By Claire McEnery 
Welcome to The Summer Survival Series 
Welcome back to the Summer Survival Series. This week I am talking about that tiny little thing called money
Okay, I know money is important for so many reasons. We can't get very far without money, but sometimes our relationship with money isn't a great one. Let's have a think about staying within budget this summer...  
I have found that some parents feel that they need to take their children out places that cost money several times a week during the summer. They think that if they're at home, or doing something free then their children won't be as happy and they'll be letting them down. Stop right there! If this is you, take time to read this blog before reaching to book another day out. Even if these days out aren't stretching your budget or leaving you with extra bills to pay on credit cards it is worth thinking about why you're booking in all the trips and activities.  
So, why are you booking in all the trips and activities?  
Because you think your children will be bored? 
Because you don't want your children on screens all day? 
Because your friend/ neighbour/ someone you follow on social media is doing it? 
Because you don't think you provide enough fun for your children? 
Because you haven't been able to afford it before so you're making up for lost time? 
Because you don't want people to think you just stay in all the time? 
Or something else? Fill in the blank for yourself.... 
I've pointed out some of the negative reasons. There are tonnes of positives too, don't get me wrong, I love a day out. There is fun to be had, time to socialise with friends, educational activities to do and a day out can be amazing for everyone's mental health. I am not saying never go on a day out, holiday or activity. I'm simply asking you to consider why you have booked each one and if it is for one of the bullet points above, that's the wrong reason.  
So what do the children think? Children's expectations a very often a lot lower than their parents expectations.  
A few years ago I was talking to a friend that I grew up with and we now have children of similar ages. We were talking about our plans for the summer and what we would be up to. At this point I was the Mum who felt the need to always be providing something fun. She agreed to a point and then she said something that changed my perspective completely.  
She said something along the lines of "When did we start thinking that we always have to do things and have elaborate days out? Our parents never did this Claire. We would have one or two big days out and the rest of the time was in the garden, with a friend or a visit to the local park. We never felt hard done by, and we didn't expect to do more than this".  
She was so right! What were your expectations as a child? Were you content with a few special days and then a whole load of home, garden, playdates and the odd park? The answer for most of us is yes, we were content with that, so why wouldn't our children be? 
We now live in a world where everyone can see what we are up to. When I was growing up, my Mum didn't know that one of the other Mums was at the Safari Park, spending a fortune on her children. She certainly couldn't see a running commentary of it happening live. We have that now. 
It may be that you've just had a week away, but then this week a Mum posts her week away on social media whilst your children are in their pj's watching movies. Suddenly you feel like you need to shower them and get them out of the house to be productive. Stop! Your children did that kast week, give them the down time!  
There have been several Sundays where I've been really content with our dog walk, game of frustration and a family dinner until I see that someone else has just spent the day out somewhere. Now I feel inferior, that our day hasn't been that great. But it has and my family still think so!  
As Mums we need to learn to know that we are enough for our children and they are not missing out on love and happiness by not having extravagant days out. There are thousands of other families that have also had a home day but they're not as fun to post on your grid so we don't know that we aren't the only one that's done that today.  
This coming weekend my children are spending time with their Grandparents. Yesterday my Mum asked what they would like to do. They didn't answer anything that was extravagant. Jamie wants to play football and Gemma wants to go to the park. At home Gemma loves a film day, baking cakes and painting. Jamie is almost 12, so if he could live on his bed playing video games with the odd hour of football he would be living the dream! 
Ask your children what they'd like to do. Chances are the answer won't always be something expensive or out of this world, it will be something simple.  
Enjoy your summer within budget and without guilt.  
Do you need more help with this? Book a call with me. 
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings