The catch-22 of school holidays

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

The Christmas rush is over, reality has resumed, and I face the next three weeks of school holidays with a slight grimace on my face.

By the end of last year, I couldn't wait for the break. Like most parents and kids, I was over it. I was tired, grumpy and ready for time out. No more routine. No more pressure to get out of the door in the mornings and no more early starts.

But now we're in the midst of the holidays, it's quickly become a catch-22. As much as I wanted the holidays to start, I'm now looking forward to their end. 

The joys of the holiday versus the reality quickly became quite clear.

Joy: No more packed lunches.

Reality: Packed lunches have now been replaced with an all-day eat as much as you can buffet. The "café" opens in time with my eyes. The fridge and pantry door now serve as my alarm.

I'm bombarded with constant orders from the "menu", whereby the menu consists of ALL the foods. I've only just cleaned up the remnants of one snack, before another order is placed.

Joy: No more after school activities

Reality: After school activities have now been replaced by ALL day activities. In order to alleviate my son's boredom and keep my sanity intact I've now morphed into a social secretary.


I'm desperately scrolling through social media to see what local activities are on, locking in play dates, days at vacation care and subjecting myself to hours at the skate park and lifeguard duties at the pool.

Joy: No more scrambled cash outlays for excursions and donations

Reality: Despite desperately watering the money tree in the garden, there's been no growth. At the start of the holidays there were a few leaves left, but these have since died.

School holiday activities coincide with me opening up my wallet, setting fire to any notes and throwing my debit and credit cards at strangers and maniacally shouting, 'take it, take it all'.

Joy: More quality time

Reality: You know the saying "you can have too much of a good thing"? Yes, well that. Being together for days on end is testing on my nerves and sanity.

Being asked the same questions multiple times, (no you CAN'T have a fifth icy pole), refereeing sibling fights and being found whenever I try to get five minutes peace is wearing thin. Very thin.

Joy: No more washing uniforms

Reality: Instead I'm now washing approximately five outfits a day because it appears that biking, skate boarding and soccer all require different clothes. And, apparently, you only know you've had a good time if they're dirty as proof.

Oh and we also can't wear the same rashie and shorts into the pool because "they're wet and cold" ... errrr

Joy: More help at home.

Reality: My house resembles a bomb site. There's no surface that's been left untouched. There are crumbs, mud, trails of dirty clothes and so many foot impinging pieces of Lego lying that my swear jar is full to the brim.

My windows now have a layer of fingerprint tinting, and my toilet smells like a public urinal. It's a bad day when you need to squat over your own loo.

But it hasn't been all bad.

There've been days when we've gone at least an hour without a sibling fight. We've eaten out so there's been no snacks to prepare and we've played in the pool without the pressure of time.

But all good things must come to an end as they say. It's just a little bit of a shame that that end is still quite far away.