No school run, no homework, no clubs, practise, get up late, no timetable- bliss. Having only 1 DC left at home, being her main companion most of the time -wearing. I don't work so can have her friends over but as those parents work I have them from early on til evening. Don't mind but it's not a holiday for me. I can't walk far and am in pain all the time which actually just makes everything hard work.

So hoist your judgy pants as high as you like but walk a mile in my shoes and, well, you wouldn't get that far.

cory Mon 18-Feb-13 12:03:59

I have noticed that a fair few of the posters who make survival posts on MN are trying to juggle the needs of severely disabled children against the needs of their NT siblings. Often the SN children are extremely high maintenance and the parents are exhausted.

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 12:05:14

I too have always wondered why people say they have to 'survive' being with their children. As a teacher I am with their children (in packs!) for 9 hours a day...if you can't handle being with them then in the holidays why on earth did you breed them?!

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 12:06:20

If I want to use a sad face I bloody well will

I work FT, and yes I am jealous of people that get to spend all week with their kids. so shoot me!

they are there with no money, squabbling kids and many other issues trying to fill a day. having a shit time.

I am jealous envisaging swallows and amazing type jaunts to the beach

freetoanyhome Mon 18-Feb-13 12:07:20

what a smug OP. One of my friends has an 11 yo with severe SN. She gets no help and school is her only break. When he's home he punches her, bites and kicks. 24 hours a day. The school holidays are an exercise in survival. I cant even offer to help having been punched in the face by him and had him attack my kids.
Perhaps the OP will offer to bake with him, take him to the beach etc hmm

MsBrown Mon 18-Feb-13 12:07:57

Because being with anyone - even an adorable child - for 24/7 becomes boring, repetitive and frustrating very quickly.

spanky2 Mon 18-Feb-13 12:08:02

I am a teacher and it is completely different with your pupil and your child .

whois Mon 18-Feb-13 12:08:50

Wow smug face or what OP?

I think my mum had an ok time in the school holidays. We had a nice house, big garden and nearby friends, only me to worry about and mum could usually have most holidays off.

I think it would be very hard to live in a tiny flat, no garden or access to safe outdoors, lots of DCs with different requiems, no local friends or family, no money, illness, not able to take time off and so juggling sports camp and wrap around care etc.

naomilpeb Mon 18-Feb-13 12:09:09

Its usually out of guilt, often made worse by smug 'luv my little man' threads and facebook tales of trips to legoland, shopping with my best friend, my daughter and instagrams of fresh baked cookies

This. Facebook is evil like this, I often find myself feeling inferior after seeing what other parents choose to post about what they've been doing on Facebook - and mine are pre-school so it's not even halfterm! Even though I know full well that Facebook is a very edited version of someone's life...

Fair point well made Cory.
I suppose my thread does come from not truly thinking about others circumstances, just like the particularly venomous replies to my OP. I've been in most of those situations.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 18-Feb-13 12:10:28

I am the other way around and only just survive the school time. Up early 5.55am, rush to work, leave early, pick up kids, come home, do dinner, cubs etc, bath and bed time. Its just bloody exhausting.

This week am doing a mix of working and hols with swapped childcare from other mums and got a lie in til 8 today - it was absolutely marvellous.

We dont actually do things though - they just potter round the house while I work but they are happy enough doing that.

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 12:10:32

why is everyone kicking seven shades of shit out of the OP


sheesh!!! you lot take thing so personally

wine needed....

cory Mon 18-Feb-13 12:10:36

I otoh love being able to go to work this afternoon/evening and leaving dc to their own devices, fromparis

and the one person in the world I do not envy is somebody who has spent all day trying to juggle a child on the spectrum who has meltdowns in public against an NT child who is sad because "we never get to go anywhere"

even pushing a blooddy wheelchair about with fit and healthy ds trailing desolately in its wake was actually quite tiring

particularly as, unlike dd's teacher, I wasn't getting that much sleep at night either

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 12:11:14

I think that it is a little unfair to throw the SN thing at the OP as she clearly was not talking about exceptional circumstances - I think she is being unfairly treated in general on this thread tbh.

Whoknowswhocares Mon 18-Feb-13 12:12:01

Here have a biscuit

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 12:12:19

I agree with you fromparistoberlin - it is weird.

BitOutOfPractice Mon 18-Feb-13 12:12:59

My version of "surviving" the holidays is trying to juggle work, childcare and spending time with the kids - plus feeling guilty that I'm doing work and parenting less well as a result

Glad your life is so sorted OP

hazeyjane Mon 18-Feb-13 12:15:57

'Moaning and venting'

I think you answered your own thread there, because that is what the surviving the holidays threads are about.

I love the fact that I'm accused of being smug and judgemental and then a lot of the posts on this thread have made raging assumptions about me! grin have a biscuit back!

bumblingbovine Mon 18-Feb-13 12:18:17

Mostly I really like the holidays but that is because despite DS having ASD DH and I share out the holidays. I loved the Christmas break and was very unhappy to go back to school/work.

So in the summer we take a two week holiday all together (I always like this and look forward to it). The remaining 3-4 weeks, I take 2 days a week off (I work PT anyway so only need to take a few hours out of my holiday each week for this ) Ds takes one or two days a week off, depending on work load and holidays he has left and DS goes to a summer club one or two days a week.

This way Ds never does the same thing too many days in a row, he alternates days with me and dh and summer clubs. We sometimes arrange some things with other kids or trips out but certainly not more tha n a couple of things a week and that is interspersed with summer clubs where he gets to play with other kids a lot

We do a similar thing for this for all the other holidays too. However we
- Have two people managaing one child (albeit with SN)
- Jobs where we can organise the holidays like this
- Not much money but enough to do some things out of the house
- Allow Ds to have whole days watching TV/playing computer games sometimes (though rarely two in a row(, without any guilt

All in all I loathe ds going back to school usually, partly because of the school runs and all that stuff you have to remember as a parent of a primary school child (last minute letters etc) but mostly because he has behavioural problems there and I get tired of the constant reports of it and the worry . At home we have a peaceful time, though there are always the odd rows and problems it is usually fun overall.

I do understand how people could find it very difficult though, especially if they have little money, children who don't get one with each other, not much space, bad weather etc.

cory Mon 18-Feb-13 12:19:37

untrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 12:11:14
"I think that it is a little unfair to throw the SN thing at the OP as she clearly was not talking about exceptional circumstances - I think she is being unfairly treated in general on this thread tbh. "

but it could equally well have been "the poverty thing" or the "lack of a safe outdoors environment thing" or the "presence of drug pushers on the doorstep thing" or even the "different age of siblings thing" or the "personality clash thing"

what we are trying to say, people have lots of different reasons for feeling as they do

HappilyUnhinged Mon 18-Feb-13 12:20:40

I don't see where the OP has been smug at all. Touchy nerves here sometimes, wot?!

hazeyjane Mon 18-Feb-13 12:21:38

Tbh, I don't think having a child with sn is an 'exceptional circumstance', it's just life.

DowntonTrout Mon 18-Feb-13 12:22:45

ER because circumstances change. I was fit and healthy until last year. Now I'm not.

My DCs are for life, my health wasn't. I can't change being a mother like someone can change a job if they choose. So right now, I'm surviving it, just. Doesn't mean I love my DCs any less, just that I find it harder.

