Summertime and the living is easy ....or not actually, if you're a busy mum suddenly having to do all the usual cooking, cleaning and errands but with one or several kids under your feet. BritMums made me laugh when they got in touch with news of their latest challenge, Confessions of a Summer Parent. They explained : "This isn’t the usual “5 tips of things to do over summer with kids” or ‘how-to’ guide. We’d like your real, honest and nifty ways to entertain, handle your kids, and cope over summer. (Your tips might even be a little bit naughty, such as when you “trick” the kids into staying occupied and having fun – shhhh!)"
OK, here are a few of my Naughty Mum Hacks to survive the summer :
Forget dinner-table battles over their five-a-day ... pulp fruit and freeze it into ice lollies. They'll wolf them down and never dream it's healthy ! You can even add dissolvable fruity-flavoured vitamins (such as Emergen-C) if you want to add extra vitamins and minerals.
If you can't stand the heat, keep out of the kitchen ! Picnics are not only fun for the kids, they mean no cooking and no washing-up. Win-win !
Delegate and/or bribe ! If you flatter the older sibling's ego by saying how grown-up they are, they'll usually agree to an hour or two of playing with their little brother/sister giving you a chance to rush round and catch up on the chores. If all else fails, you can always bribe them with the promise of extra pocket money if they help out !
If the kids have been happily splashing about in the paddling pool, finish off by transforming it into bathtime with shower gel and shampoo. Even if they hate having their hair washed, they'll think this is so "naughty" that they won't even think about complaining !
Tire them out until they drop ! Go out for a big walk in the morning, or take them swimming, then finish off with a trip to the park and get involved in lots of energetic races and football. They're guaranteed to fall asleep in the afternoon for a couple of hours, which frees you up for some manic housework or some well-earned me-time.