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Working parents school holiday guilt

(26 Posts)
rookiemere Fri 01-Jul-16 21:50:36

DS age 10 gets 8 weeks of school holiday this summer. 8 sodding weeks. I suppose I should count my blessings last year it was 9.5.

Last year I took some unpaid parental leave, but school holidays are popular dates for time off at work ( even seemingly amongst the childless) so I can't take too much time or hog them each year.I've taken some time off - we're taking two one week breaks, and booked him into a variety of sports clubs, DH is taking some time off and SIL is coming for a few days.

Tonight DS is in tears. Wants to spend his time at home playing doesn't want to go into holiday clubs. Why can't I take more time off? Argh the guilt is awful. Plus ( and I'm going to whisper this) if I'm off and we're not on holiday DS just wants to play outside with his friends and I'm stuck at home.

Anyone else have this problem at school holiday time?

vikingorigins Fri 01-Jul-16 22:00:23

Not yet. When I tell my 9 yo she's going to holiday club she shouts yes! and pumps the air grin

rookiemere Fri 01-Jul-16 22:05:06

I wish !
DS simply refuses to go to ordinary holiday club any more - to be fair a lot of the older primary DCs don't like it as it's more geared towards the younger ones.
It's annoying as he really liked the sports club last year so I thought he'd be looking forward to it. Plus I don't work Friday but it's a block week booking and was hoping he'd want to go in on then so I could go to the gym <selfish bisom>.

Daisyandbabies Sat 02-Jul-16 07:07:54

Not yet as my children are 4 and 1 but it's something I'm concerned about when wondering when to return to work. We have no family here and no idea what people do? I'm guessing the young usually go to a childminder but I don't expect a 10 year old to be very about spending their summer holiday at a childminder's house, playing with babies.
Other counties seem to be a lot better prepared for this, where most schools are open for the duration for summer school, where the kids can at least have fun with their friends

Gizlotsmum Sat 02-Jul-16 07:12:52

Not yet. We have a few weeks off ( one at start one at end, inlaws have them for one week and will probably get my parents up for some of it) for the rest they go to our childminders which they love ( they have a huge barn to watch films/ have discos and two dogs to play with!). Not looking forward to this changing....

Gizlotsmum Sat 02-Jul-16 07:14:05

My eldest is 8 and loves our childminders because some of her friends go during the holidays...

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sat 02-Jul-16 07:17:16

Are any of his mates going to the camps? We are lucky that a few of us all book the same camp which makes it easier for DS (8).

Can you do any 'childcare' swops for your Friday? So your DS & a friend hangout at yours one Fri & then with another parent another day.

It is so difficult. Do you also explain to him that work = nice holidays etc.

I have no idea what happens when they are 12/13/14. Probably not old enough to be left all the time but too old for camps etc. I had thought about a few of us hiring someone to keep an eye on them together.

Good luck.

defineme Sat 02-Jul-16 07:19:00

Could you pay a teenager to 'babysit' instead-someone who keeps an eye on him as he plays outside or could you pay the parents of one of the kids he's playing out with?
It sounds like you have made a lovely plan for him and he will have a good time anyway, he is lucky really.

mailfuckoff Sat 02-Jul-16 07:20:55

It's tough. We started planning after Easter and I have a spreadsheet of every day to make sure both children are somewhere. Add to this DT2 doesn't want to do same activity as DT1 so we have extra logistics this year. It will be a mixture of holiday clubs, days with daddy, days with mummy and lovely grandparents. i have also booked one child free day of for me so I can sort out school unifidn etc. We have one week family holiday with all of us.

FanDabbyFloozy Sat 02-Jul-16 07:26:33

Could you get an au pair for the duration to allow you to mix and match between holiday camps and more time at home.

As your son wants to spend time at home playing outside, it really is perfect as your AP can just be a presence to keep an eye on home while playing on her phone!

FanDabbyFloozy Sat 02-Jul-16 07:27:32

I really can't type on my phone but the gist of it is - try an au pair.

