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AIBU?

To be absolutely dreading February half term

176 replies

Whatdoesitmatterif · 08/02/2023 16:51

I know i am being a bit pathetic about this but It's actually making me feel so nervous and sick because I know it's going to be impossibly hard.
the weather will no doubt be shit.
The kids will just fight at any given opportunity if I take my eye of them for a second.
we live in a small flat with no outside space or anything like that.
I have no money to do anything with them, we will be stuck in the flat pretty much the whole time.
i know I need to just build up some resilience and just get on with things like everyone else does and make the best of it but I just want to cry at the thought of trying to entertain everyone for a week, one dc has sen and I'm a single parent so even just going to the park or the shops can be very chaotic when I have to take the children with me.
the February half term is definitely the worst, most miserable one imo!

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

252 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
37%
You are NOT being unreasonable
63%
JussathoB · 08/02/2023 17:32

Picnic ? Outdoor or indoor. Get children to help make sandwiches etc. bake fairy cakes or flapjacks or pancakes or chocolate rice Krispy cakes? Or homemade pizzas on pitta bread etc
dance competitions or keep fit classes know wicks etc
internet classes show you how to draw things ( I’ve seen these, others might know the exact thing)
break the day up into sections
reading, audiobooks
Sorry don’t know ages/capabilities of your children

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RampantIvy · 08/02/2023 17:33

Are you on Facebook?
Our local Facebook pages are advertising loads of free things for children to do over half term.

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5hj56 · 08/02/2023 17:33

Honestly, I'm another who finds these posts strange. Children should be looking forward to time with their families during half term. Time off school isn't a punishment for working parents, it's reverting back to normal when they're not required at school.

Maybe their behaviour will be difficult to manage for specific reasons, but they don't actually need to be 'entertained' constantly. They need time to be themselves and be away from the pressures of formal learning.

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JussathoB · 08/02/2023 17:33

Sorry - joe wicks

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wherearetheturtles · 08/02/2023 17:37

JussathoB · 08/02/2023 17:32

Picnic ? Outdoor or indoor. Get children to help make sandwiches etc. bake fairy cakes or flapjacks or pancakes or chocolate rice Krispy cakes? Or homemade pizzas on pitta bread etc
dance competitions or keep fit classes know wicks etc
internet classes show you how to draw things ( I’ve seen these, others might know the exact thing)
break the day up into sections
reading, audiobooks
Sorry don’t know ages/capabilities of your children

Art For Kids Hub is a great channel

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Wishiwasatsoftplay · 08/02/2023 17:37

Lostmummy5 · 08/02/2023 17:16

I feel you... Nothing is free these days, or if its free - usually its absolutely s*it.
We had a workshop at Pets At Home last week. It's free activity, 45mins. I just wasted £4 for bus tickets as workshop took no more than 10 minutes. I know before pandemic they used to have lots of nice workshops-free colouring books, stickers, etc.
London Zoo - they advertising that tickets are £3 if you have benefits letter. Unfortunately, my friend was turned off with her 2 daughters as letter was too old.
Our local cinema advertising free tickets for kids, I phoned them - an adult needs to buy a membership.
I really don't trust any "free stuff" for kids, it's not existing anymore.

I agree-
I have SO much respect for Asda’s £1 childrens meal- it is a £1, you can buy as many as you like, they don’t mind if an adult eats them, you get a free drink, and there is NO catch, no extra charge, no need to buy an adult meal. Etc.
amazing.
and then they extended the offer beyond the school holidays.
im sure they get something out of this, but it is really the only time in the last few years when I have seen a large profit making organisation do something philanthropic.

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SpinningFloppa · 08/02/2023 17:43

Wishiwasatsoftplay · 08/02/2023 17:37

I agree-
I have SO much respect for Asda’s £1 childrens meal- it is a £1, you can buy as many as you like, they don’t mind if an adult eats them, you get a free drink, and there is NO catch, no extra charge, no need to buy an adult meal. Etc.
amazing.
and then they extended the offer beyond the school holidays.
im sure they get something out of this, but it is really the only time in the last few years when I have seen a large profit making organisation do something philanthropic.