Thingiebob Mon 18-Feb-13 12:24:55

I can't work out if the poster is asking a real question or is just being a bit snippy.

Hope everyone has answered your question satisfactorily!

Bonsoir Mon 18-Feb-13 12:25:49

During the school holidays one does have to organise things for ones children to do. Some people are fortunate, and have the homes/circumstances that allow DC to entertain themselves fruitfully and safely. Others have less to occupy DC within their own homes and therefore need to organise more. But the reality is that organising the holidays is quite a lot of work - throwing money at it is a solution for some, and others have to be more creative and fix up lots of play dates and picnics and swimming outings etc.

Iaintdunnuffink Mon 18-Feb-13 12:27:11

It's just a phrase isn't it? A bit like you using the word hell to describe life with your kids sometimes? I can see that if someone had just been through several hellish moments that holiday then they may post about wanting to survive to let off steam. It's not actually hell and they don't actually think they're on an episode of the Walking Dead. Some with young babies may relate to being a zombie grin

I'd say probably a bit of both Thingy. Snippy because I don't like the phrase in question, but happy to hear people's opinions.
The irony of the posters calling me smug and judgy and then casting nasturtiums about my own circumstances isn't lost on me either! wink

tethersend Mon 18-Feb-13 12:28:49

I'm not ashamed of surviving school holidays, it's one of my greatest achievements grin

FlouncingMintyy Mon 18-Feb-13 12:29:02

I find it very annoying when people profess "not to be able to understand" certain things because it displays a real lack of imagination or ability to put oneself into another's shoes. I don't feel defensive. I just think Saggy has been a bit daft.

My children are easy, we have money and live in London so there's always stuff to do. But I find school holidays slightly hard work because I am not free to do what I want for 5 days in a row (and as my husband works weekends that infact becomes more like 9 days on the trot). How can that be difficult to understand?

It's not now you and others have put it into perspective.

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 12:33:18

I am vaguely amused by the fact that every post that Saggy has posted (since the first one) has agreed that it can be tough, and every post is then followed by a ranty name-calling post which calls her things like "intolerant", "smug" and "snippy".

It's a bit bandwaggon-y, this thread.

But quite funny.

Personally I always found a paddling pool and a tv (depending on weather) occupied most of the summer.

It would be more difficult if I ever tried to be a good mother (trips, baking, crafts etc). But I never bothered with that much.

I think modern day life with children is hard, juggling work, school runs, finances, taking time off in holidays, pressure to be amazing and to always be doing something fabulous.
I grew up on the biggest estate in europe in the 70's too op - LP?

If you can't handle being with them then in the holidays why on earth did you breed them?!


Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 12:34:38

And yes, MrsJay - this year dd finishes on May 31st and will go back the beginning of September.

ouryve Mon 18-Feb-13 12:34:44

You don't have my kids.

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 12:37:27

SN is not an exceptional circumstance.
It is a very common issue.
For every poster who mentions it as part of the reason they are feeling frazzled there will be dozens who are not explicit.
If you lob in the poverty, lack of space, parental disability, isolation factors as well surely that would include the majority?
The minority of parents have lots of space, money, good health, close family and exciting environments plus DCs who get on well and have no SN.

When my two eldest were small I lived in a small flat in the inner city. I was skint. We did loads of stuff. That is because we could. They were close in age, I had not been utterly shattered by loss, I had friends close by, the DCs were healthy and easy to entertain.

So the lack of money and space alone were not an issue.

Now I have more money, a garden, a car.. but I have no friends or family close by. One of my DCs has SN, I am frequently low in mood...etc.

I understand more of what the op is saying the OP was very badly worded. Meant or not it came across as one of those smug, sad face, sad face threads.

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 12:38:57

And... I work with preschool children with disabilities.
Like being a teacher, it is NOTHING like being with your own children.

Its a laughable comparison tbh.

ouryve Mon 18-Feb-13 12:40:11

And my kids do care if playgrounds are overcrowded. DS1 struggles with having to interact with anyone, never mind crowds of kids who are more streetwise than he is at half his age.

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 12:41:41

I also think children's age gaps make a massive difference.

I had three in four years, so they were (vaguely) interested in the same things.

It must be much tougher with a baby, a 6 year old and a 12 year old for example - by the time you had readied/cajoled/bribed them to go anywhere, you would be exhausted.

But the biggest problem is juggling childcare/work, and I am very, very lucky that I never had to do that. I could, literally, sit on my arse all day during the holidays, and as long as I fed them periodically things were fine.

dh did sometimes come home from work and raise a surreptitious eyebrow, though.

lljkk Mon 18-Feb-13 12:42:02

Because they squabble like ferrets in a bag.

Actually they are all nicely making pancakes & joking together about Cats Being reclassified as Liquids, what's funny in the Beano. That was after I threatened to ban them from ever visiting the house as adults. I don't trust good will to last. Schizophrenic blighters.

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 12:44:55

in all fairness mine (not that I see them. SOB sad sad ) are 2 and 5

they are very easily entertained, if somewhat messy

playground, TV, we even go for a walk "around the block" round the local council estate if we get desperate !!! love urban life

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 12:47:37

'But I find school holidays slightly hard work because I am not free to do what I want for 5 days in a row' FlouncingMintyy are you for real?

This did give me laugh though - I can certainly see where other poster are coming from in that they do seem to have difficult circumstances - but your 'hardship' well excuse me if I don't feel sorry for you.

Tee2072 Mon 18-Feb-13 12:48:01

Yes, what Maryz said.

The OP has admitted that the word 'survive' was ill chosen, that she hadn't considered SN, etc etc etc.

And you all still harp on her.

I'm the one with disabilities and I struggle to be with my son all day. Doesn't meant I don't love him. It means my health has gotten worse since he was born.

But I also don't feel I just 'survive' the school holidays. We just do them our own way and don't sweat what the rest of you, apparent, super moms are doing.

ouryve Mon 18-Feb-13 12:49:36

We've always done the walks round the block when we've had nothing else on. They don't work so well, anymore, because DS2 refuses to go in certain directions and there's not that much of the village to walk around. If DS2 loses it, DS1 then loses it and I end up wishing we'd just stayed at home!

Fakebook Mon 18-Feb-13 12:50:18

We had half term last week, and it was the first time ever the days flew by and we actually had fun. Normally I just about survive holidays because I never plan anything in advance. This time I organised play dates for dd and a day out and loads of home activities. It pays to be organised.

We are very lucky to be able to afford a holiday abroad during Easter holidays, so those will go by nicely too.
I don't want to "survive" the summer holidays so will be enrolling dd into summer activities to keep her occupied and me sane.

If other people's children are anything like my dd, then I think they DO need to be occupied 24 hours a day. Dd is asking me to role play with her the whole time she's at home. Her brother is too young to play with her. When I have chores and errands to catch up with and looking after a
1 year old, it does get very tiresome, especially during long holidays.

At one point I had 4,6,8,9, and 12. One had SEN. I learned to shout louder than them! grin

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 12:50:43

mrs DV

sometimes I think "ooh that lady is cross" then you write a post that like that and it made a lump in my throat

I guess people dont know what others are going through, cant even imagine

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 12:53:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 12:56:43

I also think people try to do too much during the holidays (talking SAHPs here) - they seem to think that holidays have to be timetabled like school, that the kids need to do interesting things and go to educational places.

