Friday, 8 July 2016

Joys and tribulations of parenting in summer

We're still another ten days away from the much needed holidays. Everyone is grumpy first thing in the morning, and I find it hard to feign any enthusiasm about how much fun it will be in school today: "Monday, a PE day, yay! Friday! Fish & chips!" We all count the days until the school is over. I dream of long lie-ins in the mornings, warm (but not hot) sunny days, outings to the park, a trip to Cornwall for a week. all those things that look perfect and rosy in one's mind. In reality, a week into holidays we'll be thinking, Oh no, it's another rainy day, just what do we do today, cooped indoors?
Take our beloved Cornwall. When we think about it afterwards, it's always blue skies and a huge beach at the low tide. When you look at the photos, we had quite a few of dreary rainy days, when we had to wear raincoats on the beach and shiver in the blustery wind. Well, there were even some brave locals who had a BBQ going under the rain.

Last summer in Cornwall

Since it's a British summer, nobody can predict what weather we're going to get. Plans might have to be changed at the last minute. Picnic? Let's have a picnic indoors. BBQ? Perhaps the next weekend will be dry...
Yes, summer is a challenge indeed. On top of all the usual stuff that still needs to be done, you also need to keep your offspring entertained and happy.
And while my guys are happy to spend a lot of time outdoors, they get quickly bored indoors. Board games, puzzles, TV, DVDs all come handy.

Ravensburger Labyrinth is one of our favourite games, it's great for strategic thinking.

Shopping with kids is not for the light-hearted. "Mummy, are we finished yet?", when you have just entered the supermarket and started on your shopping list. I know some super parents turn the shopping trips into a fun educational activity, playing I Spy, revising maths and learning about biodiversity at the same time, but then, I am not a super parent. For me, bribery works the best. "If you let me finish my shopping in peace, you can have a Haribo ice lolly. And later we can pop into a Poundland on the way home."
Poundland. A land of plastic tat and a treasure trove.
We recently got Amazing Spiderman I and II there, imagine that. Everyone was happy.

Baking! That will keep them busy for about an hour. Get out all the sugar sprinkles and decorations, and let them be creative. If you're baking with Anchor butter (and we do, as it's excellent for cakes), don't throw those wrappers away, there are codes to enter at The Good Stuff Hub for fun activities and competitions.

Lemon cookies 

Cafes are our sanctuary and sanity saver. It must be our European roots that make us big fans of coffee houses and cafes. The boys love their cakes and bakes, while the grown-ups indulge in a cup of latte. I keep telling my dear husband that we spend too much in the cafes, and if we didn't go there for a year, imagine how much money we would save. His reply - life is too short, and we need to treat ourselves.

My imp and I in Costa

And of course, don't forget to have a little tea break - Mummy, can I have Maltesers? Can I have a Fruit shoot/a Milky bar? - Yes, darling, as long as I can have my cup of tea and read a book in peace for 5 minutes.

What are your survival tips for summer?

This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor.

Disclosure: I received two vouchers for Anchor products for signing up.

Incidentally if anyone wants a voucher for a free pack of Anchor Cheddar (available only in ASDA), please give me a shout. It's valid until 7 September, and I'm happy to post it anywhere in the UK.


  1. It's very true what you say about looking back at the holidays, or even at childhood days in general, as always blue skies and sunshine but there were loads of rainy days ! I'd be happy to take the cheddar voucher off your hands, if it's going spare :)

    1. The voucher is yours. Pleased you can make use of it.

  2. Gorgeous pics. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part