The stresses of summer holidays as a parent – the effects on your relationship

August 9th, 2023
Parent stress and summer holidays

Summer holidays and parent stress go hand in hand for so many.

On social media and on the television, the summer holidays are portrayed as a period in which time appears to be plentiful – six weeks filled with sunshine, days out, holidays abroad, relaxed parents and children who always seem to be smiling. 

These images can put a lot of pressure on couples and ignore that the reality of summer holidays for many people is quite different. 

It can be a time with moments of joy and excitement of course, but it can also put a strain on a couple’s relationship with the constant presence of children, disrupted routines, and increased responsibilities, testing a marriage or relationship. 

Issues for parents during the summer holidays 

Managing increased stress levels

During the summer break, parents often find themselves juggling work commitments while also trying to keep their children engaged and entertained. The added responsibilities can lead to increased stress levels, leaving couples feeling overwhelmed and disconnected. 

Tip: Open and honest communication is vital in navigating the challenges of summer holidays. Couples should regularly discuss their feelings, concerns, and expectations. By sharing the workload and supporting each other, couples can alleviate stress and create a more relaxed environment.

Lack of alone time

Constantly being in the presence of children can leave little room for couples to nurture their own relationship and to find time to be intimate. This absence of alone time can lead to feelings of neglect.

Tip: Scheduling time for just the two of you will ensure that the connection you share remains strong. Plan date nights or even simple activities like taking a walk together or having a quiet dinner after the children are asleep. 

Financial pressures

The summer holidays can bring financial burdens, such as expenses for holidays, outings, and additional childcare. The strain of managing increased expenditures can lead to disagreements and financial stress within a relationship.

Tip: Developing a realistic budget before the summer holidays begin and sticking to it can help ease financial pressures. Plan activities that align with your budget and consider free or low-cost alternatives for family fun. Engage in open discussions about financial goals and work together as a team to manage expenses effectively, reducing the strain on your relationship.

The last straw?

Akin to Christmas and the New Year, the summer holidays are often a “make or break” time for relationships and here at The Therapy Room, we see an increase in enquiries for couples therapy during these periods.   

When there are already difficulties in a relationship, six weeks of trying to keep children entertained whilst managing your other commitments, can be the last straw.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way as couples therapy is available and allows parents to explore the issues they are experiencing in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

Let’s get you back to good

There are a lot of myths surrounding couples therapy, most of which aren’t true. 

For example, couples therapy is not just for married couples. It’s also not about assigning blame or providing a quick fix.

It is also nothing to be ashamed of. Asking for professional help shows courage and is a testament to how much you care for each other.

If you fear that the summer holidays will push your relationship to breaking point, contact The Therapy Room for an initial chat. This will allow you to talk freely and openly about the issues you are experiencing and allows us to recommend a course of action.

We know that every relationship is unique and that’s why we don’t offer a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Instead, we take the time to listen and to really understand the issues you’re experiencing with a view to improving the connection you share and your happiness as a result, both as a couple and as individuals. 

We want you to look forward to the summer holidays, or to at least feel that they are manageable.

So contact us today and let’s get you both back to good. 

At the Therapy Room, we want to get you and your relationship back to good, whatever good looks like for you. We encourage open communication and honesty in order to make way for a healthy and pleasurable intimate connection, in whatever form that takes.

Founder Jay L Pink Ad.Prof.Dip MBACP PC MNCS (ACC) established The Therapy Room to offer high quality, expert counselling and therapy services to people of all ages, as well as to couples for relationship and partner counselling and groups for corporate and family therapy. Jay’s commitment to anyone visiting The Therapy Room is to unconditionally respect values, lifestyle, background and beliefs, offering a discreet and professional service tailored to their needs.

Therapy is held either in-person at The Therapy Room in Northampton or online. 

To organise a booking, please visit our bookings and payment page.