Summer Tips for Working Mums: Bribery, Laziness and More!

We’re heading into week two of the holidays and we’re still alive and kicking. The house hasn’t burned down, the kids are taking their responsibilities seriously and I’m breathing a small sigh of relief.

I have noticed a few unsurprising trends with the resident teenagers. And after a few moments of Mom Guilt, “Ohmygoodness, shouldn’t they be going to bed before midnight? Are all those hours of video games healthy? Have you eaten a single vegetable today mister?” I realised that most of the negatives that have been running round my brain are, in fact, POSITIVES IN DISGUISE!

  • Has your teen’s sleep routine become completely skewed? But this is wonderful! If I were working from home this week, I’d be getting a full morning of peace and quiet. As it is, I am out at work for most of the day, and get home around five. This leaves the teenager who sleeps until after lunch with a few hours to eat an entire box of cereal and a litre of milk, and play around 3 straight hours of video games before I get home and spoil the fun with dreadful demands like “Let’s go to the beach!” They don’t have that much alone time in the day to get into trouble, see?
  • Worried about the teen carb-grazing diet? Worry not. Six weeks of living on nutella and toast, cereal and macaroni never killed anyone. There is something about the freedom of holiday time that makes teenagers shun the salad and vegetables they would normally eat without complaint. This just means that I can cook a massive macaroni pie and let them graze on it for two days, instead of coming up with lovely colourful meals three times a day. And remember, you can always fool them with raw veggies and dip! Leave carrot sticks, celery and cakes in a container in the fridge and say, “Now please don’t eat all the dip in one go,” and voilà! Disappearing vegetables.
  • Does your teen have an obsession with all things techie, spending hours glued to the screen? Does he need money? Realise that you have a great resource in your own home! My son is going to do some photo editing for me this week, and I’ll be paying him. It’s a win-win situation.

Luckily for us all, I don’t have to work too late and the evenings have been long and balmy. The teens are really enjoying their first year of being left to their own devices, feeling very grown-up and responsible and unaware that they are being observed by neighbours and friends. The ten-year-old thinks it’s terribly unfair that he’s not allowed to stay home too, but he’s enjoying his days with friends. We’re all having a better summer than I had envisaged, and I’m grateful for that.

 ( Image: Tribal Wars Game)

Nan Sheppard

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