Calling all working parents: How to juggle the work/life balance during the summer holidays…
… And keep everyone happy!
School is out for summer! Are you jumping for joy at the thought of the next 6 weeks of having your little darlings at home, or is it filling you with a sense of panic and overwhelm?
Running your own business is hard and when it comes to the summer holidays it can become even harder with the constant juggle of work and children.
With the numerous lockdowns over the past 18 months, you would think that we are used to being the super parents of time and attention juggling, but the summer holidays feel different – there’s no online learning to be done and we are under pressure to be creating memories and having fun – but when do you fit that in when you have clients to serve also, products to sell, services to deliver?
Jo Andrews, MD at The Marketing Collective, a marketing agency providing ‘done for you’ marketing services for businesses, has some helpful advice and tips for the juggle of the summer holiday workaround so you can manage a healthy work-life balance during the summer holidays:
Plan out your weeks and structure your days. A great way is to split your day to work and play. Whether that be that you work in the morning or the afternoon. If you are clear with your working hours, you can plan your workload accordingly knowing that there is time set aside for your children.
Create a bucket list.
Do it together and make a list of what each person in the family would like to do. It could be a day out or it could be a bike ride, baking a cake, art, and crafts or watching a movie. The important thing is that during your designated time, you pick one and you do it. You’ll be surprised that it isn’t all about big days out which can be costly for families. Be prepared to don your pirate hat and set sail with your imagination in the garden.
Communicate and talk to your children about the plan.
If they know the structure of the days/weeks then they will be more patient because they know they will also be having fun and your attention.
Wherever you are spending your time – give that your complete attention. If it is work, you will get it done quicker and if it is time with the family, they will see and appreciate your undivided attention. You could even create some fun rules and forfeits when this isn’t done – eg. £1 into a jar if you pick up your work phone to ‘just reply to an email’ during allocated family time.
If you have a team – they are there to help support you and the business. Assign your tasks to them as part of their training and development. If you don’t have a team, consider a virtual assistant who could help you keep on top of tasks.
Update your hours of work.
Your clients, customers, and suppliers will all understand if you are working reduced hours – most of them will be needing to do the same so put it as a note on your emails and set an out of office when you are away from work. As long as people know when they can expect a reply etc, they will understand.
Remove your notifications.
You don’t need a notification every time an email comes in. This will just add to your stress levels and overwhelm you.
Ask for help when you need it when it comes to the chores.
With many of us still working from home, the additional tasks of keeping on top of household chores, as well as working, as well as having a fun summer can add to the overwhelming list. Again, get everyone involved – it isn’t just your job to do.
Be kind to yourself.
Don’t berate yourself for not doing enough or for being good enough. You are. You can only ever do your best.
Not to stress about time on a screen – it’s the little breaks that we both need… from each other and that’s ok.
Find something to laugh about each day. Think about some of your memories from school holidays; when there was that hazy summer sun over the paddling pool, grazed knees from climbing trees and picnics to the park – they weren’t necessarily big adventures, just time with the people you were special to you.