For us here in the UK, the school summer break is almost here. Whilst parents up and down the land will be cheering because they no longer have to do the school run and will be going on holiday, for us it’s a different matter. I run my own business and work from home, which fits perfectly with Holly being at school but is not great when it’s the school holidays. That’s when the juggling act begins, switching from being mummy to work mode and back again a billion times a day. Here are my tips on how to survive the school holidays, with a handy printable planner to help you get organised.
Plan Your Days
Now I’m not saying plan every second of every day, nothing too organised! I find however that if I have an activity planned for the day I can work out how much time roughly it will take and therefore how much time I’ll have left for work. Obviously there are days when I have to approach this from the other angle, calculating how much time we’ll have left after I’ve allocated some for work, but this really worked well for me last year. If we have a morning where I work and Holly reads a magazine or does some craft activities while chatting to me, we can have an afternoon doing something fun together. This way is kind of the best of both worlds. I use this planner and print off one per week.
Download your free printable weekly planner here:
Reduce your workload
If you can, obviously! I make wedding cakes and could have booked my August out four times over this year. I’ve had to really limit my workload to avoid burnout and make sure that I actually get to spend time with Holly, rather than her having to sit and watch me work for 7 weeks. No-one wants that because I swear and it’s actually really dull!
Learn to say No
In line with the above, learning to say no to certain things frees you up to say yes to others. For me, this will mainly consist of saying no to last minute or less profitable orders, networking events, wedding fairs etc as my time is too precious. I’ll also be saying no to wine on an evening. If I have a glass or two, I wake up tired and this is no way to tackle something as big as the school holidays. I’ll have a huge glass of wine when school starts in September 😉
Be Less Bothered About Housework
This is a tough one for me but one I hope to try this summer. I like to make sure my house is tidy and clean and will sometimes clean when it doesn’t really need doing. I’ll loosen up a little and maybe hoover every other day, do the washing every other day and just be a bit less tough on myself. If I’ve got limited hours in the day for working I’m certainly not going to waste them doing housework! When making tea I’ll double up on the recipe so I can pop one in the fridge or freezer for another time.
Share the Load
Yes yes yes! This is so important. Get in touch with other parents, especially those who you know will be around during the holidays, and arrange childcare swaps. Holly has two really close friends and over the summer holidays we’ve arranged childcare so that one day they’ll all be with me, one day with one of their mums and the next day with the other. They’re at an age now where they play together and I don’t have to get involved other than to prepare snacks and lunch, so it means I can get some work done too. I’ve also had Mr R book time off so he can take Holly out for the day – childcare isn’t just my responsibility, y’know!
Oh, and one more bonus tip –
Stock up on Snacks
This is a biggie! A hungry child will be a whiny child, so get plenty of healthy snacks and treats in. If only for your own sanity!
Hopefully these tips will help. If you have any others, leave them in the comments below x