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by Jayshree Sita, mom to 2 gorgeous, lively kids, Amishka 9yrs and Vishen  5yrs.  She traded the glamorous life of a chartered accountant to become a teacher. She’s also an aspiring writer and artist who is passionate about self-development and keeping her family happy.

After the long World Cup Holidays, my kids enjoyed another two weeks of holidays at the end of August.  So I was surprised that just last Wed, they were home again on mid-term break, for a full five and a half days.

Normally, this would have stressed me out a bit, because despite being a ‘stay-at-home’ mom, I have very busy days filled with home repairs, admin, shopping, studying and  assignments ( I am currently doing a  creative writing course) and all sorts of other obligations. When the kids are on a break, if I don’t plan  fun activities they tend to spend too much time watching TV and playing wii games, and  I end up feeling  guilty.

This time around, I decided to plan to do meaningful things with them. We drew up a list together. Some of the things we included and actually managed to do together were:

A visit to my mum & sister – so that they could appreciate time with Granny, Aunty and cousins in Lenasia, a township quite different from Sunninghill, and I could relax and read my book.

A clean out of some toys, books and clothes, and a drop off at Sefikeng Primary School which is located inside Leeukop prison- I wanted them to see the conditions at the school, and how different it looks from their own private school, and hopefully to recognise how privileged they are.

A visit to the Bryanston Organic Flea market – they loved this one, and spent an hour dipping candles and doing sand art.  We also purchased two beautiful works of art made from recycled paper – a chance for me to discuss caring for the environment.

A lunch outing at an adult restaurant-where they behaved themselves reasonably well and we played ‘hangman’ to keep ourselves entertained – so we didn’t need a jungle gym.

A visit to ToysRus. – one for my son, who had received a gift voucher for his birthday- he had to think carefully about what to buy, since his voucher had a limited value, so it was an exercise in decision making and how to spend limited resources wisely.

A drop off at the Mondi recycling bin of old newspapers- once again….an opportunity to teach them how to make a difference to ‘saving the trees’.

Having family friends over for Sun lunch – the mom is my very good friend, and the kids are friends with both my kids, hence their playdate was my playdate. I even gave my daughter a list of things to do to help me prepare for the guests .

A morning with Dad –My hubby took my son shopping for a new bicycle then proceeded to teach him to ride without training wheels.  He  also took my daughter shopping for her upcoming school camp, while I went to a book club breakfast and then bought  seedlings at a nursery, which my daughter planted with her Dad later that evening.

Board games– They even ended up enjoying a lo…ong game of monopoly– an old favourite of my school holidays.  Thankfully, I went bankrupt and could duck out of half way through the game.

All in all, it turned out to be a wonderful mid-term break!

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