Surviving the six week holidays….

I’ve really struggled to blog since we returned home from our Summer holiday, partly due to the hell of still working my way through the mountain of laundry, the inevitable post-holiday exhaustion and the fact that the children have been absolute terrors. And partly due to the fact that I have been dealing with some personal issues, some really difficult health problems, and I’ve struggled massively with the knowledge that, as honest as I try to be in my blog, I’m not quite ready to share that with you all just yet, I guess that time will come.

There have been several times when I have sat down to blog, when I have been hit by a bolt of inspiration or shared a moment that I was desperate to document, and within moments of sneaking away into the office, it would start. The children’s daily mission to send me absolutely bat sh*t crazy, screaming hysterically as though they had broken every single bone in their body, only for me to go running into the lounge to find them battering each other around the head with Baby Annabelle, spilling their juice across my brand new cream carpets, or simply smearing themselves with the closest thing to hand. And I’ve realised that while the children are home, without my safety net of school or nursery to give me just one moments peace, blogging really has had to take a back seat over the Summer.

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And in all honesty, we haven’t actually done a lot for the most part of the holidays. After the disaster involving our car, I endured eighteen long days of hell, completely housebound, as my back wasn’t up to even attempting to push the double buggy and there was no way in the world I was going to risk taking these four on public transport!! On the days when the weather was kind to us we played in the garden, ate copious amounts of ice cream, splashed in the paddling pool and ignored the angry shouts of the old witch next door telling the children to “Be quiet!” every two minutes.

On the days when the weather wasn’t so kind, of which there were many, we resorted to baking, to watching movies in our pyjamas, to Cbeebies, edible bribes, and when all else failed and I really did get desperate….the dreaded Playdoh!!!

Anyone with four children will agree when I tell you it’s hard every single day with a large family, and yet being house bound over the Summer holidays is definitely one of the hardest challenges I have faced as a parent. As much as I joke about the horrors of it all, towards the end it really did start to get me down and more than once I found myself wishing the time away so that the children would be back at school and nursery. It was at times like that when I felt like a terrible parent, the kind of parent that I always swore I would never be, and I would desperately try to claw back my sanity, hold on to every moment and remind myself that actually, these days are so precious, that in no time at all the days of having three at home would be over. And with that thought, and the days where by some sweet miracle they all fell asleep in the warmth of the conservatory, it got me through.

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Last weekend we had a much needed break with the wedding of two of our best friends where Gaz had the honour of being the best man. With him on the top table and nobody reminding me that I can’t handle my drink, I make no apologies for the fact that I got absolutely steaming drunk, even if it did result in more than a few embarrassing tumbles on the dance floor! We actually had an amazing day, with some of our favourite people, and if ever there was a time when we needed that boost it was absolutely now!!

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With the return of the car, and of Lewis who has been with his Dad alternate weeks over the summer, we have been able to get out and about this week and enjoy the return of the warmer weather. We have built sandcastles on the beach, rode donkeys along the shore, eaten ice creams on the promenade and all of a sudden life doesn’t seem so tough. Time as a family always reminds me of what is important, not to sweat the small stuff and that together, we will get through just about anything. And as hard as this month has been in some ways, in others we have been truly blessed.

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I doubt that there is a parent on the planet who hasn’t found the Summer holidays difficult at times, who hasn’t cursed the fact that they can’t even use the bathroom in peace, who hasn’t despaired at the state of the house or the fact that the children can’t seem to play nicely for more than two minutes before one of them is throttling the other. Who hasn’t made countless fake phone calls to their other halves while shouting, “What’s that? There’s big trouble when you get home?”, who hasn’t slammed shut the windows in order to scream at their kids without the neighbours eavesdropping, who hasn’t gone to bed each night thinking please, dear God, let tomorrow be a better day. And that doesn’t make us terrible parents, it simply makes us human. Because as much as us adults tend to focus on the hard times, in all honesty we have done some really lovely, exciting and fun things together. Looking at it that way, the Summer of 2016 will be one that we all look back on fondly.

I read a really lovely quote today that summed up the holidays perfectly. It said,

“We didn’t realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”

And I think that right now, more than ever, that is just about the most we can hope for.

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86 thoughts on “Surviving the six week holidays….

