Priyanka Chaturvedi

It's all about me!!My people, my favourite things, my raving and my ranting too!

My DNA column: Harried Mum’s Guide to Summer

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So the summers are here. What is the first thing that comes to your mind as a mum? For me, it is always the summer vacations. With two kids and two months of no school, it is seriously an effort to keep them busy, considering that this is a generation, which, if they have nothing to do for five minutes can go into an ‘I am bored’ mode. As a mother, it is a task to keep them suitably occupied. It is a job most mums today take very seriously.

The summer vacation planning for a mum begins well in advance. It starts with planning a holiday during the summers to escape the Mumbai heat. In this department I am found wanting at most times. I can’t plan meticulously, or in advance, so most times the husband is left with the job of planning something perfect, as per our wishes.

If travelling is not on the agenda, then how does one make the same city they live in as exciting as possible for the children? In this, I manage to do a decent job. Ask me how? It is simple, I just pack a few things to eat, and plenty of water, and head to the beach or nearby garden. If weather conditions are favourable, we just pack the kids and go to the zoo or a long drive outside the city.
My kids are given a lot of time for unstructured play — whatever they want to do — and most importantly, I push them to head outdoors to play. Though my son would much rather prefer sitting at home with a book in his hand, watching television or playing on PSP. Well, honest confession, I let him have a fair share of such days too.

If not exploring the city with the children, the next best thing is to enroll them for some summer camp, which keeps them away from home as well as keeps them suitably employed. I have usually been the herd mom. What is a herd mom, you ask? She is someone who will choose an activity for the child depending on what the majority of moms are doing with theirs. So most decisions depend on what others are doing.

Organising something as simple as a play date becomes a huge task, as most kids have better planned mommies and they are out vacationing somewhere or have already enrolled their kids for some exclusive summer camps with limited seats. I have noticed just before the school shuts down, the most discussed topic moves to what the plans for the summer are. Most of the times, I am left ooh-ing and aah-ing hearing others’ plans or their travel destinations.

The best thing to happen to every mum is the mushrooming of various activity centres for kids right in the vicinity where they reside, since during the holidays almost every second house becomes a day care/activity centre for kids of all ages. With the option of flexi hours, this is the ideal choice for most of us. At such times, quality of activity takes a backseat, and convenience becomes a priority. For most of the working mums, it is a blessing in disguise. Most of the schools also are not far behind in organising summer related activities.

This is how the story unfolds for me every year. I have also hurriedly put a plan in place for my kids, which is a mix of all of the above.So tell me, fellow mommy, what is your summer story this year?

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Written by Priyanka Chaturvedi

May 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Posted in Column, DNA

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