It’s good but the 3 closest Asdas to me don’t have cafes so good if you happen to live near one that does as a lot don’t

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Wishiwasatsoftplay · 08/02/2023 17:43

Oh, and no judgement from me- have dc with considerable sen in family and even with support the mum is fraught at the end of the week.
and obviously so- it would not be called sen if there wasn’t a difficult component to the behaviour that comes with the diagnosis 🙄
so you have nothing but my sympathy,
and do not be afraid to use earphones (for you) and to (for them). They do need time to chill out, and if in order to access that they end up with 12 hours of Tv, so be it. Watch with them = family time. Guarantee they will be chuffed that you want to snuggle up to cocomelon or Xbox or whatever

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HistoryFanatic · 08/02/2023 17:43

Nocutenamesleft · 08/02/2023 17:09

Ha. I home educate and spend every single waking min with my children and have done for years. My kids don't go to a school so I don't have a break

I always find these posts so strange....and I must admit it's something I can't even understand. They're your children surely you want to spend time with them?

That is not a helpful post. It is actually more healthy to want a break from your kids than you with having your kids with you every minute.

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SlashBeef · 08/02/2023 17:45

Nocutenamesleft · 08/02/2023 17:09

Ha. I home educate and spend every single waking min with my children and have done for years. My kids don't go to a school so I don't have a break

I always find these posts so strange....and I must admit it's something I can't even understand. They're your children surely you want to spend time with them?

Yikes.. hopefully the kids will turn out kinder than their "teacher".

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icelolly12 · 08/02/2023 17:45

5hj56 · 08/02/2023 17:33

Honestly, I'm another who finds these posts strange. Children should be looking forward to time with their families during half term. Time off school isn't a punishment for working parents, it's reverting back to normal when they're not required at school.

Maybe their behaviour will be difficult to manage for specific reasons, but they don't actually need to be 'entertained' constantly. They need time to be themselves and be away from the pressures of formal learning.

This. Too many Parents don't want to actually, erm you know parent. To dread spending time with your own children is awful. Schools/nurseries aren't just a free babysitting service, how do you think Teachers cope? No wonder Teachers are on strike, they have to put up with your angels all day every day amongst a class full. Boohoo you have to look after your own offspring for one week! My heart bleeds, not.

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bighair32 · 08/02/2023 17:46

Just joining some of the comments above. When my daughter was v young we used to do lots of adventure walks ( have to find a series of items), would take them home and create a picture / model with them. We also used to go out in all weather with snacks and hot chocolate as someone has mentioned upthread.

I don't know where you are in the UK but my Uni runs a SEN friendly science bazaar for free on Sat am. Can you have a look.

Otherwise I also used to buy £1/2 colouring books, set up treasure hunts around the apartment etc.

We are devoting one day to a games day this half term. Every game out and we can play with them. Our local charity shop is fab for very inexpensive puzzles / books / toys. Have you looked at Olio and Freecycle for other bits that people may be giving away? I found a few really valued toys this way.

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Dixiechickonhols · 08/02/2023 17:47

Look on your council website. Check with any local museums etc. Librsry will have activities. Put a post on your local Facebook - what free activities are there for children at half term.
I’d try and go out if you can.
What ages are they?

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CMVB · 08/02/2023 17:48

icelolly12 · 08/02/2023 17:45

This. Too many Parents don't want to actually, erm you know parent. To dread spending time with your own children is awful. Schools/nurseries aren't just a free babysitting service, how do you think Teachers cope? No wonder Teachers are on strike, they have to put up with your angels all day every day amongst a class full. Boohoo you have to look after your own offspring for one week! My heart bleeds, not.

Do you have children with special needs? If not you don’t really understand then do you.

