Finally! The school holidays are over, it’s back to reality and parents everywhere can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Weeks of entertaining the kids can really take its toll. From dreaming up fun activities every day to figuring out what to feed them, who’s going to take care of them while you’re at work, and where to find all the extra cash you’ll need, the holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year for busy parents.
Not to mention all the hiding in the bathroom you have to get a minute to yourself.
So when the new term starts and that blessed bell finally rings, it’s time to pop open the Champagne. Here are our (valid) reasons for raising a glass of fizz to schools everywhere.
1. Goodbye chaos, hello routine!
Who’d have ever thought you wouldn’t mind getting up at 6am?! Nowadays, you couldn’t be happier to have the kids up and dressed before breakfast instead of spending all morning coaxing them out of their PJs. Frankly, the holiday routine — or should we say ‘no routine at all’ — was hard to keep up with.
But now you all have a schedule to stick to, you can get back to knowing exactly what to cook for dinner, who’s coming round on Monday night (hint — no one) and what time you can expect the temper tantrums. How very reassuring.
2. No more ‘are we there yet?’
Now don’t get us wrong, like you, we love family holidays, but if we have to endure one more ‘Are we there yet?’, ‘I’m bored!’ or ‘Let’s play eye-spy’, we’ll blow a gasket! Luckily back to school means shorter journeys and the only adventure you’ll have to take will be the trip to Grandma’s!
3. Fewer hours at home = less mess
Yes! You can finally tidy up the house and make some sort of dent in the chaos. The hallway starts to look less like a teenager’s bedroom, the dishwasher can finally have a rest and the washing basket is no longer overflowing. You’ve got your tranquil, mess-free sanctuary back. Well, at least until 3.30pm.
4. ‘Me-time’ becomes a near dream…
…rather than a distant memory. You’ve been kept on your toes for the last few weeks, but you might finally be able to put your feet up and relax on your next day off. You’ve got more time to chill out, catch up with friends and attend the yoga class you’ve been putting off. Okay, you may not actually do any of those things, but just knowing you could if you wanted to is somehow bliss.
5. Supermarket tantrums & struggles are over
It’s bad enough having to do the weekly food shop at all, never mind having to tackle it with the kids pulling on your legs, throwing contraband into the trolley, and escaping into the aisles without any trace. Luckily term time means it’s back to the after-school activities for your hyper brood, so you can get the shopping done while they’re wearing themselves out at piano, rugby, or whichever hobby they’ve decided to try out this week.
If you can get someone else to take care of the taxi duties, you might even have time to put the shopping away before they burst into the house searching for treats.
6. Grown-ups get to do grown-up things
Ladies, it’s wine time! Get on the phone to your friends and set up a play date for grown-ups on your next afternoon off. Start with a trip to the shopping centre, which doesn’t involve tantrums in the toy department, pram battles, or McDonald’s.
Nope, now it’s all about splurging in the shoe department, stopping off for a manicure, and a cheeky glass of wine with lunch. Best of all, you don’t need to censor your conversation any more!
7. The bank balance looks better, much better!
Have you done the maths yet? Maybe it’s best not to. According to a study, parents end up spending thousands of rands on each child over the school holidays. Even if you’ve stuck to something resembling a budget, 6 weeks of days out, pizzas, ice creams and treats will certainly have left your bank balance looking a little sorry for itself. But now you can try to repair some of the damage — so packed lunches and fruit it is then.
8. Fight Club has closed its doors
Okay, so it got a little heated for the kids over the school holidays. A little bit too much sibling time, squabbling over PlayStation games or who was going to sit on Mommy’s lap first. But don’t worry, the temper tantrums and fights will hit minimum now that it’s back to school time.
They may still want to kill each other on occasion, but separate classrooms mean less opportunity for physical contact (read ‘damage’) on a daily basis. And if playtime skirmishes do occur, it’s up to the teacher to referee any battles.