Whereas in fact I'm a great believer in children learning to do nothing, to be bored, to self-amuse (and yes, to do that by fighting with their siblings and moaning to their parents if necessary).

I think we shouldn't feel guilty if we have a week or two in pj's watching tv and only moving to eat.

Or letting the kids demolish the sitting room to make a hut/car/pretend hospital.

Or saying "I'm not amusing you - you can dig worms, eat mud or draw in chalk all over the garden wall if you like, I don't really care".

Children are so timetabled these days that they don't learn to occupy themselves; the holidays are a great time to teach them.

Obviously there are some children (especially children with SN who need structure), but for many learning to just "hang around and discover your inner resources" is a bonus of the school holidays.

flurp Mon 18-Feb-13 12:57:15

This half term I have nothing planned and I am working every day.
My youngest dc are being looked after by their older sister for a few days and by my Mum for the rest of the week.
So far I am quite enjoying it!!!

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 12:59:11

i agree maryz!!!

too right

hazeyjane Mon 18-Feb-13 13:02:05

Countrykitten, You didn't say that you were referring to a particular post.

It read as though you were saying that having a child with sn was an exceptional circumstance, and there seems to be this idea sometimes on MN, that mentioning that your child has sn, is unfair, as if you are somehow pulling out a trump card. I was just pointing out that families with children with sn aren't some sort of exceptional beast that should only roam the sn boards.

Oh and ironically, i am offended by your comment, 'take offence at anything SN feathers'!

FlouncingMintyy Mon 18-Feb-13 13:03:00

Yes, I am "for real" countrykitten. I don't want you to feel sorry for me btw. Is there anything particularly outrageous about what I said?

happilyconfused Mon 18-Feb-13 13:05:14

Let kids just chill. They have to recharge their batteries. I think this topic shows just how some parents view schools not just as educational establishments but as a glorified babysitting service that should be open from 7.50am to 6pm 52 weeks of the year!

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 13:06:11

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Tee2072 Mon 18-Feb-13 13:06:45

I agree with that as well, Maryz and often want to ask the people who come on MN to start a thread about how their children can't play alone 'well, do they ever have to?'

Until recently, my son didn't want anyone to play with him. Now he'll ask me to play with him but understands perfectly well if I can't.

freetoanyhome Mon 18-Feb-13 13:07:37

In the olden days you'd heave them out the door at 8am with a bag of sandwhiches and not see them till tea-time <nostalgia>
I am now wondering what my mum did in that time? grin

MissVerinder Mon 18-Feb-13 13:07:37

Someone on my FB has posted something similair but far more smug than this.

I have just read the whole thread and put her straight...

Some people can cope with it, others can't.

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 13:08:07

FlouncingMintyy there are people on here talking about real hardship and how they struggle in the school holidays and your gripe is that you can't do what you want for 5 days....[confised]

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 13:08:30

or even confused

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 13:10:44

She downed vodka and vallium and listened to Radio 4, free grin

blubberguts Mon 18-Feb-13 13:10:55

Question :in response to those who said 'if you don't like spending time with your kids why did you have them'. How were you to know before having kids if you would be an Earth Mother or not and then once having had kids and are.not what is one to do??

Maybe spend a lot of time feeling guilty and maybe seek support on forums like MN??

gordyslovesheep Mon 18-Feb-13 13:11:29

I am too busy making microwave mash to bother with my kids during the holidays - I let them run riot round the estate while I shop online for things made in factories

honestly - some bits are stressful ( one with behaviour issues, one half deaf and one 4 and bolshy) and other bit are wonderful

I couldn;t give a nuns fart if other people find it delightful 24/7 or need to survive it - none of my beeswax and not my place to judge

FlouncingMintyy Mon 18-Feb-13 13:12:20

But WHY is that confusing to you? Are you not quite all there?

I didn't even say anything about hardship! I just said why I don't find the school holidays as endlessly fun and tra la la as the op!

freetoanyhome Mon 18-Feb-13 13:13:50

that sounds like a fine idea maryz. Probably cos there was only 3 TV channels! And no computers shock

akaemmafrost Mon 18-Feb-13 13:14:39

So what do you mean when you say "take offence at anything" SN feathers countrykitten? Just to clarify.

Megatron Mon 18-Feb-13 13:16:38

I love the holidays and being with my kids but it doesn't mean they don't send me round the twist. Someone suggested mini beast hunts and experimenting with water, well that's great if your kids are between about 2 and 6 but I suspect if I gave my nine year old a bowl of water to play with he may just have something to say about that.

hazeyjane Mon 18-Feb-13 13:17:08

Someone started a thread about it (the attitude to which I referred) the other day, countrykitten, it was pulled.

Phew, thanks for letting me be offended, maybe I will fulfil my lifelong ambition of being a Professionally Offended person, one day!

hazeyjane Mon 18-Feb-13 13:18:08

akaemmafrost, don't you know that if you take offence at anything wrt sn, you are a 'Professionally Offended Person'?

WilsonFrickett Mon 18-Feb-13 13:19:13

Ooh professionally offended too countrykitten. Bingo!

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 13:19:28

Obviously if you mention SN you are in the ranks of the PO.
How many times have you been told NOT to spoil a good post by bringing up that pesky SN nonsense hmm

will we never learn?

googlyeyes Mon 18-Feb-13 13:21:28

I'm another mother of a SN child who is highly offended by your posts countrykitten.

How dare you use the term 'professionally offended' when you have upset people who really, really don't need more shit. IME only the bigoted and ignorant EVER use that phrase

WilsonFrickett Mon 18-Feb-13 13:23:01

I find the term 'breeder' which you used earlier countrykitten to be offensive as well. Does that mean I'm PO or can I only be PO if I take offence to your tone about SN?

googlyeyes Mon 18-Feb-13 13:26:50

And as for 'SN tailfeathers'. Try replacing the 'SN' with 'black' or 'gay' and see how it sounds

Just fucking shameful

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 13:27:17

Oh, wow, I've only just seen countrykitten's "breed" post shock.

How revoltingly and offensively pompous hmm.

countrykitten I think being attacked is quite common actually. It certainly is in my circle of friends. Which is why we dread the school holidays.


Psammead Mon 18-Feb-13 13:27:57

Oooh a local beach. I sometimes fantasise about global warming getting a move on so we can have a local beach. That would be great.

Oh incidentally I am rarely attacked during school terms, because there's structure and routine and everything happens when it should and so anxieties don't go soaring through the roof.

Unfortunately school holidays are not quite so easy for ds1 to cope with.

HappyJustToBe Mon 18-Feb-13 13:34:04


lesserspottedshitehawk Mon 18-Feb-13 13:43:14

Countrykitten do you teach in an integrated school? I rather hope not.

You seem to lack a certain ... something

blubberguts Mon 18-Feb-13 13:44:39

I'm not feeling the love ladies

amillionyears Mon 18-Feb-13 13:45:04

countrykitten, do you have children at home?

Tee2072 Mon 18-Feb-13 13:50:37

I think happyjusttobe just nailed it. Thread over. grin

FabulousFreaks Mon 18-Feb-13 13:53:17

What a horribly smug op post. You have empathy in spades hmm. Its not even worth responding to, just too too smug

countrykitten I think you'll find that you can't turn around on MN without offending someone.

Hmmm Now what does that say?

