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6 week holidays are a strain
19

Eggsontoasty · 06/08/2022 09:12

We're both teachers and so have a preschooler and a 7 year old at home with us over the summer holidays.

By week 3/4 it's all starting to become a bit of a strain as it usually is. All spending lots of time together and it's difficult to get away to do our own things although I did go clothes shopping alone for a full day this week.

The children want entertaining constantly and I am getting fed up of DHs definition of cleaning and tidying. I keep suggesting he go off and have a day to himself but he's always here being irritable and on his phone. He may aswell spend the time on his own to re-energise and then atleast he might stay off his phone for an hour or two!

Starting to wish we had paid for a holiday club to give us a bit of respite- I also think a day of holiday club here and there may have been cheaper than days out. We're doing as many free things as possible but it's costing us in fuel and ice creams.

I'm a member at a gym so go there once or twice a week, meet a friend once a week on my own, but feel guilty leaving DH with the kids a lot as he's taken no time for himself at all. But I think we're all now getting a bit fed up of each other's company and fed up of finding stuff to do.

The older one complains about everything we're not doing rather than being grateful what we are doing.

We don't really have much structure during the summer holidays and we're going with the flow a lot as this is what DH prefers to do but I'll be honest, I'm starting to crave a bit of structure, wanting to be more productive and proactive with our time, also a bit fed up of spending so much time together as a 4! This is always the case each summer.

DH has serious FOMO so if I suggest taking the children out so he can catch up on some much needed jobs at home, he would prefer to down tools and come with us. He's wanting to go out as a 4 every day. It's a bit much. Being together as a 4 constantly is a bit stressful. In previous years I've drawn up a bit of a calender and plotted in lots of different things along with down time for each of us but DH just disengages with it and doesn't take the down time, preferring to join us on days out- I'm a bit tired of his constant wittering and need a break from it!

Any suggestions on how to get through the holidays better?

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CardiffMam · 06/08/2022 09:18

I'm trying to keep three children entertained whilst working full time with no family support so I'm really envious of your situation.

Take the children to the park, swimming or to the cinema. Teach them card games or watch a film together.

Take it in turns to be in charge of different days. Decide on a day off each every week.

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ManAboutTown · 06/08/2022 09:29

To be honest if my alternatives were a day out with the kids or doing "jobs at home" I would opt for the former every time

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twinkletoesimnot · 06/08/2022 09:32

In the nicest possible way, you don't sound like you like your family, especially your husband very much.

I'm a teacher too (although dh isn't) and absolutely live for the holidays when we can all be together.
The lack of structure and having to clock watch and be places. Time together and being able to be properly present instead of thinking too much about what I have to do.

If you need structure perhaps build in a breakfast time when everyone needs to be up and dressed ready, or a walk each day?

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DuggeeHugPlease · 06/08/2022 10:33

I see where you are coming from, it can be tough spending so much time together especially when you are used to your own space.

Are there any holiday clubs with spaces left? Worth a try booking just a few days to mix things up and the kids will get to try different activities and mix with peers.
How about play dates with school friends?

We have a timetable for the 6 weeks with an activity every day - often something simple and cheap like baking or park or library but also bigger days out. Helps give a bit of structure. We both work full time so are taking leave between us. It's nice to have some days with the kids on our own but I also wish we could have more family days as a 4.

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Eggsontoasty · 06/08/2022 15:11

I think the structure really helps everyone @DuggeeHugPlease . I would do a timetable but DH isn't interested in following it or contributing to it so I start feeling like everyone's manager and give up.

We've done a couple of meet ups with Friends but DH is always reluctant and seems to want to do everything as a 4. It gets a little too much, particularly with his and our eldest's ADHD thrown in.

To other posters-I know we're very lucky in terms of not having to find childcare for the holidays. But, everyone's situation is very different and being the manager of everything and everyone for 6 weeks with the challenges that our family has specifically and whilst being together constantly is a challenge. You don't have to understand but that is how it is/feels for me. I'm allowed to find the holidays tough Mary Poppins @twinkletoesimnot and still like my family 🙄.

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frozendaisy · 06/08/2022 15:34

Set up a "mud tray in the garden" get DH to watch the chaos with the kids he can take his phone with him whilst you go upstairs for a long shower, hair wash, body lotion to recharge.

Get the kids to do a few jobs like fun, our littles loved hoovering.

Basically anything that you need to get done that can be jobs and fun. Like a little hand you pegs.

