To all the working parents in the holidays, I’m here with you!
To all the working parents out there, can we all agree that the school holidays can be a bit of a nightmare? Don’t get me wrong, I love my children, but sheesh, trying to find balance between keeping the momentum in all of our fast-growing projects, whilst injecting the time and energy in my children that they deserve from me, it’s a challenge, and quite frankly, it’s exhausting. Am I right?
I know we’ve reached the end of the school holidays, and I am ready to celebrate the return of school (bye kids!), but looking back on the last couple of weeks, I thought I might share some tips and tricks that kept me alive and might make your next school holiday experience a little smoother.
- I’m not a planner, but…
When it comes to the school holidays, a bit of planning can help, especially if you don’t want to miss out on booking activities to keep the kids active and entertained. Also, a list of fun activities on the horizon keeps the kids excited and gives you ‘permission’ to have a few of those ‘nothing to do’ days, where they stay at home baking, chilling or playing with the neighbours without guilt.
- It’s time to delegate
Sometimes it feels easy to try and do everything yourself, but the reality is that you only have limited hours in a day to do your work-related stuff on top of entertaining the kids. If you have a support network that can help look after the kids for a day or so make the most of it! Also there are great activities or summer camps that give the kids the chance to get out of their comfort zone, learn new things and make new friends, giving you time to focus – a win-win!
- Be present when you can
This is so key. In the daily juggle of work, family and home, sometimes we forget that they are looking up at us parents – ALL the time. Having the phone on hand is very convenient when working on the go, however, it can be the main reason why we disconnect from the present moment, making our kids feel that we’re not totally there with them. Intentionally putting my phone aside to be fully present and connect with the kids has been very rewarding and liberating.
- Embracing the chaos
Having slow mornings, eating treats and whatever is in the fridge, having a house full of screaming children having the best time or letting the kids have many late nights can sound like the perfect chaos. In fact, I think it is! These are the unusual (and best) memories of ‘freedom’ that will come up in their holiday recount when they are back at school. So I let go of some of the usual boundaries to embrace this chaos while I can.
- We all need to rest
Isn’t it ironic that sometimes we need a rest from the school holidays? Well, I found that having some downtime during these last days of the school break helps me and the kids recharge and reset for the next term. Encouraging the kids to read, watch a movie, (or simply get bored for a bit) means that we all get to wind down from sometimes hectic weeks. As I also need some headspace to keep my creativity flowing and this usually happens at night while the kids are asleep – and then I can’t sleep because I have 100 ideas crossing my mind! So book some ‘nothing to do days’ towards the end of the break to wind down and get some rest while you can.
I hope that sharing my school holiday mindset has given you some ideas to navigate the next school holidays with ease. If you feel you are surviving the school holidays, I’m here with you! And always remember, we’re doing the best we can!
Happy return to school to you all.