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 13:56:19

Oh dear me. Do you know what - I am going to go out with my two and have a wonderful afternoon the in garden which is perhaps what a few of you should do rather than sitting on an internet forum moaning about being forced to spend time with your kids Just a thought....

The professionally offended comment as not aimed at parents of kids with SEN btw - but you would know that if you had bothered to read my post rather than jumping up and down in ire and then on to a bandwagon with other people who can't read.

And gordy - always classy to drag things from other threads in to a completely different subject. Well done you.

Tee2072 Mon 18-Feb-13 13:57:46

babies it says that there are thousands of people on MN and everyone has something that offends them.

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 13:58:14

You do sound lovely countrykitten smile

A better response would be "yes, my use of the term "breed" wasn't very nice, and I also didn't mean to offend anyone, especially parents of children with SN"


countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 13:58:15

And imo the OP is not smug - she just isn't moaning which is what so many of you seem to enjoy. She's probably out in the sunshine with her kids right now! Try it - beats the crappy internet.

therontheron Mon 18-Feb-13 14:00:02

saintlyjimjams Mon 18-Feb-13 13:27:52
countrykitten I think being attacked is quite common actually. It certainly is in my circle of friends. Which is why we dread the school holidays.

If its pretty common then what happens during term time? Do the children only attack at home, or does it not count if its not the mother who is being attacked?

therontheron Mon 18-Feb-13 14:02:55

PS i don't understand the use of strong words like "survive" either when it applies to your own DC. I certainly don't feel that way about looking after my own (and last time I checked the qualifications for being a super-mum were a lot higher than just liking being with my children).

WilsonFrickett Mon 18-Feb-13 14:04:57

Mine's in school thanks kitten smile

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 14:06:07

thereontheron, I don' t know if you are being facetious or not hmm, but for some children with SN change of routine really puts them out, resulting in frustration and sometimes aggression.

Also, being stuck in a small house on your own with a frustrated child and possibly two younger and smaller children is very different from being in a school setting with more space, structured activities and other adult help.

Which would be obvious if you just gave it some thought hmm.

amillionyears Mon 18-Feb-13 14:07:31

Everybody is different.
Every single one of us on here comes with a different personality, different amounts of children, different living areas, different amounts of money, different children, different ages of children, different family set ups etc .
And yes, for some, it is a matter of sometimes surviving school holidays.

lesserspottedshitehawk Mon 18-Feb-13 14:09:11

Ah but maryz if anyone applied thought before posting we wouldn't have myriad "AIBU to not understand" threads like this delightful specimen.

blubberguts Mon 18-Feb-13 14:10:05

Girls it is obviously ok to struggle but not to admit it or seek support or kind words about it, because struggling is your dirty secret and makes you A BAD PERSON!!

Also I think to some extent there are those who have SN kids and those who don't and to an extent they will never really understand each other. Just like those who don't have kids never really understand the lives of those who do.

hazeyjane Mon 18-Feb-13 14:10:21

Therontheron, I think Saintly said why it is more likely in the holidays in this bit of her post

because there's structure and routine and everything happens when it should and so anxieties don't go soaring through the roof.

amillionyears Mon 18-Feb-13 14:10:59

Always has been, always will be.
Oh, and forgot. Some parents have Mental Health issues. Probably more parents than we are all aware of.

therontheron Mon 18-Feb-13 14:12:40

maryz.. the other adult help is shared by many children. Your child's classroom must be very spacious as the ones I've seen do not have much spare room when the desks, chairs are in there. and then it has to be shared by 30 other children plus a couple of adults.
Routine... that I don't know except to say that I am surprised that being at home seems abnormal when the children only go to school for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 39 weeks of the year (not including inset days).

hazeyjane Mon 18-Feb-13 14:13:17

amillionyears - tut tut, mental health is another one of 'those' things the professionally offended get up in arms about, back in your box!

therontheron Mon 18-Feb-13 14:14:04

Just curious though.. why has a thread that doesn't mention SN in the OP become all about SN?

therontheron - Are you suggestion I only care about myself? Maybe you're just very ignorant about severe autism.

I explained in my post about anxieties and how they rocket during school holidays. DS1 doesn't lash out because he's mean or nasty or wants to hurt people. In fact he gets very upset after he's hit someone. He's a teenager with no speech at all, and learning disabilities. He lashes out when very anxious and upset.

During school terms my son has a very regular routine so his anxieties are much lower than during school holidays. So it is very rare for teachers/TA's to be attacked, or for me to be attacked during school terms. He can get challenging towards the end of the summer term when he knows the long summer break is fast approaching, but we all know that now. In his annual review last month no school behavioural issues were raised at all although we discussed his behaviour towards me and other care givers during school holidays and discussed what could be provided to support him through the holidays (note support HIM not me - as reducing his anxieties is the key to a happy ds1)

I think I was last attacked at Christmas. I don't think he's lashed out at anyone at school this term. He had a go at me and dh earlier today and presumably it will happen a few more times this holiday.


hazeyjane Mon 18-Feb-13 14:16:50

therontheron, I don't know whether saintly's ds attends a special school, but even if he doesn't he may have a full time 1-1, which would be full time adult help. And the ratios and space in special schools are very different.

The amount of time you are at home is n't the point, it is the consistency that is the point. Ds is all over the place in the holidays, because he isn't used to his sister's being around, during the day. Already today (they are back at school), he is more settled, because we are back in a fixed routine.

blubberguts Mon 18-Feb-13 14:17:14

Maybe because a lot of the people on here have SN kids. Perhaps disproprtionately so because the subject chimes with them because they struggle more because they have SN kids????

WilsonFrickett Mon 18-Feb-13 14:18:16

theron Because the OP failed to take into account SN of parents, carers or DCs when posing her question. Another poster then used some phrases which were provocative and which were, rightly, answered.

To answer your other post, children with SN will usually receive extra help in the classroom. A classroom setting is all about routine, whereas time at home is unstructured by its very nature.

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 14:18:28

"Also I think to some extent there are those who have SN kids and those who don't and to an extent they will never really understand each other."

I think there is ALOT of truth in that. I refer to OPs initial posting. I dont think she even thought about how hard it could be for parents with SN. It was not even on her radar, she was commenting about parents with non SN kids who in her eyes seem to be moaning about time with their DC?

gordyslovesheep Mon 18-Feb-13 14:18:42

always happy to oblige County - hope you aren't professionally offended now - glad you have remembered how many children you have - wouldn;t want you to leave one behind grin

Right. You've all told me I am being unreasonable, I accept that, have backtracked, admitted my OP sounded smug, that everyone is different and that I'd posted without putting myself in others shoes.
I'm off now. Got stuff to do and this is now a bunfight. sad

Routine... that I don't know except to say that I am surprised that being at home seems abnormal when the children only go to school for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 39 weeks of the year (not including inset days).

Ok we're just talking ignorance here. If you want to educate yourself about severe autism read my blog, - there are some posts about behaviour on there. If you don't like blogs google the Challenging Behaviour Foundation and they can provide you with lots of information about the link between CB's and anxieties and the role of routine. If you don't want to be educated fine, but stop making stupid comments.

When you have very limited language (not enough to follow a film plot), when you can't read (so no book to disappear into), when you can't kick a ball around because you don't understand things like football, when you can't go out alone, but you're a teenager so have all that energy and need to to things having your day structured for you - so you are kept busy all day and you do the same thing at the same time each day makes you feel comfortable.

