We are now in the final countdown to the school summer holidays, and whilst kids everywhere are on wind-down mode, knackered and grumpy (just mine?!) and planning their daily adventures for their 53 days off school (my daughter informed me this morning), the fear is setting in for some of us mums!
Now don’t get me wrong, 53 days of no chaotic rush to get out the door on time, with everyone fed, watered, clean, clothed and ready (in no particular order) all at the same time is absolutely appealing, but when you still have to work through some or all of those 53 days, these do’s and don’ts might help you keep your sanity whilst enjoying the best of both worlds!
✔Do Plan your time – sounds obvious but making a plan for what you’re doing and when you’re doing it during the holidays will help reduce those “last minute” stress levels of winging it!
✔Do be flexible – not so much a contraction to the above sentence, but more of an addition! Yes, plan your time, know what you’re doing when, but if the sun shines unexpectedly and you fancy a trip to the beach instead of the two hours you had planned at your desk, DO IT! You can do those two hours later when the kids are in bed, worn out after an afternoon at the beach!
✔Do Make sure everyone else knows your plan! Our oldest daughter NEEDS a plan (she’s exactly the same as me – I’ve created a monster!). A Family planner on the wall is brilliant, everyone can see what’s happening when and there’s less chance of any surprises for all involved!
✔Do Give yourself some breathing space – if you’re juggling your own business, client expectations and family expectations over the next seven and a half weeks, make sure you give yourself a break, not only do you deserve it, you NEED it!
✔Do Make sure your clients know your working hours. If you’re reducing your working hours slightly, let them know. If your response times are likely to be a little slower because your routine is out of whack, let them know. It IS allowed, you ARE human and you’re not letting anyone down if they’ve had advance notice that your availability may be limited.
✔Do Make sure your family know your working hours! If you are able to take the holidays off, then great! If not, don’t feel guilty about it, feeling guilty will only split your focus and will result in you needing to work longer hours – it’s a bugger of a cycle but balance is key!
✔Do Enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it – whether you’re on work mode or family mode – ENJOY It! Don’t waste your time putting all your thoughts in to work when you’re on family mode, and don’t waste your work time focusing on what you think you should be doing with the family! I’ll say it again, enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it!
✔Do stick to school nights! If you’re working in the morning, don’t fall in to the trap of later nights with the kids. Not only does it make for a tougher morning when you have to get them up and they’re tired, it also makes for a blooming long day when you are trying to work and they are tired and got their grumpy pants on! Keeping a bit of their normal routine in place when you know you have to work will help you stay in the flow! Save the late nights for when you don’t have early mornings.
✔Do accept help – if someone can help you out in your business or with the kids, let them! If there’s something you can outsource that allows you more time to do what you need, what are you waiting for?
❌Don’t Take on more than you can handle. If your routine is out of sync, this is not the time to take on a massive new project, client or launch. Do what you need to do to keep your business moving ahead, but don’t run yourself in to the ground! Similarly, if you know you HAVE to work today, then this is not the day to arrange a family BBQ (must remember to take my own advice here).
❌Don’t worry if you have to work sometimes when the kids are around! If they’re big enough to entertain themselves for a little while, let them! Also – utilise nap times if/where you can!
❌Don’t beat yourself up over something you can’t fit in – if the kids are annoyed because you can’t take them swimming today, or a client is annoyed because you can’t fit something in for them that came up last minute, let it go. Tomorrow is a new day!
Do enjoy the holidays!!
I am very guilty of pulling a face each time the holidays are mentioned, but I am making sure I have a plan in place and that everyone knows what that is.
This year, I’M READY! Bring on the sunshine!
Good luck everyone, you’ve got this!