The school holidays panic
Know any parents who have their children completely organised for school holidays? No? Didn't think so.
There are four fundamental seasons in the calendar year at our house. Pre-kids, these were
summer, autumn, winter and spring. These days, the beginning of each new season is encapsulated by:
“Oh crap, what are we going to do with the kids during term 1 school holidays?!”
“Oh crap, what are we going to do with the kids during term 2 school holidays?!”
“Oh crap, what are we going to do with the kids during term 3 school holidays?!”
“Oh crap, what are we going to do with the kids during the NEVER-ENDING summer school holidays?!”
There are plenty of parents who chose to send their kids to holiday programs even on days when a parent is home to look after them, for a variety of good reasons. For others, it’s a necessity. My children live in a household with two working parents. Their friends live in households with working parents. I explained to my 8 year-old that this wasn’t always the case and in the “olden days”, usually the father went out to work and the mother was responsible for the household and the children, even if that wasn't the roles they each wanted. To that, she declared her relief that she doesn’t live in the olden days as those rules sounded stupid and unfair. (Quite a pithy summation of past societal parameters.) And so, not living in the 1950s, my children are now used to the mosaic of activities and carers they encounter each school holiday period.
We’re very fortunate that we get a lot of help from grandparents who live nearby, but the reality is we cannot foist our (albeit well-behaved) kids upon them for weeks at a time in order to save our leave up for a holiday down the track. That means, each school holiday period is filled with different holiday programs. The only problem with that is that, as parents, our conversations normally go something like:
“Yep, great idea!”
“Okay, which ones?
“Okay, well, what programs are on near us?”
“Not sure. I heard program X and program Y are good but I don’t know any details.”
“Okay, do they have any spots left?”
And so on.
Needless to say, we struggle through it every term and somehow make it work. But it’s 2019 and, frankly, it’s ridiculous that it’s THIS HARD to arrange school holiday activities!
What do we do now?
It was the frustration (and desperation!) above that led to the development of an online marketplace (Activity Book) where parents can easily find, review, book and pay for regular and holiday programs online. Don't get me wrong - this doesn't solve all our parenting problems. However, it makes the pre-school-holiday-panic much more bearable!