When you have a big white space in front of you (ds1 does go out every day - he has to, but I cannot structure the whole day for him) & no way of filing it, and very limited ways of communicating to those around you then you become anxious.

:waits for facetious response:

FantasticDay Mon 18-Feb-13 14:23:12

I love time off with my dcs. However, I might say it is hard to 'survive' the school holidays, as I don't get 10 weeks annual leave a year, so need to pay extortionate amounts for childcare! I'm also aware that it is supposed to be dcs' holiday, so try to schedule in time off for playdates so they can have their mates round etc., which I find a bit stressful. (We don't have a garden, so can't turf them out)

therontheron Mon 18-Feb-13 14:23:20

How exactly could the OP have written her first post so as to make it clear that she wasn't thinking about those children with SN, but rather the majority who do not have SN? (i.e. how could she have written it without causing offence to the parents whose children have SN?)

whatyoulookinat Mon 18-Feb-13 14:24:28

Yabu not all children are easy to keep occupied, not all children can be left to there own devices for more than 10 mins without trying to kill each other, not everyone has the money to do activities they would like & the weather is not always good for being out in the park all day.

Well done for surfing though, in just about coping on day one of the hols.

googlyeyes Mon 18-Feb-13 14:24:29

Not quite sure why mothers of SN children can't get what it's like to have non-SN kids. Most of us have those too.

Also not sure why those without SN children can't consider that others do have that extra struggle. There is no excuse for prejudice and intolerance.

As for kids 'only' being at school 6 hours a day 5 days a week 39 weeks a year. You do realise that that's quite a huge chunk of the year?

pigletmania Mon 18-Feb-13 14:24:33

You try having a school holidays with a chi,d who is autistic and has dev delays, who is totally thrown off routine as school is closed, and a tantrumming toddler, not being able to drive and see how good you look op hmm. Judge much!

akaemmafrost Mon 18-Feb-13 14:24:41

therontheron because it has naturally arisen in the course of the discussion. Like ANY other subject might do.

gordy are you outing country as samcam?

whatyoulookinat Mon 18-Feb-13 14:27:06

*Surviving not surfing, although surfing would be more fun.

therontheron Mon 18-Feb-13 14:27:41

I've just seen the OP's last post. If she's off, then i am too. I don't want to offend anyone, particularly those who merit sympathy, but I really don't like this sort of pack bullying

Pagwatch Mon 18-Feb-13 14:28:49

I wasn't offended. I thought the OP sounded as though she was reacting o other threads and reacting to a position you see as unreasonable often results in your posting in a certain tone.

I think 'aibu to be looking forward to the holidays and wonder why people find it difficult. Why do people find it hard - I don't understand?' would have been a chat with less acrimony. Except it probably would have got about two posts and <tumbleweed>

The SN angle ramped up because a few posters were being snide and then someone rolled out PO which, inthe context of SN is nearly always wankery.

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 14:29:59


I be dammed if I know!

OP, people are not cross with you now! there there, go to the park, enjoy sunny day and screw this hide thread!!!

pigletmania Mon 18-Feb-13 14:30:23

The summer holidays was hell, dd often got bored (after taking her to the park, shops, theme park etc) and had frequent meltdowns she would open the door and run into the road. Taking her out was very difficult, becoming hysterical, mealting down. By the time she started her new autistic school my nerves were shot. Yes I survived but yes ts just that. Whoopsie do for being a perfect mother and not feeling like you want to jump off a cliff

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 14:30:51

thereonthereon, may I (politely) request that your next post should be "thank you for explaining, it sounds tough".

Rather than "why are you parents of kids with SN moaning all the time".

Threads evolve - the answer to the op (which she has acknowledged eleventy million times at this stage) is that holidays can be tough for some parents, if you WOTH, if you have lots of children who don't get on, if one or more has SN, if you have mh issues (or are simply exhausted), or if you don't particularly like doing childish things for days on end or miss being able to mnet in peace

Some of those challenges are harder than others.

resists urge to [gavel]

Bullying therontheron?

After you made the suggestion that I wouldn't notice challenging behaviours during school terms just because it wouldn't affect me? That's pretty offensive Then followed it up with lots of eye rolling about why should routine make any difference.

I found that rather bullying if we're going to throw the word around.

Oh I have no issues with the OP att, it was a rather unusual AIBU in that she said very quickly she hadn't thought it through properly. Fair enough, and good response.

amillionyears Mon 18-Feb-13 14:32:48

well done saggy.

WilsonFrickett Mon 18-Feb-13 14:33:09

How exactly could the OP have written her first post so as to make it clear that she wasn't thinking about those children with SN, but rather the majority who do not have SN? (i.e. how could she have written it without causing offence to the parents whose children have SN?)

If the OP had thought about children (and indeed parents) with SN at all she probably wouldn't have written the post, because she would then have realised that for some, the school holidays are a matter of survival.

Mind you if she'd thought about all sorts of people in all sorts of situations she wouldn't have phrased her post the way she did either. She didn't think.

But to be fair, the more 'robust' responses have been to other posters, not the OP.

Now surfing is something we do do whatyou.

I would go so far as to say (and have said it many time) that it has been utterly life saving for us as a family and it has made school holidays less awful than they were. Which reminds me must book ds1 a surf this weekend.

WilsonFrickett Mon 18-Feb-13 14:34:31

And what maryz said.

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 14:36:37

And, by the way, I don't think the op feels bullied (do you Saggy?), I think she was quite aware by about the tenth reply that her op could have been worded a bit better.

Flamed, maybe, but not bullied (and which of us haven't got an arse-roasting on here at one stage or another).

therontheron Mon 18-Feb-13 14:40:43

maryz - don't put words in my mouth. Anyway That's not what I think.
saintlyjimjams - what i wrote to you didn't/ doesn't strike me as bullying. For a start it wasn't 20 against 1. I didn't eye roll either. But I was a little dubious about some of the things you wrote until you explained your circumstances. Sorry for any hurt or distress caused.

therontheron Mon 18-Feb-13 14:41:07

flamed/ bullied... same thing.

willesden Mon 18-Feb-13 14:41:40

At this time of year, the beaches have more dog poo on them than the parks. Enjoy!

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 14:43:35

and...not all beaches are nice, oh no

(she got pasted for the beach too)

I went on holiday to Kent, fucking shithole. I would rather live in a 1-bed in Tower Hamlets that on that Kentish beach

A little dubious? hmm


Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 14:45:14

I was just making a polite suggestion.

Since I'm not allowed to type ODFONTAD any more sad

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 14:47:45

And "flamed" is certainly not the same as "bullied".

Flamed is being told in no certain terms that you are being unreasonable (when you have asked).

Bullied is very different. Wikopedia: "Bullying may be defined as the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person"

I do wish people would stop saying bullying, when they mean disagreeing hmm.

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 14:50:07

but MaryZ

some people are keyboard warriers

ie if they have seen 10 people paste OP, they feel its safe to leap in too

happens all the fucking time time on AIBU


so a gentle flaming, will encourage some less gentle posts IWSWIM

therontheron Mon 18-Feb-13 14:51:28

I know what I meant Maryz and it is what I wrote i.e. bullied, not disagreed. IMO it becomes bullying when other posters start making up myths about the OP and then repeating them to each other as if they were truths despite the OP refuting them.

