We’re now about halfway through the big school summer holidays in the UK and if you’re anything like me, that means you’re pulling your hair out trying to keep the kids occupied. If you also have to work from home, life gets even more complicated.
That’s why I’ve compiled my top survival tips below to help you make the most of the time you’ve got and enjoy being with your family.
Arrange play dates
If you’ve got friends in the same position as you, why not try and arrange play dates? If one of you has the kids for a day you can then swap and that means you both get a full day to work. If you don’t fancy a full day, then even a morning or afternoon can give you a few hours to work and the best bit is, when you return the favour your helping a friend out too.
If you can afford to get your kids into a holiday club, even one day a week, this can be money well spent.
Prepare for guilt!
Let’s be honest here, no matter what you do you’re going to feel guilty. If you’re spending all your time with the kids, you’ll feel guilty you’re not working. If you’re working, you’ll feel like you’re neglecting the kids and through it all, you’ll feel guilty because the house is a mess, or there’s washing to do. I think a lot of people feel this way and we just have to accept that guilt is inevitable.
Accept that fact and cut yourself some slack. You’re doing the best you can and remember that some things just don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
If you can’t get rid of the kids and are forced to work around them, then plan ahead. Assign your tasks to the amount of time you have available. If you know you’ve got an hour first thing while the kids will play outside, then don’t try and fit a three hour job into this window.
Have a craft day with the kids and let them go mad while you work, have a movie day, or even better an ipad day! It won’t kill them to unwind for a day on an ipad or in front of a film and if you explain this won’t be happening every day it even becomes a treat!
You can also plan ahead with meal times. Make lunch in the morning so you don’t have spend lots of time preparing it later and you might even be able to sneak in another half hours work here.
Be honest with your kids
Last summer I pitched my story via Twitter to HQ Digital UK. It was mid summer holidays and I thought why the hell not, I’ve got nothing to lose. Amazingly they got back to me and wanted a bit more info, then they wanted the full synopsis and first three chapters and then they wanted the full manuscript.
It was an amazing few weeks but it fell at quite a busy time! My husband works in London so I’m on my own with the kids all day during the holidays and I was faced with a dilemma: try and carry on as usual but most likely not be able to give it my full attention, or be honest with my kids and see if we could work together to make sure I was giving my work 100%
I sat my kids down and explained how important this was to me and how much work I was going to have to do and we all worked together to give me the best chance possible. It meant some movies, it meant them being conscientious about tidying up and solving their own arguments, and it meant me being organised and understanding when they wanted longer cuddles in the evenings.
I realise this depends on the age of your kids, but there’s nothing wrong with them understanding that sometimes you have to work really hard to achieve what you want. And if you don’t make it, they learn something about keeping trying as well!
Rewards for everyone!
Getting through the school holiday is tough, especially with British weather! So make sure you and your kids enjoy some rewards. Dinner out? Takeaway? A special trip? When you’re all working this hard, make sure you take the time to reward your kids and yourself!
Do you have any tips for working at home, especially during the holiday? How do you guys manage to stay relatively sane during this time? Share your hints and tips in the comments below.