Why this mum refuses to 'schedule' school holiday activities

Hanging out at home. Yes, it can be a 'thing'. Photo: iStock
Hanging out at home. Yes, it can be a 'thing'. Photo: iStock

School holidays are meant to be a time to recharge after a busy school term, right? Well, not for loads of families, who feel pressure to pack in as many activities as possible.

For Emmy Award-winning television presenter and the blogger behind Mommy in Sports, Kristen Hewitt certainly felt the push to keep her kids as busy as possible during their school holidays. The US mum planned a range of activities to ensure her kids worked their body and brain.

"I had big plans to be a 'good mom' this summer," she wrote in a Facebook post that's now gone viral.

"There were going to be chore charts, reading goals, daily letter writing practice, and cursive classes.

"There would no screen time until beds were made, and planned activities for each day of the week.

"Today was the first day of summer vacation and our scheduled beach day."

But as Kristen soon discovered, plans don't always go to plan. Instead of rushing out the door, she decided to let something else happen. She decided to stay home and chill out. And it felt great.

"Here's what we did instead," she wrote.

"(We) lounged in our PJ's until 11am, baked the girl's pick – chocolate chip brownies, started an art project we never finished, then moved to the pool."

She decided right then that the weight of feeling the pressure of "unrealistic expectations" she put on herself was tiring. There were too many activities and rules in place and she knew she had to make a change.

"It's easy to be pressured by things we see on social. Ways to challenge our kids and enrich their summer. But let's be real – we're all tired," she said.

"Tired of chores, tired of schedules and places to be, tired of pressure, and tired of unrealistic expectations.

"So instead of a schedule we're doing nothing this summer. Literally NOTHING. No camps. No classes and no curriculums."

The mum of two girls said she has dubbed it the "Summer of Me" and was going to spend time working out and clean eating, while ensuring the kids got to freedom to pick what they wanted to do.

"But whatever we do - it will be low key," she explained.

"It will include family time, too much TV, a few trips, lots of sunshine, some new roller skates, water balloons, plenty of boredom, rest, relaxation, and reading.

"So if you haven't figured out what you're doing this summer, you're not alone. And guess what? It's OK! Your kids will be fine and so will you."

Her post was embraced by other parents, with nearly 9,000 people liking it on Facebook.

Kristen told Babble that she was exhausted keeping up with the daily demands of juggling family and work life.

"My friends were telling me about all of their STEM, coding and surf camps," she said.

"I felt like a total failure.

"I knew there was no way I could keep up this pace, so I said screw it. Even the sun needs downtime. So we're doing nothing."

Read more about Kristen's summer school holidays at KristenHewitt.me