This year I've set myself a little challenge for the summer holidays as I've gotten myself into a little funk. 

As a child, I relished the summer holidays. Six weeks packed full of adventure. We went camping, climbed hills and spent half the day in the sea. When I had children of my own, I was so excited to relive those summer holidays with my children, going off on spontaneous adventures, coming home exhausted, muddy and a little bit pink. 

But it wasn't to be. 

My eldest child, Tilly, is almost five and she has a rare undiagnosed genetic disorder. With that, she is epileptic, very violent, especially towards other children, struggles with her mobility and is non-verbal.  Going off grid is not an option; I need to be able to call an ambulance if she has a seizure. Going to busy places is also not an option, too many opportunities for her to harm another child and a very likely possibility she won't cope. 

Our summer holidays are usually like any other week of the year, she does not like change, so she goes to nursery four days a week 51 weeks of the year. On the other three days, we find quiet places with lots of space so she can roam free, but never too far from the car in case of an emergency. I rely heavily on my parents and grandparents to entertain us too. 

Tilly starts school in September and I've been panicking for years about how we will cope as a family over the holidays in coming years. A mix of holiday clubs, grandparental support, hiding in the toilet, Mr Tumble on repeat and evenings spent in the garden consoling myself with a stiff gin I imagine. 

It's not all doom and gloom; you'll have to forgive me if I have made it out to be that way. 

My daughter has taught me that the best days are the simplest ones. The days where we potter around in the garden with the paddling pool up and swim in the sea, maybe stopping for an ice cream on the way home or a BBQ tea. Those are the days I like best. I am convinced that she is secretly a mermaid for she is truly happiest in the sea. 

I made a pact with myself recently to stop focusing on the ‘can nots’ and to be braver. This is where my challenge comes in. This summer I have challenged myself to push out of our comfortable bubble and go out and do something special once a week. Tilly has surprised me a hundred times in her life, I'm hopeful she will surprise me again now. 

Summer holidays are not what I expected them to be; perhaps they’ll more closely resemble the long hazy days I remember in the future if I'm brave. You don't know until you try. 

Read more of Hana's blogs at Mama Unexpected