Two birds with one stone.
If DH is there on phone he can keep a watchful eye.

Put a movie on for kids in heat of midday plonk DH on couch you do an hour of jobs to get them off your tick list.

Eat cold salad buffet stuff to reduce washing up, breads, cheese, houmous salad etc etc you know the stuff.

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ibelieveinmirrorballs · 06/08/2022 16:43

I think the only way for you to feel better about it is to communicate better with your husband about what you need.

You are both in an enviable position and it is frustrating - as a single parent working ft with two DC to sort out for much of the six weeks and no family support - for the pair of you not to be able to capitalise on the advantages and “get out of p your own way”.

I do get it… the way you describe it the set up does sound intense, with no breaks individually and very difficult to appreciate the advantages that you have. But the only way to change it is to somehow get this across to you husband and create a structure that enables YOU to get what you need to feel calmer. Sod his FOMO - stand up for what YOU want!

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Signoramarella · 06/08/2022 16:50

Lucky you , you are 2 adults . I'm a teacher doing 6 weeks with my 2 tweens alone. No one helping. It's tough... you can take turns like the first poster suggests. Just put that in place and stick to it. I took.mine on holiday to the coast, alone. The 7 hour drive back almost gave me a breakdown. Another 4 weeks ffs I wish I had a dh to help!

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FrownedUpon · 06/08/2022 16:55

I don’t really get the issue. You’re in a better position than most. I would love 6 weeks off together- how lucky. You just need to plan it better and enjoy your family.

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DuggeeHugPlease · 06/08/2022 19:53

I think it's easy to say you should be grateful for what you have and yes it's a good position not having to worry about covering childcare but that doesn't mean that it's not also stressful.
I am finding it difficult to cover the holidays but honestly I do sort of look forward to the days I'm working from home and we have nursery/holiday club. Not because I don't love my kids. I really do and I've loved having more time with them over the summer but having them full time is quite a lot to handle and I do actually find my office job a lot easier!

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ibelieveinmirrorballs · 06/08/2022 20:01

I don’t think anyone’s really saying the OP should be enjoying her current situation - it’s more that between the adults in the family all the components are there for it to be a great 6 weeks where everyone has a break. (Many of us don’t have that option in the first place!)

This seems more of a relationship/ communication/teamwork issue with the parents not working effectively together for the good of all.

I’ve been a stay at home parent and totally get the drudgery and relentlessness of it compared to going to work etc. OP I think you need to be firmer with your husband and make him see that his inability to give you a break is driving you mad.

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frozendaisy · 06/08/2022 20:01

I want my children's teachers to recharge over the summer holidays, this is purely selfish, because I want them on top form come back to school to give our children the best education they can squeeze out of them.

I also think that it's helpful for everyone in a family if the children do learn to be a bit bored from time to time. So perhaps have a day a week or a couple of half days where the kids have to make their own entertainment with the mountain of toys they already own.

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minidancer · 06/08/2022 20:25

Put your kids in a holiday club one day a week and each have one day a week to yourselves. Look at the positives. Most parents don't get anytime off as they are juggling work and childcare. Next year could you afford to go travelling for the six weeks, that's what I would do if me and oh both had that much holiday.

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Outfoxedbyrabbits · 06/08/2022 20:56

I don't understand everyone who isn't a teacher/doesn't have their husband at home for the holiday saying how jealous they are - isn't the whole point of the thread that the OP isn't enjoying any of the potential advantages of their family set up because of her husband's behaviour and attitude?

I am getting fed up of DHs definition of cleaning and tidying. I keep suggesting he go off and have a day to himself but he's always here being irritable and on his phone. He may aswell spend the time on his own to re-energise and then atleast he might stay off his phone for an hour or two!

So here is a man who is at home but might as well not be! What good is it to have him there if he doesn't actually DO anything? He's useless at cleaning and tidying, he ignores his family to stare at his phone, he's "irritable".

I'd have gone bonkers by now, OP. It sounds so bloody tedious. It's all very well and good to want to go out for all of the fun trips but if both parents go every time then who will catch up with stuff at home?

I don't think you're asking for the moon. Yesterday we had a family trip out all day (I'm a SAHP, my surgeon husband is on annual leave). This morning I had a lie in while he entertained the kids. Then I had them for a couple of hours while he had some down time. Then he baked with them while I had some down time. Then he fed them dinner while I did the laundry, changed the bedding, got the bath ready etc. Tomorrow morning we'll all go to church together and then we'll divide and conquer again in the afternoon. Isn't that normal when both parents are around, you spend some time all together and some time one person tackling chores ALONE while the other is with the kids and if you can you also get some time to yourselves? We shoehorn in some one-to-one time with each kid too.

