Home » A stay at home mum’s love/hate relationship with the summer holidays

A stay at home mum’s love/hate relationship with the summer holidays

We’ve all seen or heard that REALLY annoying thing about how we only have 18 summer holidays with our children, haven’t we? 

Well I have one thing to say to that – please f*ck right off.

I mean let’s face it, how many kids do you know that actually leave home on their 18th birthday – and NEVER EVER come back? Seriously?? None. 

Meme about making summers count

So shut up with the whole ‘let’s make them count’ bollocks. Like my 17.5 year old will want to come to my local National Trust gardens for a picnic play date on his balance bike with me.

Three weeks into the summer holidays

I’m three weeks into a seven week school summer holiday with my three boys – that’s a four year old and two year old twins, if you’re new here. (Did I write enough numbers, just then?)

And I’m sure like a lot of other mums, I’m having what can only be described as a love/hate relationship with the holidays right now. One minute I’m loving it and we’re having lots of fun, and my kids are most definitely not bored. The next I’m counting down the days until the four year old starts school and life becomes a whole lot easier with one less child around all the time. 

I think I can safely describe the past three weeks in one word. Noisy. 

Very, very, very, very noisy. 

My boys have decided that their current favourite thing to do is run around in a loop from my hallway, playroom and kitchen chasing each other. Over and over and over again. It’d be quite cute to watch – if you could hit the mute button.

This is an example but on a smaller scale, contained to just one room. And with no sound. Cute right? 

It’s not just the running they’re loving though. It’s the noise they can make whilst they’re chasing each other. High-pitched screaming and laughter, getting louder and louder to out-do each other. Getting more and more frenzied with every loop they run. 

On and on and on

And it goes on and on, getting louder and louder, until one of them trips the other up, someone gets whacked in the face, or another one runs into the door handle. Then the volume level goes up a few more decibels again, just for good measure. 

Shit the bed, it’s annoying. Like REALLY annoying. 

And obviously the more you tell them to quieten down, the louder they get, metaphorically all sticking two fingers up at me. Oh what jokers they are. I literally cannot WAIT for the teenage years when they’re all still snoring at 11am and I’m going to hoover really bloody loudly at the same time as playing music AND singing along to it (badly), at the foot of their beds. 

I’ve got my oldest friend and god daughter coming to stay next week. I’ve apologised in advance and told her to bring ear plugs. And it’s little wonder the Other Half works away so much. He’s probably camping out in some internet cafe down the road for three days at a time but telling me he’s in London/Birmingham/Liverpool just to escape the noise!

If I’m honest, I’m quietly relieved the sun has gone for a bit. It means I can keep my windows closed and not fear my neighbours calling the council on me for noise pollution. Or worse, the police for some kind of suspected gang violence.

I’m not entirely sure my ear drums will survive the remaining four weeks of the holidays. 

Give me some space!

The other thing I’m struggling with a little bit is that there is ALWAYS a child around, and they are ALWAYS climbing on me. It’s like they think, that of course there’s room for three of them on my lap the instant I sit down (on the floor obvs). Always having a child here is kind of an obvious thing to say considering two of them don’t go to school and the older one is on his break between finishing preschool and starting big school in September. 

Three boys trying to fit on Mummy's lap at the same time

I’m a stay at home mum. It’s kind of stating the obvious. That’s what I do, look after my children – they’re still young, course they are always here. But it’s amazing how used to something you become. In the past year, the four year old has gone to preschool 2.5 days a week, and on one of those days the twins have gone to my parents’ for the morning – giving me the chance to sit in front of my laptop for four hours and generally save me from losing the plot entirely. 

That’s not happening in the summer because my parents also look after my nephews two days a week whilst my sister in law works. They are older and got first dibs on the grandparental childcare before I had even considered having kids. But as I’ve written a hundred times before, my parents are awesome, so alternate weeks they are having either the twins, or the four year old alongside the nephews for the day. They’re either very brave or a little bit nuts volunteering for that, if you ask me! 

Mixing it up this summer holiday

So as a result every other week, I have a day with just the twins, or just the four year old which has been great. It makes such a difference to be able to focus on one or the other without having to round up all three running off in different directions wherever we go places. And it’s actually EASY. Not that I ever expected to say looking after toddler twins is easy, but it bloody is, when you’ve not got their big brother around dominating every conversation and winding them up. (See above re: screaming). 

Likewise having just a four year old to look after, and give undivided attention to is an absolute doddle as well as actually being enjoyable. Taking him to the park on our own yesterday, going on stuff he wanted us to go on, without having to basically leave him to his own devices whilst I’m in panic mode over where the other two are – was just bliss if I’m honest. I mean, I DIDN’T EVEN TAKE A BAG!! Get me.

So this arrangement is working well, I’m lucky, and I’m loving the time spent with them separately. But it also means I’m craving a bit of child-free time again. 

Jealous? Me? Yep

I’m actually jealous of my friends who are going to work two or three times a week (the age-old debate on who has it easier/harder, to which there is no right or wrong answer), who are putting their kids into holiday clubs, or their nurseries and preschools still run in the summer holidays.

I stay up doing my freelance work until midnight or later, and my blog has been so neglected it’ll never forgive me (sorry about that). I’m currently writing this whilst the twins nap and the four year old is at Granny’s. A two hour slot every other week. So you just KNOW they’ll wake up any second, now I’ve just said that.  I’ll probably get round to putting it online at 11.30pm tonight.

But enough of me feeling sorry for myself! We’re enjoying the summer holidays so far – obviously with the odd day where I’d happily sell them all on eBay. But I’m sure that’s pretty normal.

