There isn’t anything more frustrating than checking the weekend’s weather forecast and discovering that you’re going to be stuck inside yet again.
I’m not sure about you, but when you’ve been working all week (or school for the kids), all you want to do is venture outside. You want the beach walks, trips to the park or to go on your bicycles or scooters, just to be outside for some fresh air.
One of the reasons why I love living in Cardiff is its closeness to the countryside and seaside. A few minutes in the car or a short bus journey and you’ve swapped city life for the great outdoors. However, the great outdoors isn’t so great when the Met Office issues a yellow warning for wind and rain.
Don’t get me wrong, there are weekends when all you want to do is have a ‘stay at home’ weekend and when you want to save time with them help yourself with some european hypoallergenic formula while doing the things needed. But three going on four consecutive weekends?
If you’re feeling a little bit daunted at the thought of another wet weekend, just remember these top tips…
Have a plan
As Benjamin Franklin said, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”, and no words are truer when it comes to planning for a weekend indoors. Checking the weather forecast is step one, and now that you know it’s going to rain, what are you going to do about it? I find that by planning ahead can save everyone from getting frustrated.
Remember, you won’t be the only ones checking the weather. If you want to go bowling or to the cinema, which we love to do, you know everyone is going to have the same idea. Pick an activity and remember to book it! The same goes for lunch…
If it’s something you can’t book, make sure you have a backup plan! If you make it somewhere and find the wait time is too long, have an idea of where you’re going to go next. This is especially true when it comes to lunch. You are all hungry and grizzly (adults included), you find that you’re going to have to wait 30 minutes for a table. What do you do? Wait… or risk going somewhere else and getting the same answer?
Although it’s handy to have a plan, try not to over plan. Our weather is crazy at the best of times, so don’t forget to pack that scooter or skateboard just in case the sun does decide to show up.
Communicate that plan
I find it helpful to tell your little ones what you have planned and to make them feel part of that process. It works wonders when somehow you make it sound like it’s their idea too.
Now it’s entirely up to you how much of that plan you want to communicate to your little wonderful monsters. I say that, because we all know that plans have a habit of not going to plan. If you start making promises that you can’t keep, you’re going to be in trouble.
Honesty is always the best policy, no matter how old your children are. My daughter’s six going on 25 and her sass level is currently off the charts. If you explain that the rain has meant that you’re going to have to look at doing something different this weekend, but we may get somewhere and plans may have to change then, they usually understand. This is when having that backup plan of ideas pays dividends.
If you’re feeling a bit frustrated or disappointed that you’re going to be stuck inside again, the chances are they are also feeling the same way.
We all know how annoying it is to stand in a queue, so if there is an opportunity for someone to take the kids away and occupy them with a game or colouring in, then do it!
And if that fails? Make sure you pocket some snacks for those moments when you have resort to some old fashioned bribery.
Don’t forget, some of the best family moments are made indoors.