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Catlover1970 · 07/08/2022 16:30

Eggsontoasty · 06/08/2022 09:12

We're both teachers and so have a preschooler and a 7 year old at home with us over the summer holidays.

By week 3/4 it's all starting to become a bit of a strain as it usually is. All spending lots of time together and it's difficult to get away to do our own things although I did go clothes shopping alone for a full day this week.

The children want entertaining constantly and I am getting fed up of DHs definition of cleaning and tidying. I keep suggesting he go off and have a day to himself but he's always here being irritable and on his phone. He may aswell spend the time on his own to re-energise and then atleast he might stay off his phone for an hour or two!

Starting to wish we had paid for a holiday club to give us a bit of respite- I also think a day of holiday club here and there may have been cheaper than days out. We're doing as many free things as possible but it's costing us in fuel and ice creams.

I'm a member at a gym so go there once or twice a week, meet a friend once a week on my own, but feel guilty leaving DH with the kids a lot as he's taken no time for himself at all. But I think we're all now getting a bit fed up of each other's company and fed up of finding stuff to do.

The older one complains about everything we're not doing rather than being grateful what we are doing.

We don't really have much structure during the summer holidays and we're going with the flow a lot as this is what DH prefers to do but I'll be honest, I'm starting to crave a bit of structure, wanting to be more productive and proactive with our time, also a bit fed up of spending so much time together as a 4! This is always the case each summer.

DH has serious FOMO so if I suggest taking the children out so he can catch up on some much needed jobs at home, he would prefer to down tools and come with us. He's wanting to go out as a 4 every day. It's a bit much. Being together as a 4 constantly is a bit stressful. In previous years I've drawn up a bit of a calender and plotted in lots of different things along with down time for each of us but DH just disengages with it and doesn't take the down time, preferring to join us on days out- I'm a bit tired of his constant wittering and need a break from it!

Any suggestions on how to get through the holidays better?

You don’t sound like you enjoy family life - I feel sad for your kids to be honest

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Bellezza · 07/08/2022 19:23

While I agree with PP that this sounds like a nice problem to have, I can also see how annoying it must be. Can you suggest DH takes the kids out and you have a day doing jobs at home? Have you actually explained to him how you're feeling? You say he's taken no time for himself- does he have hobbies or friends he could see?

I also don't think every day has to be a Big Day Out. What's wrong with going to the park or doing a supermarket shop or whatever? Could you ask DC to think of one big trip each and a few smaller ones that they'd actually like to do and leave it at that?

I think it's pretty normal to be feeling a bit fed up by the end of the holidays.

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Courgeon · 07/08/2022 19:32

I understand where you're coming from. I'm not a teacher but I get a fair bit of leave and take a lot of it in August for childcare. One week of it would be a family holiday the other weeks me and DC doing our own thing. I used to love it. However now DH is WFH full time and doesn't ever go anywhere it's driving me mad and it's ruined our nice easy going vibe and I'm looking forward to being back at work. My DC are older but both a bit crap at making their own arrangements so we're all boxed in the house together all the time..I hate it.

When they were little I needed structure and plans to survive the big holidays! I couldn't have done "see how we feel" every single day. But lack of structure and routine stresses me out anyway.

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Schooldil3ma · 07/08/2022 19:46

You've got enough time to turn this around.
Sit down with DH tonight and tell him you're having a day off each, every week. Write them on the calender....I don't know a single person who wouldn't want a day off. If he refuses you need to understand why.

On his days off make plans with friends, make it clear you have plans that he needn't be part of.

Perhaps on your days "off" you could each throw 3 hours at housework/ DIY / whatever needs doing and have the rest to yourselves.

If you're on FB it's a really good source of free and low cost stuff going on. Again get it on the calender.

I'm like you, I feel we all work better in my house with a bit of structure. The dc know what's coming up and can look forward to it, and enjoy the downtime between days out.

Your DH needs to wither step up or work with your plan. Tell him so.

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Wombat27A · 07/08/2022 19:53

Do either of you have adhd too?

Relax a bit, let's the kids be bored.

As a kid with undiagnosed adhd, I needed the long break to relax from school.

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