Four in ten mums are dreading the school summer holidays, a study has revealed. Difficulties juggling work and childcare and having to entertain their kids for six weeks mean millions of mums aren’t looking forward to the break from school at all.
Mums worry about the months of July and August in particular because they have to rely on friends and family to look after their children and face packed local attractions on days out.
Other concerns include having to return to a mounting workload after taking time off with children, and bad weather meaning kids are stuck in the house all day.
School summer holidays prove to be a re-occurring issue for working mums
Half of the 2,000 working mums polled even admitted to reaching a point after three weeks and three days where they actually start looking forward to their children returning to school.
The study also revealed that 40% are dreading the start of the school holidays, with the extra childcare and juggling it around work named as the biggest issue for 48% of those.
More than a third even said they still haven’t got childcare arranged for the full six weeks, despite the start of the holiday being just days away, and 17% hate the fact they’ll eventually have to call on friends and relatives to look after their children so they can continue going to work.
- A third fear the house will be a constant mess with their kids at home all day;
- 22% aren’t looking forward to the overcrowded local attractions;
- 31% worry about how they’ll keep the kids entertained;
- 35% dread the inevitable bad weather will keep the kids indoors.
Researchers also found the majority of mums plan a family holiday to keep their kids entertained for part of the week, whilst trips to the cinema or swimming pool, days out and stocking up on arts and crafts activities are other ways parents keep their children amused.
52% will just let their children play outside, while 45% rely on TV programmes or computer games to keep their youngsters happy.
Researchers also found that 42% of mums think the school summer holidays are too long, with 47% of mums admitting they find it difficult to find things for the children to do.
Three quarters regret that they are too busy with work to spend time with their children, with 73% saying they feel really guilty about their forced priorities.
Top ten ways to entertain kids during the summer holidays
- Take them on holiday
- Let them play outside
- Screen time in front of TV or games console
- Take them swimming/play sport
- Take them to the cinema
- Arrange play dates with friends
- Take them to adventure parks, zoos and local attractions
- Get the grandparents/family/friends to take them out
- Get them to read more
- Stock up on art and crafts stuff so they can paint and draw etc
‘For most children, the summer holidays are the best part of the year, six weeks without school or homework!
“For parents, grandparents and child minders it can be a challenge to keep them occupied, especially in rainy weather.
“School summer holidays prove to be a re-occurring issue for working mums.
“Not only does it mean they have to find six weeks’ worth of childcare or take time off work, but they also have to find various ways to keep their children happy and entertained for the entire break.”
“For those in charge, creative play is an enjoyable and rewarding way to spend time with children….and the results are almost guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.
“Adults beware that it can be both nostalgic and contagious. Before you know it , you’ll be absorbed in your own project and transported back to your own childhood!”
Catriona Marshall, CEO of Hobbycraft, which commissioned the research, comments: