First day of the school holidays – done!

There are some parents who look forward to the school holidays – no rushing from one place to another, a chance to spend time together doing lovely things, no pressures of homework.  There are others who wonder how on earth they are going to get any work done without the 9 – 3 “childcare” we rely upon during term time.

It’s a challenge when you work for yourself (possibly more of a challenge if you work for someone else!).  I’m writing this from the cafe in my local Clip n Climb (coffee & wifi good, but fleecy jumper and coat necessary…)  I have adjusted my workflow (and expectations).  I haven’t taken on any new clients in the past week or so (well, only ones who accept that I won’t start working on their business until mid April), I have been frantically trying to get up to date before the children broke up and I recognise that my productivity will be severely hampered for the next 2 + weeks…

But what are the practical things you can do?

  • Grab an hour or so in the morning – perhaps before the children get up.  I find, my children are much better at amusing themselves in the morning before they get dressed (and bored!)
  • Swap with a friend.  You have their children for a morning/day and they return the favour another time.  Funnily enough, I find double the children only half the work – my kids are entertained and I am happy that they are socialising (ok lunch may be more work).  And then you get a day/half day without any children…
  • Use relatives!  Those lucky enough to have parents/siblings/siblings-in-law who want to spend some time with your offspring, encourage them to take them out for the day (or have them overnight?).  My children love spending time with grandparents and it is even better without parents around to restrict their sugar intake…
  • Soft play, climbing, trampoline parks – anywhere they can “do” themselves which has a cafe, ideally with wifi (although be prepared for distractions)
  • Utilise “camps”.  My children have had a great time at football, tennis and other sports camps.  Some children love them, others are less keen.  Choosing clubs that tie in with their interests help, as does going with a friend.  That gives you some time to get things done (full day, or at least 10 – 3, camps are obviously better for work purposes as are camps which are closer)
  • Make your children help.  Can they help you with work?  Or can they “save” you some time helping with chores?  Making beds, collecting/putting away laundry, emptying/reloading the dishwasher all need doing during the holidays and are chores which children can either do on their own or help with – time you don’t have to spend on those chores is time you can use to work
  • Sleeptime.  For those with younger children who go to bed (and stay there!) at a reasonable time, the evenings are a godsend for catching up with work, perhaps with a glass or two of wine in hand (just don’t hit send on that controversial email until the morning!)
  • TV/other electronic babysitter.  My children’s favourite (and my least favourite), but an hour or two in the late afternoon can be a life (or work) saver if we have been busy during the day and I have calls to make/things I need to get finished.  A good reward if they have helped with time saving jobs around the house too…
  • Other parent.  Children have two parents.  Those who work from home tend to take the burden of childcare during the holidays, but perhaps the other parent can help out – either taking some time off, working from home and spending some time with them, taking on more of the chores to free up some of your time, or even taking the children out on weekends to give you that time to catch up.

Finally, enjoy the chance to spend some time together.  If you have been productive in the morning, take the afternoon off for arts and crafts, a game of monopoly or a bike ride.  They won’t enjoy your company forever and it is only a couple of weeks (not that I’m counting)…

 

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