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 14:52:04

I know that fromparis.

And I have seen it get pretty horrid.

I think Saggy took it well, and there were enough people disagreeing without attacking to keep it (relatively) civil.

I just don't like accusations of bullying, because I think it undermines and minimises true bullying, which is utterly life-destroying iyswim?

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 14:55:21

thats true too, real bullying that makes people commit suicude etc cannot be compared to this

gotta do some work now!!!!

I'm more than aware of how MN works. OP posts something which wasn't worded very well and lots of people pile on. After about the first 20 posts nobody bothers to read OPs responses, just reacts to the OP and piles on for a flaming, the whole thing turns into a bunfight, OP leaves, gets flamed a bit more...
Sounds like par for the course TBF!

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 14:56:57

She didn't get 'pasted' for the beach. She got a few raised eyebrows for writing an OP that assumed everyone had access to a local one, along with a garden and a park.

Back to the school routine comments. The school routine is far more than just the considerable time spent in school. It is also about getting up at a certain time, wearing certain clothes, walking to school or to the bus stop or getting in the car, seeing the same people, having break and lunch at a certain time, coming home at the same time of day with the traffic, light etc being the same. The same people being at home when you get there and the same evening routine and bedtime.

When your kids are at school the whole day revolves around it. Why is that such a hard thing to understand?

My son went to a sports club today. He enjoyed it. But it was different. He is now in a foul mood. He is angry. Such fun.

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 14:58:39

A lot of people (including me) have acknowledged the OP's clarification. Unfortunately other posters have seen fit to jump in with their pearls of wisdom wrt to kids with sn etc.
That is why this is turning into a bunfight.

There is no bullying here. How silly.

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 14:59:13

Sorry you are having a shit day MrsDeVere.

Can you offer televisual bribes?

FlouncingMintyy Mon 18-Feb-13 14:59:53

Its just that people cba to read the whole thread and want to have their say. Happens all the time. Its not really to do with "piling on" just a lot of individuals with the same pov.

All my later posts on this thread were addressed to countrykitten anyway whose posts I found far more irritating than yours Saggy. Don't worry about it too much, it will all be forgotten in an hour or so brew.

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 15:00:14

erm, you were a bit snippy about the beach

"What with my silly oversight in not buying a house next to a beach n'all."

maybe her beach is shit!!!

OP, are we talking azure blue sea and white sands, or a pebbly fag butt and dog shit fest????

Yes that's true mrsdv

I did actually get lamped once this term. That was when the school bus wasn't running and the city was gridlocked. I gave ds1 the choice of 'no school' or 'late to school in mummy's car' and he chose the latter. Has to wait to leave home as no traffic was moving at all. He knew he was going to school, but he still had a total meltdown because everything about the day was all 'wrong'.

When I arrived his teacher and TA's said 'we knew you'd be in'. And he calmed down considerably just from being in school even though the routine was different (they chucked him in hydro to calm him down for me).

And yes he in a special school, with 5 in his class and enough TA's that there's a higher adult:child ratio at school than there is at home.

In case anyone is still dubious hmm

We do spend a lot of the school holidays on the beach wink but only when it's raining/grey and cloudy. Avoid it on sunny days (too many people)

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 15:04:21

She's in the UK.

My money is on pebbly fag butt and dog shit.

Whitenosugarplease Mon 18-Feb-13 15:12:20

Having read this thread I think teachers are heroes. If we can't cope during the holidays how do we expect them to cope during term time

flurp Mon 18-Feb-13 15:13:31

Bloody hell!
Loving the empathy on here! wink
Why does it have to be a row about SN? None of us without SN kids have a clue how hard it is. My best friends dd is severely disabled and much as I love her dd I cant imagine how she gets through the day. She is depressed and emotionally and physically drained most of the time and her life is a constant struggle.
The OP wasn't referring to people like my friend or any of you who deal with SN dc but maybe this thread should make us all appreciate that there is always someone worse off than yourself and thank God that we have dc to complain about because none of us would be without the little darlings (however challenging) would we?

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 15:15:53

Snippy yes
pasting no.

There is a difference

Personally I love English beaches. I love the ones on the east coast. I would love to be near enough one to visit every day.

A beach in Kent is still better than a car park. It is ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

lougle Mon 18-Feb-13 15:16:54

It can seem like 'survival'. I have 3 DDs, one has complex SN and goes to special school, she is the eldest.

I can take them to softplay, for example. DD1 is just now (at 7.2) able to play nicely on the equipment and not get herself into too much trouble.

However, I can't take her there on my own, because it's too dangerous to try and get her back to the car with her sisters (leaving and transistion seems to be a trigger point), who are 5 and 3.

That means, that no matter what I can think of doing (and to be fair, softplay is the only 'safe' activity I can take them to alone), I am stuck by the fact that I can't safely get them there and back.

Maryz Mon 18-Feb-13 15:21:10

lougle, you wouldn't have a local teenager who could help out could you?

dd is 16 and is currently looking for a part-time job but is volunteering while she tries to find a job. She would be fantastic at this type of thing, if only there was some sort of match up between families and teenagers.

After all, what you need is a second pair of hands. Either to hold a little one while you sort out dd1, or someone to closely shadow dd1 while you have a break.

Oh I love the beach. Ds1 had an inset day on Friday so I took him there to walk the dog (we were meant to be surfing but ds1 had a streaming cold so I cancelled). We were the only people there it was beautiful. Empty cafe so easy to get something to eat. In the winter/during school terms everyone there knows ds1 and it's a very easy way to spend a few hours.

School holidays can be a nightmare - it becomes gawp central

lougle Mon 18-Feb-13 15:29:03

Well I'm quite lucky, Maryz. I get 2 hours support on 2 days per week, so I got my lady who normally comes after school to come with me. I also get 3 hours actual 'free time' each week at the moment.

It's interesting though, because the Kids Club which DD1 goes to on a Wednesday closes in the holidays (well...not strictly true, it alters the session times in the bigger holidays and closes in half-terms, but the hours are spread among more children...) so our support actually goes down during half-terms.

FromParisToBerlin ever been to Clacton? It's fag ends, dog shit of your lucky and people from Essex! <<shudders>> and yes I'm from Essex so am allowed to say that.

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 15:38:07

I have been to Jaywick

yup, on holiday

makes Clacton look like Caics and Turquoise

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Feb-13 15:38:16

oohhhh I wondered why it was so much cheaper to buy a house by the beach <lightbulb>


fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 15:41:00

bargain!!!!!! and get this: Situated within 150 yards of the seafront is this two bedroom detached bungalow benefiting from off street parking, 14' lounge and no onward chain.

fromparistoberlin Mon 18-Feb-13 15:41:14
SashaSashays Mon 18-Feb-13 15:41:56

Had to spend my childhood holidays at Clacton. You have my sympathies.

Just to confirm what I said earlier, this week is shit.

DS3 has swanned off to get some bits for lunch, is yet to return and is ignoring my calls. I've spent an hour dealing with a brawl between 4 & 6 year old, DS2 is moaning about us the younger ones being around the house and being noisy so has invited his mates over who are seemingly trying to enter into a noise competition. DS4 wants to spend time with me, alone, he's unhappy about the fact I'm ill and required to parent other children, I've been named 'the evil one' and he has stomped off to get up to no good which will most likely involve but not be limited to riding his bike in the house and something with paint.

