Staying (not so) sane over summer

Advice from Jo Middleton on staying sane over the summer holidays:

We’re well and truly in the depths of the summer holidays now, and I for one am starting to feel the burn. Not a literal one of course, not unless you count the iron burn I sustained yesterday. I always knew housework was bad for you…In the run up to the summer holidays, I had a rosy vision of what my six weeks would be like with my two children: I was winding down from work, we’d have long lie-ins, then spend the days outdoors doing wholesome activities and enjoying each others’ company. I know, I was a fool, I don’t know what I was thinking…

The reality of course is that although I have ‘wound down’, I still have quite a bit of work to do. I have no childcare, I am a single parent, and somehow I just can’t handle the guilt of abandoning my kids to the Disney Channel for whole days at a time.

So, my work day goes something like this:

6.30am: drag myself out of bed (at least just to make a cup of tea) and get to work. I normally have a couple of hours before my youngest wakes up thank goodness, at which point I can either plough on, trying to hold a conversation with a seven year old whilst simultaneously writing reports, or give up.

11am: Once I’ve done my bit of ‘quality time’, I can sometimes sneak off for another hour or so, depending on what our plans are for the day. Unfortunately, I stupidly organised rather a lot of ‘fun family days out’, so by 11am I am often mid-activity.

3pm: The activities are wearing thin. We’re sat in an overpriced café. The youngest has asked for an ice-cream 37 times, my teenager is sulking as she’d rather be roaming a park with a gang of boys. I’m checking emails on my blackberry and wishing I was somewhere on my own.

8pm: Bedtime. “Once the kids are in bed,” I think to myself, “I’ll get a couple of hours work done. I’ll just have a little gin and tonic first…”

10pm: Oopps. I switched on the computer to do some work and accidentally watched Sherlock on the iplayer instead. Roll on September…

More from Family Friendly Working
Toy Review: Tonka Trucks for Big Kids
Last week we reviewed Tonka’s ‘Chuck and Friends’ set for pre-schoolers. This...
Read More


  • I really know where you are coming from Jo, I have 3 children and work from home. At least they all have a long lie in in the morning, which means I have the morning to work!

  • Nice Summer holiday photo Jo – you look like you must have achieved a little relaxation at some point!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.