  1. What a lovely post and such a poignant quote at the end…It must have been so difficult being house-bound but well done you for seeing the positives of which it seems there were many. Sorry to hear of your health problems. I hope these improve for you. Absolutely gorgeous photos – thank you so much for sharing. X #momsterslink

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  2. Such lovely pictures. Your twin girls (or is it triplets?) look adorably close and you look absolutely stunning at your friend’s wedding. Your next door neighbour sounds very grumpy 😦 we’ve had great fun playing in the garden this year too. The garden in our old house was basically unusable but we recently moved to a new house and have spent a lot of the summer in the garden. We can often berate ourselves when we feel like we haven’t done much with the kids but they love messing about in the garden often just as much as a day out! Sorry to read about your health issue sounds quite stressful. #sharingthebloglove

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    1. They are 2, 3 and 4!! Everyone assumes the girls are twins though!! Playing in the garden is always fun, means we don’t need to leave the house which is always a bonus and I can slob around in my pyjamas when possible! Xx

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  3. Lovely photos. I have written a post about the summer holidays too, but as a teacher and in very different circumstances I feel very differently about it. I am dreading it being over, as it’s just been lovely to spend some time with Piglet. Hope you’re feeling better soon as it sounds like you’ve had a bit of a tough time recently. #StayClassyMama

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    1. Oh I bet!! My first husband is a teacher and I used to love the holidays when he was home to help out too! If only my second husband was a teacher too…maybe I shall suggest he re-trains!! Xx

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  4. Lovely post and gorgeous photos of your children. The first one of your son smeared in yoghurt wearing the ‘I am the party’ t-shirt made me laugh. It sounds hard work, but your children all look like they’re having a lovely summer, so you must be doing a really great job! #momsterslink

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  5. As you said it’s all what a big family is about. There’s nothing wrong with wanting some time for yourself and that doesnt make you a bad parent, just human and it’s good that at the same time you’ve had loads and loads of fun. The wedding looked great, it’s a perfect excuse to sometimes just let loose and your dress is absolutely lovely 🙂

    Enjoy the last few days of summer x

    Alina from The Fairytale Pretty Picture

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  6. Oh, I love that quote, it’s perfect! So many gorgeous photos as always, but I love the ones of you and your husband at the wedding – you both look fab all dressed up and it’s so nice to let off a bit of steam sometimes! I know I need to! So sorry to hear you’ve been having some personal issues – I hope all is well now. Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

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  7. I hope you feel better now. You have a lovely family and you look stunning in your friends’ wedding! Sometimes we need to have a break in any activity we do, otherwise it can become stressful and we can stop enjoying it xx

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  8. Chick you’re a legend for getting through the holidays without losing the plot and wanting to stab someone in the eye with a fork!!!!!!!! You have obviously done a fab job keeping the little ones happy and entertained and I am still hunting down that dress from ASOS – you look absolutely beaut! xx #fortheloveofBLOG

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  9. My daughter isn’t of school age yet, but I’m already thinking, “How are we going to manage the summer holidays?” Will I have to use all of my annual leave then? Will I split it with my husband? What will we do all day? Well done for managing with such a big brood – I know it must have been really tough at times, but as you said, you still managed to have lots of fun as well. Onto the school year! #fortheloveofBLOG

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    1. The holidays are hard, without a routine my children just go crazy!! I’m looking forward to getting bedtime back on track but not looking forward to the early get ups! Xx

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  10. great post as always Laura. I find that all I can do is jot down some notes and a basic outline for a post when the monsters are around. I can’t sit and type anything out until after bed. Back to school and colder weather are just around the corner. Great that you have been making the most of the time you have. Feel better soon #binkylinky

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    1. Thanks Jeremy. Yes, I’ve been jotting notes in my phone but I’m so knackered by the time they’re in bed that I haven’t had the energy to make sense of any of it! Only one week to go before normality will resume, I can do this!! xx

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  11. I don’t know how you do it !! I have 2 kids and im pulling my hair out over the summer holidays.Some really lovely pictures. We where in St Annes at the beach a couple of weeks ago for the Kite festival ( Im just outside of Blackpool ) I truelly hope that your personal problems get sorted quickly and sending you some Northern Love . XXXXX #justanotherlinky

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    1. It’s hard going isn’t it? It’s a little easier when the weather is nice, they are happy enough in the garden for a limited time at least! We love St Annes, was gutted to miss the kite festival! Thank you for the northern love, much appreciated. xx

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      1. True although mine are actually starting to ask not to go to the beach! I don’t think they realise quite how fortunate they are!

