As the summer holidays crept up, talk at networking events amongst mothers turned to child care over the summer holidays. Main breadwinner or not, I know this is an issue that we can feel daunted about.
Business doesn’t stop just because the mercury rises and the schools shut. Our need for a secure income flow doesn’t dissipate either!
Yet we can feel torn, especially if we work from home. We may actually prefer to spend more time with the children, having fun, taking off on great day adventures. And if we do that, we feel guilty about not working.
But if we lock ourselves away in our works space, we can feel guilty that we aren’t spending time with our kids in the glorious weather, bonding with them at some great family activity.
So how do we make it work? Make work, work, when our nearest and dearest crave attention, a schedule of activity and an escape from boredom?
Over the years, I have tried many solutions. Full time nannies – great but expensive. Live in au pairs, also great, more cost effective but often need more shepherding. Holiday camps, can be wonderful but you chew through the cash. Of course, there are always grand parents and relatives, but being a foreigner in the UK, meant my family was half a world away.
Eventually, I decided to treat the school holidays as my project!
Like any project I approach, there is always a system I step through. I’ll share mine with you, so you can use it to ensure you make the holiday season work for you!
Step 1: Decide what YOU WANT
Sounds obvious I know, but more often that not, we put ourselves last when we organize our family life. Take some time to think about the holiday period. Whether it is 6 or 12 weeks, cast your mind over that time and consider the following:
- How much holiday time do you want – a week, two weeks or maybe you take a month off
- Decide if you take that time in a block, or decide to work shorter weeks, or shorter days, or a combination of all
Step 2: What does your BUSINESS NEED?
If you have clients that you have promised work to, schedule in the planning and delivery days. Or if you are selling a product, when do you need to be in the business to facilitate smooth operations and deliveries? Schedule this in.
Step 3: What would you like to do with your business over this time?
For many of us, our businesses quieten over the summer. We can use that time to plan, create, write content and get ahead for the Autumn. Take some time to ponder if you want to do anything like this, and then consider how much time you will need and then schedule it in.
Step 4: Bring it together
Now bring together the three steps, and line it up on your schedule. How much time do you want to be on holiday, and how much does your business need you?
Reflecting on the time scheduled, how does that feel to you? Will it make you feel that you are doing the right thing, servicing the needs of your business and your family in the way that’s right to you?
Step 5: Make it Happen!
Now you have designed how YOU want the time to be spent over the summer holidays, share this with the family.
Once you have a clear idea of when you need to find child care or activities for the children, you will find it much easier to fill the spaces. And how you do that, is up to you!
I hope you have a wonderful and balanced time over the long summer holidays.
Let me know how you get on! And yes, holiday snaps welcome!