School Holidays Hot Tips from Dr Ali

Uncategorized Apr 08, 2021

School Holiday Mama

Learn and Lead - My Hot Tips!


Easter has been and gone, and here we are!! I love school holidays... except for when its chaotic and I'm scrambling. As a working mum, trying to lose the mum guilt and embrace the fun and the relax is really important to me.

We definitely lead a bit of a full throttle life with after school activities, so really try to pare it back for holidays.

But surviving and thriving aren't the same thing, and as I get asked this a lot, I thought I'd share my hot tips on making school holidays a great connection time, not just another two weeks to survive!


1. Letting them Lead

You may have heard me ramble on a bit about this, but letting your kids lead the way can be really empowering for them. The movie YES Day is an extreme example of this, one that I totally love, and whilst I've not done the whole day like they do, I do try to weave it in. Giving your kids full throttle on how to lead and navigate something that is normal makes them feel really strong, empowered, and like it is a different world out there. For example, something as simple as letting them choose how and where we walk the dog... does it involve coffee or brekky at the end, how far etc etc. 

We can also move this into giving them an afternoon. It allows them to discover their values systems. I am currently having a Mummy and daughter week whilst my husband and son go camping at a friends farm, and she has requested a fancy lunch and then an afternoon of cross-stitch learning and book reading. Sounds relaxing and connecting to me! Can't wait. 

I know my son would choose a trip to the skate park, a game of soccer and hot dogs for tea. I love how each kid is different, and giving them space to explore that is a great way to make the day not feel too laborious, and a whole lot more connected.


2. Learn Something New

Learning something new together can be great. When we are less rushed, it's a great chance to let them explore the kitchen, or the garden or the worm farm. Get them digging or doing something different. When we have times of trouble with pickiness in eating, I always go back to the basic of getting then involved in the cooking as a way to get them to discover where the food comes from. What could you explore or learn that's new?

I am having to relearn cross stitch as my daughter discovers it for the first time. I'm secretly excited... such a dork, but i'm pumped for the sitting quietly together. AS she ages this gets easier.

With little kids, I used to let them learn a new craft activity each holidays. Braiding, cutting, pasting, things that were messy that I just didn't have time to clean up after usually... the change up in routine was great!

3. Playdates rock!

Even as my kids get older, playdates away from the house have been a really important part of our school holiday routine. But more importantly is the mummy connection time. Finding a playdate hero that has kids that like your kids, and you can have a chat and a cuppa (or a wine) with is an essential survival mechanism. It changes up the day, changes the environment, and allows exploration of play away from the school environment.


4. Look at the nutrition

I know.... sounds boring. But when we are at home a bit more, and have access to all the yummies in our fridge and pantry, its easier to get into the sugar and carbs and coffee mode... and not keep up water and fruit and veggies.

For our kids and us, I'm a big believer in having a relax around eating and having some fun with it, but also... there ain't no mama that wants to pick up the pieces of a ravaged gut health and crazy brain function from too much of the shit stuff. So try to keep a smallish handle on it, and it will be easier to crawl it back. Easiest option... keep up your water. Make sure you keep up your 2L a day... and you will still feel fresh at the end!


5. Mix it up... inside and out.

Now I live in QLD Australia... where we are blessed with some of the best weather in the world... so mixing up outdoors and indoors is a lot easier. And coming out of covid times with lockdowns, it makes it a bit easier to crave those outdoor spaces. Trying to mix it up, break down the screen time so its time is broken up and away from all at the same time is really important. 

Our days normally roll with a walk/bike/scoot with the dog before brekky. Brekky and jobs and then they get some TV time whilst I do kitchen/clean or an hour or so of work. Then outdoors together, or verandah reading or visit friends etc. Home for lunch, and then the kids will have quiet rest time in their rooms for an hour or so. 

This is where I sneak in a quick little mama nap 😴 😂, or some chill time. Then we try and find something fun to do together, or invite a friend over for play to break up the dynamic. 

Sometimes they will get a late arvo screen time or movie, then family time before bed.

We don't do screens or tv after dinner in our house, unless the footy is on the TV (😂), but in holidays we do a  few more later family movie nights. 

In saying this... I had a movie marathon on a super rainy day here with my daughter the other day... I'd been saving up High School Musical and we watched 1, 2 and 3 together whilst I culled the linen cupboard and built a bookshelf. It was fabulous. 

I'd love to hear how you break up your screen time. How do you navigate this tricky thing in the world of tech? I know our kids get way more of it at school that we ever did, so I do try to minimise it at home... but sometimes ease wins. But ease for us... is less screens coz lotsa screens can make one of my kids CRAZY!!! I know you hear me mama!


6. Make sure you respect your own time Mama

Yep.. it's super easy to get caught up in all the things for the kids in the holidays, but it's also a time for you to recharge yourself. I purposefully have a quieter work week (or off completely) and a normal work week. We go away, or just stay home and chill, and I honour that I need slowness and calm. 

Decreasing my rush is vital to get ready for the busy of next term, and to honour that we aren't machines, we are thinking, feeling, intuitive beings that need a rest sometimes. Embrace that rest.

Rest how you need.

It will look different for you!

You deserve it!


I hope this hot tips have helped you. It's been a great reminder to me to go and drink my water (before I no doubt have another coffee), and to turn off the kids TV once I've pressed send!

Have a fabulous school holidays Mama. 

Make sure you listen to last weeks podcast, all about Mum Guilt... it will most definitely assuage any concerns you have about carving out some me time for yourself these holidays. Because you deserve it too!


Much Mama Love!

Dr Ali, 

Chiro, Mama, Supporter of Women everywhere!


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