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  12. What a treasure of a family! The pictures are adorable and your twin girls, I just want to gently hug them! Managing even one child these days is so difficult to manage. I don’t know how you do it! Hugs to you. Sending you special love, stay strong. You’re welcome for a chat anytime! #mg

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  13. I honestly don’t know how you do it with 4 kids, I take my hat of to you. Alice got chicken pox the first day of the holidays and we were house bound, which was no fun. Then just as she was better and we could finally leave the house, Holly got it! So, I know what you mean about being house bound, its bloody tough!!! I literally cried with happiness the day we could finally leave. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had some personal issues, I hope you are ok. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

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  14. This is certainly ringing a few bells for me! I LOVED the first few weeks but by now I’m running out of steam and ideas to entertain them. I have a mountain of work and blogging stacking up and I never get ANY peace! I know I’ll miss them when they go back but I must admit some days I am so ready!! #EatSleepBlogRT

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  15. oh honey I am so sorry to hear you are facing health issues, sending love and positivity and strength. Keep believing in yourself xx Holidays are amazing and fun, but of course we all have moments where we just need space for our own sanity! The pic of the girls kissing is so sweet! The Donkeys sound fun too, but I loved seeing the pic with the toy boot and toadstool because it brought back amazing memories for me of when Aspen and April were littler and they had these same toys! Oh they are growing too fast. Take care beautiful #mg

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    1. Thank you so much. It’s been a tough couple of years and yet this is very much just the beginning of my journey. I have gained so much strength and optimism from you and your posts, thank you. xxx

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  16. I have the utmost respect for you Laura! You have the most beautiful children, but how you manage with four I can only imagine! I’m regularly pulling my hair out with just two little cherubs! It looks like you have had some amazing times over the summer and this is such a lovely way to capture those memories to look back on. I’m sorry to hear that you have had some health problems to face and I hope that you are OK. Hugs and cake xx
    Thanks for linking with #fartglitter

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    1. Thank you. Summer holidays are hard going, I think both me and the children are ready for school now, I’ve missed the routine of it all! And thank you, its hard being ill with children but I have some wonderful friends and family around me, always a bonus. xx

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  17. Hugs to you!!! Love the quote – we are just having fun! That’s what the holidays are meant for, isn’t it? To do whatever you feel like doing or NOT feel like doing. The kids looked liked they were making lots of memories. Alot of my own fond memories have been playing at home with my cousins. Lovely pictures of you and the kids. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

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    1. Thank you. Yep some of my favourite days are just playing at home in the garden, at least there they are contained!! Haha! Summer holidays are all about the children for me, I’ll take my holiday next week!! xx

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  18. The holidays have felt long for us too…who would know how long six weeks can be! I love all the pics of your family as always, it looks like you’ve created really lovely memories together this summer though xx #bloggerclubuk

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  19. I have really struggled with my two kids and newborn during these holidays. I feel guilty wanting them back in school but I do hope for a better school holiday in October.
    You look lovely. such a beautiful dress
    #MarvMondays

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    1. Thank you. It’s hard isn’t it, just finding ways to keep them entertained as I know with mine, as soon as they are out of routine or get bored, all hell breaks loose! Fingers crossed October half term is a little easier! xx

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  20. I’m so glad it’s not just my kids that have fought all summer! Lol! At some points I really thought they were going to drive me insane.. I can’t believe it’s nearly time to get back to the routine of school runs and pack lunches though.. Dare I say it but I think I’m going to miss them next week when school and nursery start back! #MarvMondays

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    1. Haha I think the same. As much as it has been hard work, I feel as though I’m dreading it a little as next week approaches! My eldest went back today and I’m lost without him, at least he was an extra pair of hands! xx

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  21. What great photos! I only have two children and i have struggled some days feeling like i want to pull my hair out. Kids wanting breakfast at 6am and lunch by 10am then it’s i’m bored! We’ve gained some great memories and some memories can be hoovered up and binned! Thanks for linking up to #EatSleepBlogRt

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