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Dixiechickonhols · 08/02/2023 17:49

Not sure if child with sen qualifies for dla but if they do you might be able to get a free carer ticket for lots of places.
Cinema sometimes do kids films for £1 (take own snacks)

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MissBPotter · 08/02/2023 17:50

I think these things always appear worse than they will end up being, but it’s not easy! One thing I would say is definitely don’t stay in everyday, make sure you get out everyday even just for an hour or two. Try to avoid the shops if possible, they’re stressful and boring even for adults! If there’s any toys my kids always want me to buy everything as well and it’s so expensive.

a free idea mine love is a print off a list of a few things they can see on a walk eg in a forest such as a robin, a tree stump, a dog etc. makes it more exciting.
wrap in layers and get outside! It’s horrible if you’re cold but layers help.
see if you can arrange play dates - not sure how old they are but this passes time really well, plus if you get on with the mum you can have a good catch up.

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icelolly12 · 08/02/2023 17:50

CMVB · 08/02/2023 17:48

Do you have children with special needs? If not you don’t really understand then do you.

So you assume all parents dread spending time with their children if they have special needs?! Lovely.

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bagelbagelbagel · 08/02/2023 17:51

It took years to fight for it, but we have direct payments from the LA to employ a carer/PA for our autistic DS. He gets 4 hours a week term time and 8 in school hols. It means I have an extra pair of hands taking them out, if needed, or just someone to hang out at home with DS while I do bits and bobs with my other DC. It isn't much but it breaks up the week and makes it more manageable.

To access direct payments I think you need to have a disability social worker for your child, and a carers assessment for you, which you will almost certainly be eligible for, especially given your living situation. I can help you figure it out if you tell me what local authority area you're in.

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CMVB · 08/02/2023 17:53

icelolly12 · 08/02/2023 17:50

So you assume all parents dread spending time with their children if they have special needs?! Lovely.

No I don’t actually. I am the parent to a child with severe special needs who attends a special school. I don’t dread spending time with him at all but I can absolutely sympathise on how hard it can be when they’re away from school and out of their usual routine. It can be incredibly difficult for those children and in turn can be really difficult for their parents. I’m not trying to pass shitty judgemental comments that are only going to make OP feel worse

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greeneyessparksfly · 08/02/2023 17:54

We make a jar of little notes folded up for half terms. I fill them with ideas of things to do, majority of them free, some things that cost £5 or under each, and 1 or 2 bigger things. I colour code them (e.g - red is the expensive activity, yellow cheap activity , blue free activity) DS then gets to pick one or two out each day depending on what colour I say he can pick. Makes it fun, feels like he is choosing his activity and keeps him occupied for a bit. Feb half term does suck though in terms of the weather! You can still make it fun though and hopefully not too stressful on you.

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Chenford · 08/02/2023 17:54

I always find these posts so strange....and I must admit it's something I can't even understand. They're your children surely you want to spend time with them?

(And others who joined in the pile on of the OP)

I deliberately plan a fairly significant proportion of my annual leave each year to ensure it doesn’t coincidence with my two teenagers’ school holidays 😮

Surely it’s pretty basic to be able to understand that not everyone is like you?

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FormerlyPathologicallyHappy · 08/02/2023 17:58

Nocutenamesleft · 08/02/2023 17:09

Ha. I home educate and spend every single waking min with my children and have done for years. My kids don't go to a school so I don't have a break

I always find these posts so strange....and I must admit it's something I can't even understand. They're your children surely you want to spend time with them?

Helpful.

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Somethingsnappy · 08/02/2023 18:00

LeapingCat · 08/02/2023 17:16

Are you a single parent living in a flat with no outside space and a child with SEN? Because if not your situations aren’t really comparable are they?

Exactly! And no money too? Presumably as that poster has chosen to home educate, they have the financial means to do that, so no experience of being a skint single parent. It's a shame for the children to be receiving their education from a parent with no empathy and a lack of emotional intelligence.

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JimHensonWasAGenius · 08/02/2023 18:00

Nocutenamesleft · 08/02/2023 17:09

Ha. I home educate and spend every single waking min with my children and have done for years. My kids don't go to a school so I don't have a break

I always find these posts so strange....and I must admit it's something I can't even understand. They're your children surely you want to spend time with them?

Do you kids have SEN?

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Sirzy · 08/02/2023 18:02

I’m not dreading the holidays with ds this time round but there have very much been times I have. His additional needs do contribute to that because it makes things harder.

if that makes me a shit parent then so be it. Personally I think it makes me human!

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