The holidays are coming…
The holidays are fast approaching. For many, these holidays come as a huge relief, a chance to recharge; lazy pyjama mornings, visiting friends and family, day trips and cosy afternoon films. A proper break from the weekly timetable of school drop-offs and homework. Lovely.
Working parents approach the holidays with slight dread; scrimping together annual leave, finding play schemes and kind relatives to share the load. It’s much easier if there’s one parent based at home. But what if you’re a homeworking mum (or dad) who still has work to do through the holidays? You may have more control over your time than office workers, but you still need time to work, whilst enjoying the time with your kids.
Here are eight handy tips, based on experience, that might help.
Find out which friends are around and organise some tactical play-dates. If you have more than one child, try and double up to get you a couple of hours of quiet. And when having children back plan things that help them entertain each other.
There seems to be more and more of these every year. Ask around the school, look on local online notice boards or family websites. Schools, council leisure centres and many private gyms do holiday clubs. Some are full days, some are half days. They vary in price and are a lot of fun. Most tennis clubs do half days or a couple of hours. There are also some national holiday camp franchises, such as www.supercamps.co.uk and www.barracudas.co.uk. They’re not cheap but they operate in many areas and they are always a hit for the children.
If you use local teenage babysitters in the evenings, ask them if they have any free time in the days over the holidays. You’d be surprised how many would love to earn some extra cash while taking the kids to a park or entertaining them at home. Some older ones might even be happy to commit to the odd full day.
If you’re mobile (as in work mostly through a laptop and phone) perhaps you could go and stay with family who might not be happy to have the kids on their own. You could then take a few hours to work each day.
If you have children old enough to entertain themselves, structure the “at home days” where you block out regular work time. This is the time when they can’t disturb you and if they know in advance they can make plans for what games they’re going to play. Involve them in the planning stage and maybe stay away from the games that could end in fights! And remember, you’re not a bad parent if they watch movies for an afternoon or more, especially if it’s raining. The holidays are, after all, their downtime.
Take your work out and about
If you’re taking the kids to the park, or perhaps to the library for art and crafts, where you don’t need to be involved, take your computer with you. Or save up anything you can do on your phone at these times. Also, my kids love cafes. We’ll go to one and they’re happy with a drink and snack and some card games while my husband or I get an hours work done.
This is really important. For anyone with a stay at home partner, the pressure is off where holiday childcare is concerned. Unlike working couples who often have to share the care, when there’s only one who has to be in an office each day, they rarely have to think about the school holidays. But if you’re at home, and still need to get work done, don’t forget that you can ask your partner to take the odd day or so off to look after your shared children. Maybe they could commit to a day or half day a week?
Involve the kids
Very dependent on what work you do, and the age of your kids, but involving them in your work is a great way to keep them entertained, let them see what you do, teach them new skills, and get work done all at the same time. You could even offer a small wage in exchange for helping you out.
What do you think? Are you a work at home mum and do you have any school holiday survival tips to share?
Keep in touch
To keep up-to-date with our launch plans visit the AoM homepage and click on get notified. Or follow us on Facebook @armyofmums
And finally, enjoy your holidays 🙂