Six weeks of sun, sea, sand or stress!

“New Research from think money shows that nearly half of parents can have problems arranging childcare over the summer holidays, that’s equivalent to around 7 million people in the UK’.
 Summer holidays can be a time of fun, it’s a time when you get to see more of your children out of school, do things you don’t normally have the time to do, however this can also be a very stressful time for parents and grandparents.
 Unless you work as a teacher yourself, you suddenly get to the summer holidays and are left with the dilemma of who takes care of your children, and how they will be occupied for 6 whole weeks! The holidays can also have a huge financial implication due to the levels of children activities that may increase as well as added childcare costs. This is one of the reasons that so many grandparents or family members are asked to help out with the childcare at this practically stressful time.
 Whether you are the parent needing the help, or maybe you are the family member helping with the childcare, there are lots to consider and think about so that you and your family all make the best of the summer holidays, rather than wishing them away so that you can return to your normal routine!
 *Plan in advance so that you are not left stuck without childcare.
 *Acknowledge that you cannot do everything – For example, you cannot work and look after the children if you work from home.
 *It is important to try and maintain some social aspects of your child’s life so think about swopping play days with other parents so you can share some of the childcare.
 *Think about asking more than one family member so that it is not a big responsibility for one person.
 *Save throughout the year specifically for this purpose so that each summer you do not feel the strain financially and you can budget over a longer period of time.
The Guardian Newspaper when writing an article about ‘schools out’ said “We hear so many mums telling us that they feel guilty because they are working and can’t provide those perfect ‘Famous Five’ moments”.
 We also need to consider the emotional strain that this time brings. We want the best for our children in every way and getting the balance between providing financially, and also being there and spending time with our children can be difficult. You need to remind yourself that you are doing your best and cannot be everything and do everything all at once!
 This also counts if you are the grandparent or family member who would like to help out with childcare. Although it is a great help, and you may feel it is your duty as a grandparent for example, it is important that you know your limits and feel ok to say no at times, offer to help but not necessarily cover all the care single handedly! Those of you who are having help from grandparents and other family members also need to take into account other peoples limits as this can put a strain on family relationships and is not always the best solution for your child.
Above all enjoy your summer as best you can!
 “Please note that this blog post was provided by Healthy Minds and although based on real people, different names have been used, where requested, by those sharing their stories.”

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