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The Summer Holiday Juggle

25 July 2021 Ann Little

I did think about writing a blog about getting organised to go on holiday but you all know that I’m going to say it’s all in the planning and the lists. And of course, this is true, but you know that already 😉 Instead, I’m looking at how we can stay on top of our work, whilst the kids are off. It’s a juggling act, no two ways about it, but hopefully some of the tips I’m going to share will help make your life that little bit easier.

I have clients who I work for month in month out, their businesses don’t stop over the holidays, so mine doesn’t either. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a chore as I love working and my clients are fabulous! However, it does make life interesting – but I love a challenge. And it is a little easier this year as we’re not going away apart from a night here and there.

It's all in the planning.

Of course it is!

I know the client work that I need to complete, and the time I need to allow for that. As a lot of it is done in advance I can prepare by knuckling down for a few days at the beginning of the holidays to prep an awful lot. While I’m doing that, the children are in nursery and holiday camp – which they love! They get to play with their friends, generally having riotous fun, while I’m at home working. Win-Win.

There are things that are more time-sensitive, so I allow for that, and again holiday camp and nursery are there for that. We did learn, during lockdown, that it is possible to work when everyone is at home, but we’re all a little bit happier in life if we don’t have to. It’s a case of taking into account the time needed to complete the planned work, making sure there’s enough available to cover extra bits and bobs that will inevitably crop up, and bingo, that’s my holiday work schedule planned.

I’ve talked a lot about work, but it’s not just about that, it’s about family time too. Days out may be trickier to plan for this year with some businesses operating differently from normal, but we’ll be having fun regardless. On my non-work days we’ll be visiting family, going for long walks with the dog, playing in the local and further afield playgrounds and playdates aplenty.

It’s not just about the days out themselves, I have made a pledge to myself that I will be present on these days. No checking my phone or nipping to my office to send a quick email. My phone will be on reduced notifications so I’m not even tempted to look. Once the kids are in bed, yes, I’m sure I’ll be catching up on things from the day, but isn’t flexible working one of the perks of being your own boss?

So that’s me, that’s what I’m doing this summer, but I promised you tips!

  • Find other parents in a similar situation and share the duties. A playdate with you, a playdate with them. Both of you get some total freedom, and I find that the more children they are, the less you need to be involved as they entertain each other (there are of course lots of caveats with that statement!).
  • If you need to work with your children at home, set boundaries and expectations. Explain to them that you are working between certain hours; with the expectation there it is easier to implement.
  • Wake up early to take advantage of the quiet time.  
  • Make time for fun; intersperse blocks of time working and blocks that you spend with the children.
  • Have some long activities up your sleeve to keep the small people busy. This could be a movie afternoon- darken the room, make popcorn and let them snuggle up – that’ll give you peace and quiet for a couple of hours. Lego challenges are great too; challenge the kids to make a specific creation.
  • Have a secret stash of crafts for emergencies.
  • Pay the children to do chores round the house – a definite winner as it will keep them busy while dealing with household admin for you.
  • Wear your children out in the morning – a long walk or bike ride – so that they are more chilled out and tired in the afternoon so that you can get stuff done.

This holiday is a time for all of us to have a bit of a rest, have some fun and carry on with work. We’ll be making the most of the opportunities we get and we’re looking forward to catching up a little on things that we’ve missed out on over the last year.

Have a great summer!



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