Out and about in the summer holidays

We’ve been going out and about with friends, play dates, our regular visits to my second home Saltram House, the beach, Moo Music, and we’ve done a long weekend at Glynn Barton (amazeballs btw) with another one at Greenwood Grange in Dorset coming up. 

Luckily there’s lots to do in Plymouth (I think I may have mentioned I wrote a days out guide for the summer holidays? No?) and the weather has been fantastic. 

I’ve even managed two girls’ nights out which have been fabulous. And I’ve got a preschool mums’ night out next week which is quite likely to be carnage.

Not sure how it’s going to go once the weather turns to shit tomorrow though. More viewings of The Greatest Showman DVD I should think. We’ve only watched it about 8 times in the last fortnight, plenty more life left in it yet… 

Brothers watching TV during the summer hoildays

Summer holidays contingency plan

Although I do have another wet weather contingency plan. Our arranged outing with friends tomorrow has been changed to a play date at mine – complete with pebble painting and Play Doh. Jeez, desperate times or what, but anything to avoid soft play.

We have no pebbles, but our driveway is gravel so that’s okay? And we have no varnish – so I just bought a cheapy clear nail varnish from Sainsbury’s to do the job. I could have bought proper craft supplies, but let’s face it, the nail varnish will be better used in this house. 

Four more weeks to fill. Four more weeks until big school starts. Plenty of time to teach the four year old how to put his own socks on and use a knife and fork, right?

And then only 14 years left until my eldest moves out and I never see him again according to the social media meme. Pah! 

How are your summer holidays going? Do you love them or already fed up with them? 

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee

How did I do?

Did you enjoy this post? You might like some of my others, so how about you some of my early posts, such as this one about finding out we were having twins We’re Going To Need A Bigger Car, or Will I Ever Nip Anywhere Again?

If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.

And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com and I’ll get back to you.

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Gemma - Mummy's Waisted 11/09/2019 - 5:27 pm

Yes! I’m so glad it’s not just me! And I worked for a fair proportion of the summer holidays, I just couldn’t face any more time of constant hunger / bickering / toilet trips / glitter / football etc. etc. Well done for surviving! #itsok

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 11/09/2019 - 6:33 pm

Thank you! I’m already beginning to think I need to sort childcare for next summer 🙂

Twicemicrowaved tea 12/09/2019 - 9:00 pm

Our summer holidays were quite up and down. By which I mean the first week was absolutely horrific, the middle part was bearable and the last week was mostly spent with me crying and wailing ‘But I’m not ready for her to start school yet!’. A succession of rainy days with a 4 year old and a (then) 15 month old was quite testing, but now I miss having my 4 year old around and wish I’d appreciated the holidays a bit more. Easy to say in hindsight though! #itsok

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 12/09/2019 - 10:40 pm

I know exactly what you mean! Mine seemed to get more well-behaved as the holidays went on, strangely.

Nicole - Tales from Mamaville 12/09/2019 - 9:16 pm

It’s not just the holidays, it’s always the case! Miss my son terribly when he’s not around and can’t wait for bedtime when he is (most days, however)!! Guess it’s a natural (but very guilt-ridden) motherhood feeling:( But #itsok

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 12/09/2019 - 10:39 pm

Yes let’s hope it’s normal and we’re not just weird!

Liberty on the Lighter Side 16/09/2019 - 2:18 pm

Hehe, it’s the bickering and physical violence between my kids that really winds me up, thankfully with the warmer weather during the summer #itsok to send them all into the garden to kill each other where I can’t see it! That 18 summers thing must be some sort of childish propaganda in my opinion. 😁😁

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 16/09/2019 - 7:20 pm

Reckon you are definitely right on that one!

Nicole - Tales from Mamaville 14/09/2019 - 11:33 pm

Absolutely normal. Fear not. #werok

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 15/09/2019 - 7:58 am


MomOfTwoLittleGirls 16/09/2019 - 5:55 pm

My holidays flew by, so I didn’t catch this one. But I am very glad school is back, and I’m very sad school is back. Whoever said women were hard to please, was right.

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 16/09/2019 - 7:20 pm

Ha, ain’t that the truth!

Jacqui 17/09/2019 - 1:52 pm

Firstly, let me just saw…. YOUR HOUSE IS SO NEAT… Note that I am using caps, so I am shouting 🙂 haha… I remember when living in the States, how I used to start getting so nervous before the 1o week Summer break… Like, how many things can you make up to keep them from breaking down the house?? But then, the no routine and chill time is amazing, if only we could do that for 10 weeks with no kids 🙂 #sorrynotsorry I said that. #itsok

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 17/09/2019 - 2:32 pm

Oh my god, 10 weeks child-free time. AMAZING! You’ll be pleased to hear my house is currently totally trashed 😩

Crummy Mummy 18/09/2019 - 6:39 am

As a work at home mum I have to say I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the school holidays were over! #itsok

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 18/09/2019 - 11:08 am

I’m not surprised!

Tracey Carr 17/09/2019 - 2:55 pm

Ooh Helen I hear your pain! I have to admit I found the summer holidays incredibly hard at times but that is partially becuase my daughter was off for TEN weeks. Yes that’s right, ten weeks. The summer holidays in Ireland are ridiculously long and I think as we began to approach the end a lot of Irish mums were on the brink of losing their minds..! My hubby and I have agreed that next summer will have to be majorly different. The two girls are going to as many holiday camps as I can squeeze in (or more importantly afford) because if we have to spend all that concentrated time together again under the one roof I probably will be carted off somewhere in a straight jacket! #itsok

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 17/09/2019 - 2:58 pm

Ten weeks!! That’s so bad! Holiday clubs are the way forward!


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