Monday, 26 October 2009

Mums' Monday: what does half-term mean to you?

Some have already started half-term if they have a two week break. My eldest daughter’s starts today and I have been looking forward to it for weeks. Why is that you may ask? There are two main reasons – the first is that I have missed having her around since she started pre-school in September and I am looking forward to spending time with her this week as the days do whizz by. Secondly it is one of the wonderful things about working for myself. I can choose what hours I do; who I work for or with so if I want to have more of a go slow week, I can programme that into my schedule.

Those that know me well would probably say that I tend to sort play dates etc. quite last minute and at best the week before so I am also revelling in having been more organised this time. I have a range of treats some of which are more aimed at the girls and some that have my name on it. It all started because I picked up a flyer at the St Albans Baby Show, at which Minerva’s Mind had a stand, at the beginning of September. The flyer was for Going on a bear hunt which was due to perform in St Albans during half term week. Within a couple of weeks, I had spoken to lots of my St Albans friends with kids and arranged for eight of us to go on the Tuesday of half term. Going through that process got me thinking about what else we were going to do and I remembered that due to illness we had not seen a good friend of mine and her girls in the summer holidays so I arranged to see them. What with work days that only left one day, which got filled up when I bumped into a friend in Hitchin two weeks ago and we realised that our two eldest girls had not seen each other since the summer hols because her eldest started school this term and has been too tired to have play dates.

Reflecting back on all this I realise that part of the novelty of it all has been having a plan to which I can refer when asked by friends about half-term. It would seem that in “Myers-Briggs” terms, my latent J is making a bid for being recognised over the normally transcendent P. The benefit of advance planning was that I have been looking forward to half-term. In part this is due to the fact that it means a change to routine which is always a good thing in my book. This is interesting because Professor Richard Wiseman who espouses positive psychology, and has done some studies into the reasons that some people seem to be happier than others suggests that one of the reasons for that is that these people embrace change and are actively choosing new experiences. These may include taking a different route to work periodically or only talking to people at an event who are wearing a red tie.

You can see how much I have gained from taking a different approach to something that happens regularly so my challenge to you is to think about what you could do differently, try it and see what happens. I would love to hear about your experiences so do leave me a comment or email me at The question I am going to leave you with is what are you going to do differently this week?


  1. Love the post especially the bit re Change - so important yet so difficult to integrate into our days. My son is off this week and he's having 2 days with his Dad (mountain biking in Grizedale Forest today) and the rest of week with me. Having had him in my 40s I really appreciate every minute spent with him - and prioritise work around him :-)

  2. Well that's another bit of synchronicity! I am an older Mum too - was 37 and 38 when I had the girls! Enjoy your time with him this week, what fun!

  3. Love, love LOVE Going on Bear Hunt. We often sing it as we're tramping through fields, or muddy puddles (my little girl is 4). And as someone who would plan a spontaneous event, I'm trying every day to be more flexible and in the moment, as so often it's the moments which can pass us (me) by....

  4. I had a very good day with my son today - we had a friend of his round and we all went off to the playground and then I treated them to pizza! In the afternoon, all he wanted to do was lie around and watch telly with me - and it was really nice to be complete coach potatos together!! And he was so chilled - I had to go out for a couple of hours to do some work (of course, I'm really busy this week - grrr!). And my partner also commented how chilled he was. I think I tend to programme our spare time together too much - like why not just laze around and watch telly for a few hours, cuddling chilling???

  5. Yes cuddles are precious aren't they Beth. I find the girls always want cuddles when we are sitting watching the tv and I am trying to catch up on my online stuff. I am then torn as to whether to focus on work or make the most of in the moment cuddles because I doubt they will be offered so willingly for ever!

  6. I can't remember my Myers Briggs profile. I wonder if it has changed now I'm no longer at work?!
    Enjoy your half term x