Monday, 14 April 2014

Working Mum Collides With Holidays For The Kids

I love holidays.

Ok, so rather a silly thing to write because I don't know one gal who does not love a holiday any time but these holidays are rather different for myself. For the first time in a long time I am working.

I love my job but school holiday time is an important time for my kids to have a break.
Lucky for me I do have a flexible job where I can do some work from home and my kids are welcome at my office now and then.
However, the real issue with working while the kids are on holidays is not so much doing the work but rather the distraction.

You see while your kids are on holidays their minds are in major play and fun mode while my mind has to still be on work. These two can clash and that can make for a pretty stressful holiday rather then that relaxed time out.

Balance, with tips and strategy are needed. I am learning real fast how to keep the holidays fun for the kids while still achieving my work goals.

For me here is my survive the holiday guide:

1. Accept that the week may be a little messy.
By this I mean throw working structure out the window and let fun, interruptions and needs be ok - they are going to happen anyway so best to accept it from the get go.

2. Explain.
I explain to my children the holiday situation - "Even though I am home I'm still at work while you guys are having a break from school". Upfront communication with your kids, letting them know the plan and how the holiday is going to work, is very helpful and brings clear expectations rather then confused, nagging kids. Let them know times of the day you will be focused on your work while they are doing a activity.

3. Food - I still pack the lunch box - life saving!!!
I find it easier to keep packing my kids lunches in the morning so they have food on hand and I don't have to worry about making food and snacks every 5 minutes. I double the amount I would normally give on the holidays as they tend to want to snack more away from the class room.

4. Plan.
I pick several planned self play activities every day for my kids to do.
These are different activities each day so those "I'm bored" whines stays well away." Games like: play dough, lego, barbie, bike riding on the driveway, colouring in activities...
These activities keep my kids happy for an hour or so and me happy so I can focus on my work for a solid chunk of time.

5. Sacrifice.
There are still fun outings and fun play dates with friends to be had. Some where I can leave my children with trusted family and friends and other times when I need to take a break for an outing or fun activity. It's not fair to just leave your kids with self activities all day, they need your attention as well.
This means that I spread my working hours over the day and night. So once tucked into little beds I do some of my work in the evening or early mornings while my children sleep.  This sacrifice is needed to keep the balance right.
Also, fun activities to do together don't have to be taxing, keep it simple: bake some biscuits, nail polish on those fingers, blowing bubbles, jump on the trampoline, gardening, read a book or two together. It's about keeping up that contact.

6. Breath and don't stress.
It's just few weeks where work and  home fun are just meeting up.
Talk to your boss up front too, keeping them in the loop regarding your time is important and gives you more peace to take time our for your kids. Most bosses are understanding of family commitments when it comes to holidays.

Take each day as it comes, stay calm, give lots of cuddles (seriously works wonders) and most of all breath and smile, breath and smile.

What are you top working tips for the holidays?

1 comment:

  1. I remember this dilemma when I was a working mum. I like to help my sister n law out in the school holidays now I'm a SAHM as I know what it's like. When I return to work I'm hoping to get something in a school so it will only be term time. Great list of tips and hints. The lunch box one is a great tip. I did the same thing when stuck on the couch breastfeeding with a toddler running around. xo


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