School holidays: Expectations vs reality.

End of school, beginning of holidays. ACTION!


You want your children back.

You want them back from the morning routine, from the playground whispers, from the rush and the timetables and the after school activities.

You want them back from NAPLAN, and homework and schools’ admission tests and mid-year reports and parent-teacher nights.

You want them back from that girl who makes your daughter feel less than, from that boy who always manages to bump your boy in the hallway, from the comparisons over running shoes, and who’s got an Ipod Touch, and who was allowed to go and watch Maleficent at the weekend.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Kmart. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

You just want to hang out with your kids. You just want to start the day without a to-do list of 20 million things you all HAVE TO DO running in your head. You just want everyone to be. And have fun. And have some time. You know, family time. Quality time.

Let’s face it. Parents are not their best selves as they limp to the end of term (literally, because you stubbed your toe on the trumpet this morning. Who’s idea was trumpet, anyway?).

Things have become a little shaky. You’re stressed. The kids are tired. The awesome lunchboxes packed with kiwiberries and hand-rolled sushi have given way to honey sandwiches and a packet of beer nuts because that’s all you could find in the cupboard this morning. Or maybe just a $10 note and a lunch order. Because. Life.

But you’re upset that things have gotten so shabby around the edges. That you let the school term, with its relentless demands and appointments and places to be at certain times, get to you, break you down. Again.

You’re kicking yourself about that note that you missed at the bottom of the school bag that meant your daughter was the only one who didn’t have a native animal costume ready to go on World Environment Day.

You’re wondering what happened to ironing everything the night before and laying it out so neatly. Now you’re just thanking God that it’s Winter term so that the crumpled shirts are covered with a jumper, and no-one’s noticed yet that your son’s hobbling a bit from those too-small shoes that you were hoping to make-do with til the end of term.

You’re feeling a bit guilty because you’ve given up switching over the car radio on the way to the schoolrun every time an inappropriate topic comes on the pop talkback, so your kids are now fully across whether or not that man hooked up to the lie-detector is really cheating on his girlfriend with her sister.

In short, the wheels are falling off.

In short, the wheels are falling off. In fact,you left them behind on the road a while back and you’ve been skidding along on the hubcaps for weeks.


But today. Sweet day of days. Happy morning of mornings. It’s all going to be alright. The birds are singing just for you. Because it’s the last day of term.

Grumpy child has a spring in his step, sulky child may have cracked a smile at drop-off. And tonight, for dinner? Pizza for everyone! Because it’s the last day of term.

And you are going to get your kids back. Back to living at a gentler pace, if only for a couple of weeks. Back to playing outside, and picnics on the rug, back to slow mornings when they can eat cereal in their PJs in front of cartoons, because it’s the holidays. Back to kicking a ball around at the park, and riding bikes, and not having to race through dinner to get to homework. Back to, ‘What shall we do today?’ and having friends over, and baking something together and watching classic kids’ movies on a rainy afternoon.

And you’ll feel like life is at a pace you can handle, and there isn’t always somewhere else to be. And you’ll feel like maybe the kids can just come with you when you go to the shops today, because it doesn’t matter if they slow you down. And maybe it’s fish’n’chips tonight, and maybe they can stay up to watch the game. Because it’s the holidays.

And it’s going to be amazing. You’re all going to trip off on improving excursions, to the zoo, and the museum and heck, maybe even the art gallery. And you won’t be grumpy. Because for a couple of short weeks you are going to sleep at night, because you won’t be lying there worrying who’s going to be able to pick up and drop off and pack the ballet gear as well as the judo uniforms and what was that book you were meant to pass on, and is there a costume for Harmony Day… Sssssh.

These school holidays are going to be brilliant.

At least, that’s what we’re telling ourselves until reality sets in.

Three mums talk about the beginning of the school holidays, when everyone’s full of excitement with so much to look forward to over the next two weeks. But does reality always match up to our school holiday expectations?

Watch the discussion unravel here.

Take a look at Kmart’s easy guide to school holiday activities below …

What do you look forward to most about school holidays, and when do you find them challenging?

Say No to Boredom!!

When it comes to the power of imagination, kids prove anything is possible.  A saucepan lid suddenly becomes a mighty warrior’s shield, or cleverly stacked blocks can form a three-tier wedding cake. 

Kmart understands creative play and we never want the fun to end.  Inside this easy guide to school holiday activities you’ll find playful twists on all Kmart’s fun everyday items and toys at the low prices we’re famous for.

CLICK HERE to view Kmart’s easy guide to school holiday activities.