Also one of the cats has vommed and the dogs are showing an unhealthy interest in it all.

Off I go to cherish my children.

ByTheWay1 Mon 18-Feb-13 15:57:20

This past half term (11th-18th for us) was an exercise in survival for us -

MIL's heating broke - she moved into the box room for the week - the box room WAS full of all the stuff from downstairs as we were planning to decorate and had stripped the walls ready, that stuff went into our tiny bedroom. Kids were off and had flu, dog had a crisis due to slurping up a warfarin tablet that MIL had carelessly dropped and not told me about - then hubby managed to contract measles - actual bloomin' measles.....

Sometimes having a garden and being near the park just is not enough......

but "this too, will pass"

groovejet Mon 18-Feb-13 16:38:27

This half term is one of survival.

2 kids to entertain plus am trying to do some painting and major decluttering so our house is ready to put up for sale next week so am constantly shooing kids and dog away from wet paint, a stint of playing schools, and amusing kids and dog in the garden to make up for lack of lunchtime walk. Have filled 7 bags of things to take to the tip, only to find out that the tip is shut for 2 days and on top of this am fighting off a cold / cough and all I really want to do is go to bed for a few hours.

This week would be much better if I didn't have children to entertain but day 1 and they have actually been well behaved, this will not last I am sure.

Still Hopefully a week of this will be worth it and get a quick and good offer on the house, DH home soon but will have to go on extra long dog walk tonight which given the nice weather should be some what therapeutic.

StrawberryGateaux Mon 18-Feb-13 17:17:09

Come to my house today op, you will soon change your mindgrin
Pandemonium-that is all!

jamdonut Mon 18-Feb-13 17:27:10

I live in a town in East Yorkshire which has a very lovely beach, in fact, a whole beautiful bay- some with soft sand and dunes, some with rocky outcrops and rock pools. I'm so glad I moved here.

Father and Step-mother live just outside Clacton.

Just so you know.

alistron1 Mon 18-Feb-13 17:47:31

I'm really lucky, I work term time only so half term is a holiday for me too. However, with teens it's quite difficult to occupy them without going bankrupt.

Also during 'my' week off this week so far I've had a wiring inspection and a man in to fix my heating. Tomorrow I've got a decorator arriving at 9am and I'm having some work done later in the week to fix my kitchen and bathroom.

If any of us survive this it'll be a bloody miracle. Roll on the easter holidays!

ByTheWay1 Mon 18-Feb-13 17:54:31

I think that is the main trouble - if it were just "entertaining the kids" we'd have no trouble at all.... but if you work -- EVERYTHING has to be done when you have time off- all the appointments, deliveries, decorating, rewiring, carpets, plumbing etc - if you are working, holidays can be a nightmare, stuffed with all the stuff others can fit in in the day.

When I was a SAHM I dealt with all the "stuff of life" during the week, whilst working that is impossible.

GarbledMessage Mon 18-Feb-13 17:59:56

OP, I am usually of your frame of mind. I LOVE half term and all holidays. No school run, loads of time to hang out with the kids....and then last week I had the week from HELL! No matter what we did my two just would not get one, non stop scrapping, whining and fighting. I was relieved when they went back today.
Am sure it's just a phase, but it made me much more sympathetic to those who have that experience EVERY holiday.

Bosgrove Mon 18-Feb-13 18:03:20

I am hoping that I survive this week, I have 3DC aged 8 - 3, and married to a teacher who is on a school trip this week. Leaving me with 1 sick child and two who are really missing their Dad.

Until the sick child is better, what we can do is very limited.

CockyPants Mon 18-Feb-13 18:08:59

Am I the only one who calls it the hellidays?
Can't be arsed to apologise for not being an earth mother.
My DD seems to think I'm a good enough mum so not really caring about what other people think of my non maternal nature...

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 18:40:48

Yes - because only 'earth mothers' enjoy spending time with their children....confused

goinnowhere Mon 18-Feb-13 18:45:37

Isn't it obvious? If the holidays are harder than your normal days, they will feel tough. If they are easier, holidays will feel great.
As a teacher, for me they are heaven, despite cost, bickering etc. Cos it's easier than work.
If my dc had SN and normally have a great routine and holidays disrupt that, it would be hard.
A SAHM of school aged dc might find it harder work than normal. All depends.

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 18-Feb-13 18:53:26

I like the holidays, but then I am lucky. I have the one child, who is generally very good at amusing himself.
We live somewhere "naice". There's a park, there's woods, there are activities I can just about afford now that I have a better job.
However, I can totally picture myself in a not nice flat on a dodgy estate, with 3 kids, and even less cash than I have now.
I have forged relationships with ds's friend's parents to do kid swaps in the holidays. Ds is at a nice school. His friends have good parents. I am happy for him to hang out at their houses, and vice versa.
However, if his friend's parents were awful, or he had no friends, and had no-one to play with in the holidays It would be shit.
I have family nearby who help me out. If I had no family near by it would a lot harder.
So I can totally understand why a lot of people feel they are "surviving" the holidays.
Not everyone is as lucky as I am, and I know that. It's called empathy.

DamnBamboo Mon 18-Feb-13 18:59:55

OP I know what you're saying.
Many people I know do this whole 'phew I survived business' and they are the ones who do generally have things to do, people to see etc. I find it a bit pathetic.

Do most people really have such shitty circumstances that the holiday's become about survival?

Most people have no resources, friends, play areas, etc...?

Really? hmm

skaen Mon 18-Feb-13 19:23:00

I feel like I survived half term last week and certainly didn't enjoy it. DCs both had flu, started to feel better, I got flu, they got norovirus, DH got norovirus.

It is quite a relief to have a quiet week at work.

Samu2 Mon 18-Feb-13 19:29:13

On one hand I love half term, the relaxing in the morning is great but after a few hours of five children arguing none stop it gets stressful. My son who has suspected ASD and mental health issues doesn't do so well with change.

My 13 and 11 year old aren't easily entertained with going to the park anymore and things like the cinema and museums aren't cheap with my lot, although we always do one thing special with them during half term. Plus, my 13 year old is in that lovely grumpy stage.

I enjoy parts of the holiday's and other parts are stressful. I do try to keep them busy with DVD's, walk in the park with the dog, seeing friends etc but mine all seem to thrive on routine and it was much easier when they were all little and not teen/preteen age and a run around the park was enough to keep them happy for hours.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 18-Feb-13 20:37:31

I love my kids, love spending time with them, but the school holidays can be tough. One has ASD, 2 are being assessed for ASD, and because of the massive routine change (they love school, lots of routine and clear expectations, plus I'm rubbish at organising stuff) it can be CHAOS (capital C times 1000).

By the time they've settled into a regular "home" routine it's time to go back to school, then they get distressed at the change back!

Even without ASD, when kids are used to being kept very active at school they can easily become bored and restless at home. I have a plan this half term, most days are accounted for, even lazy ones, and yes, it's my "survival plan". smile

Samu2, the Odeon and Vue both have cheap kids films on at weekends and through school hols, with 4 dc it's been a godsend! I took 6 dc, my dad and myself to see Rise of the guardians at the vue today for £14. Plus 99p pick and mixes each for 99p shop.

I can't justify or afford full ticket prices.

