Whether you work for yourself or are employed, summer can seem like a struggle and a juggle. Childcare arrangements suddenly fall apart as nurseries and schools close. There are plenty of ways, though, to make sure that summer is still fun. Here are my 5 top tips:
- Plan ahead. The longer I’ve been a mum the more I realise the benefits of thinking about the summer in advance. DH and I use to be very ‘spur of the moment’ holiday bookers, but that just doesn’t work any more. It may lack spontaneity but a well planned summer works much better now we’ve got 3 children.
- Divide up work time and fun time. If you’re employed, see how much time you (and your partner) can take off, well in advance. Remember that everyone will want a break during July and August and it is often first come first served.
- If you are self employed, it is easier to be around for the children, but business rarely stops. Try dividing up each day so you get regular work times, and still have time to have fun with the children. One mum I know recommends action packed mornings so that she can work in the afternoons while tired-out children are glad to chill. Another mum works while her older kids sleep in or chill in pjs with the TV, then takes the family out in the afternoon.
- Call in reinforcements. When you have planned the time that YOU can have off to be with the kids, start looking for ways to fill the gaps. Book up grannies and aunties who might help out for a regular day for the six weeks of summer, or who could have the children to stay for a few days.
- Remember that other mums will be in the same situation and book some playdate swaps. Even the fondest siblings get fed up with each other over six weeks so will enjoy having friends over. I find that my crew play happil for much longer when they have friends round – leaving me free to sneak in a little extra work or simply create the enormous amounts of food that they seem to require. And then sit back and reap the benefits when your kids spend the day over at their friend’s house.
- Check out summer activity camps. We’re lucky as DD’s school has a holiday club for the first couple of weeks of the holiday. I usually book her in alternate days which gives her the chance to do a few good activities AND wind down… it prevents the sudden end of term wail of “I’m boooored Mummy!”
- And don’t forget to plan in some fun. All the planning should be done with the aim of allowing you days, or even weeks off to enjoy time with the family, sleep in, have days out in the sunshine, go to the pool or the beach and play games with the kids. Working mums need the time to relax, so start planning your summer fun now.