Rhubardandcustard Sat 02-Jul-16 07:28:19

Last year dd age 11 didn't want to go to childminders in holidays anymore just wanted to be at home. I work part time so only needed someone for 5-6 hours. I advertised and found an 18 year old in between leaving school and uni. Was great she came over, was like having an older sister look after her, when she really doesn't need 'babysitting' any longer, just someone a bit older. They did art, walked the dog, popped to the shops, baked cakes or dd played on computer and sitter just did some reading when she did this.

rookiemere Sat 02-Jul-16 08:06:47

I had a teen for a week of the Easter hols.
Ds complained he was bored as everyone else at sports camps, plus it was a lot dearer as couldn't use childcare vouchers.
Maybe he just likes to complain !

mouldycheesefan Sat 02-Jul-16 08:16:43

Same here op but my kids are OK about holiday clubs, they do have a little moan for two mins but they really enjoy it when there. I let them choose which clubs to go to. Last year they chose four different ones, this year they have chosen two, one at school and one at another school where the age range is 9-13 so more of an older Vibe. It includes lots of swimming and sports and they are also doing three one day courses like den building etc. It is not cheap at nearly £40 per day per child but I do use childcare vouchers so I don't pay out any actual cash.
Mine will do a total of 15 days in club out of the possible 42 days of summer hols, 3 days per week for 5 weeks and one week away. We had 2 weeks in Florida already this year so they are not hard done by.
However, mine go together I think maybe issue with yours is he is going on his own. Can you let other parents know which days and clubs you are thinking of perhaps a friend may be happy to go with him, that's the key to it I find.

mouldycheesefan Sat 02-Jul-16 08:18:39

The thing with teens or au pairs is you can't use childcare vouchers to pay them. If you are paying out £900 for two kids for school hols care you want to be able to use th vouchers, in my case.

whatamidoinghereanyway Sat 02-Jul-16 08:20:02

I'm at home in the holidays and at least one of my kids really wants to go to holiday club but I can't justify the cost. We can't keep everyone happy all the time!

rookiemere Sat 02-Jul-16 08:24:47

Ds has pals at everything he's going to as I coordinated with the other Dms.
He will enjoy it when he gets there, but he likes being at home, thing is most of his pals on the street won't be around anyway.

ParadiseCity Sat 02-Jul-16 08:35:11

My DC have moaned about holiday club sometimes, but at the end of the day what can anyone do about it? After parents taking holiday, GPs and friends if available, there is still a lot of holiday time to fill so that's just life. I know it is hard but bottom line is we all have to put a roof over our heads. Why should mums feel guilty? You don't seem to see dads feeling guilty...

Plus- If your DC is anything like mine they moan because they fancy a lazy day pleasing themselves but actually once at the club will have a blast wink

CPtart Sat 02-Jul-16 08:57:00

My DC are 13 and just turned 11. It's a difficult age. DS1 can be left for half a day (we live semi rurally/no neighbours), we take alternate weeks leave, my DM helps out 2 or 3 days and DS2 goes to a football holiday club once or twice, but tbh, it's the last year he'll go.
School holidays are the reason I only work 3 days. Far less to cover over the course of the year. My fb feed is full of teachers jumping with joy at their forthcoming lengthy holidays. They work hard and deserve it, but I do too (nurse) and it grates a bit when I only get five weeks leave for the whole year.

Fairuza Sat 02-Jul-16 09:01:42

I'd compromise on a couple of weeks of sports camps, couple of weeks of teen babysitter. Then he can complain about both grin

MaybeDoctor Sat 02-Jul-16 09:39:17

If you have childcare vouchers have you looked at getting a late deal on PGL?

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sat 02-Jul-16 10:29:27

I'm still amazed at such long holidays! My DC get 5-6 weeks.

We have alternate weeks off with one overlap as a family and DC are left home alone (even when 15 and 12). GM is round the corner though, and I'm a 5 minute drive away. I hinted at summer school for DD the first summer and she hated the idea so we got Netflix instead!

rookiemere Sat 02-Jul-16 12:14:13

It's a private school so they get longer for some reason.

They've also increased the school day by 5 minutes from next term which seems to result in a few extra days as well <sob>.

I must say I found having the teenager at Easter quite stressful. One morning she slept in - we need to leave at 8 to get into work on time - luckily I was already out of the house so DH had to sort it out. At least with clubs etc. I'm in control.

My parents are elderly so we don't have any GP help. Normally I do swop a few days around with folks but our holidays seem to be different from other folks this year.

I think I'll just have to say that he doesn't have to go on the Friday to it if he doesn't fancy it and squeeze my gym visits and chores in another time.

rookiemere Sat 02-Jul-16 12:16:16

Oh and I wish DS would head off to PGL by himself Maybedoctor - I remember looking at them longingly when I was a child/teen. But DS would point blank refuse to go, although he might enjoy it when he was there.

Funny story - our friends DC's went to PGL for a school trip and liked it so much they managed to find a groupon deal for the school holidays so they could go again. Presented it to the parents, so they would book it for them.

MaybeDoctor Sat 02-Jul-16 12:42:29

Wow, that's self-motivated!

They do short breaks too, if that would be a useful starting point. A few threads on here about them.

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