Disappearing Tue 19-Feb-13 00:02:41

This week I'm not in work, I had to take hols due to our work's "use them or lose them" policy, I had leftover holidays from last year. Despite this I'm so busy at work I'm failing, so have been working from home anyway. The constant tidal wave of work is why I always have holidays left over. I only get paid for 3 days/wk also [poor me emoticon].

The children told me they'd rather go to the childminders than stay around with me - yay thanks kids for this demonstration of love! So I sent them over there for a few hours before thinking better of it and getting them back home, so they watched TV while I split my attention between them and work, and juggled a few extra chores like shopping and extra swimming lessons.

My whole week is likely to pan out like this. However I'm still happy-ish because this is better than usual.

lljkk Tue 19-Feb-13 09:59:59

If you're having a good half term week you don't need to come on here to moan about it, do you? So of course the unhappy are over-represented.

FloatyFlo Tue 19-Feb-13 10:34:37

I haven't read the whole post.

Just the first and last page.

But if I may, op, do bog off!

germyrabbit Tue 19-Feb-13 10:37:50

blimey is the poor op still getting berated for this thread!

amillionyears Tue 19-Feb-13 10:43:51

Fraid so germy. The op backtracked yonks ago, but because this thread is now so long, some people havent realised.

Maryz Tue 19-Feb-13 12:03:49

I do think that, while it is obviously too much to expect everyone to read every post on such a long thread, it would be polite to at least skim through the op's posts before abusing her even more

grin @ Maryz.

MrsDeVere Tue 19-Feb-13 12:27:00

Nah. I am bored, I have a cold.
I vote we RUMBLE!

<throws self at saggy>

<<kicks MrsD's feet out from under her>>
<<sits on MrsD>>

Lets start a slanging match and see how many people don't read the thread and think we're serious! grin

MrsDeVere Tue 19-Feb-13 13:07:31

Judgemental, smug panty wearing supermommy hun bunny


Hypocritical SAHM over stimulating old trout!

Maybe if you spent less time looking after your children and more time on Mumsnet, you'd find the holidays less traumatic!

MrsDeVere Tue 19-Feb-13 13:16:37

Get this! I am in BED with a box of maltesesers. <wins the internet>

CarlingBlackMabel Tue 19-Feb-13 13:24:49

Glad you have realised the you-centric nature of your OP, OP smile

I would love to have happy half term hols, relaxing and doing interesting activities with the kids. It's the time i really envy SAHMs. But of course for them it is doing even more of theier job than ever.

But the truth is juggling a job (needed to cover ordinary household expenses) and holidays is a nightmare, even if it wasn't expensive to fond cover (whcih it is) organising it, working round the late start of many playschemes, persuading re;uctant children that it is fun etc, is an added pressure.

Then if you do take time off work the Feb half term can be miserable and or very expensive if all you have is a grey, tired old local park and an over-priced cinema nearby.

I just spent my (unpaid leave) morning having coffee with the Mum of DC's friends - and we were interrupted about every 5 seconds.(They had a range of interesting activities and kit to entertain themselves with). When we firmly told them to bog off and stop interrupting the background cacophony of sibling friction was unbearable.

I am a glass half full sort of person, but sometimes the juggling just gets too much.

Pagwatch Tue 19-Feb-13 13:26:28

Frankly I feel sorry for you children


Pagwatch Tue 19-Feb-13 13:27:06

Do you think we could get a deletion message if we tried hard enough?

MrsDeVere Tue 19-Feb-13 13:27:27

Frankly so do I sad sad sad <wishes we had a crying one like on Nuthunz>

Pagwatch Tue 19-Feb-13 13:30:03

A crying one?

I am nearly tempted.

Maybe you should all have your children adopted. Then you can spend the whole holidays eating malteasers, and not need to survive at all!

Or, a frazzled looking holiday survival emoticon? wink

MrsDeVere Tue 19-Feb-13 13:35:43

You can hit someone in the face with a fish on nuthunz.

<looks meaningfully at saggy>

Pagwatch Tue 19-Feb-13 13:36:18

Am not sure you could work maltesers and a bottle of gin into an emoticon.

And exactly how do you know THAT? MrsD? hmm

I've seen a good one where the emoji points and rolls about laughing! I love that one! grin

Maryz Tue 19-Feb-13 13:46:04

Ah, now Saggy, now you have overstepped the line.

My children were adopted, and we are very careful to never say "you were placed for adoption because of <insert dodgy reason involving misbehaviour or being too much trouble>.

I have a friend who constantly says to her children "if you don't behave I'm going to give you up for adoption, and it drives me bonkers.


I dislike ds immensely atm, can I say that?

Sorry Maryz! sad
You did see that we were only messing now down you? <<chastened>>

MrsDeVere Tue 19-Feb-13 13:51:00

Wassup with DS Maryz sad
I am not so keen on DS1 meself. Mind you he won't talk to me either <sigh>

Maryz Tue 19-Feb-13 13:51:45

'tis ok smile

I have a few well quite a few really hobby horses. This is one.

But my post was a bit disappointing acksherly; if you want a deletion notice, I should have taken massive offence, reported you, had a strop and told you to FOTTFSOF.

Would you like me to?

Maryz Tue 19-Feb-13 13:55:53

I thought ds1 had broken his foot/ankle/leg. It was blown up like a balloon and he can't put any weight on it.

Anyway, I cancelled my whole morning to take him for an X-ray. Which I had to pay for as the A&E wait time was 6 hours and he won't wait (at all, ever, for anything). So, they think it might be a break, but can't be sure, so he has to go back on Monday but keep all weight off it for the moment.

Apparently it's all my fault for making him go confused. He knew it wasn't broken hmm


Ooh, please...

Maryz Tue 19-Feb-13 14:08:47

Fuck Off To The Far Side Of Fuck

How do you not know these things? You obviously don't waste spend enough time on here.

MrsDeVere Tue 19-Feb-13 14:11:21

Well it is your fault innit?

Well if you will be a helicopter parent...

Maryz Tue 19-Feb-13 14:27:00


<sticks tongue out at everyone in rather cranky way>

ODFONTAD <<smiles sweetly>>

Maryz Tue 19-Feb-13 15:48:45



Oblomov Tue 19-Feb-13 16:09:45

"Going on a mini beast hunt- even snails exist in cities
Bake some cheap flapjack together
Collect leave/ random 'treasure', go home and make a collage- that's half a day and only costs a bit of glue
Build a den
Film afternoon (popcorn/ duvets out)
Painting/ drawing/ play dough
Fill sink with water and let them experiment
Friends over or visit them"

oh yippee-dee-doo-dah.
Aren't you a fabarooney yummy mummy. hmm

countrykitten Tue 19-Feb-13 17:55:56

Oblomov that sounds like a perfect day! Makes me wish I was little again!

"Maybe you should all have your children adopted. Then you can spend the whole holidays eating malteasers, and not need to survive at all! "

Oh gawd, I read that, was shock and had to scroll up frantically to catch up grin

What I would give to spend a whole holiday in bed with malteasers grin

Oblomov, that isn't fabaroony yummy mummying, that is school holiday survival parenting grin

hmc Tue 19-Feb-13 23:32:51

My two fight constantly - hence school holidays are a battleground and I am the beleaguered peace keeping yes, I feel that they are something to be survived and got through

LadyWidmerpool Wed 20-Feb-13 09:10:14

If you don't feel exactly the same way as I do about everything, why did you even bother having children??

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