How To Juggle Work And School Holidays.

Published: 28th March 2018

One of the biggest challenges as a working parent is when school holidays come around. You can almost hear a collective sigh around the ‘burbs as many of us come to terms with the fact our juggling skills need to be put into action like never before. (On the other hand, we are happy the kids are out of school because, just like us, they need a break too!). 

Keeping all the balls in the air during the school holidays can be quite a challenge for most working parents. And before we know it 'Mothers guilt' (and 'Fathers guilt') can take over, however we have to remind ourselves that we are doing an amazing job, that we can't be everywhere at once and most of all we need to remember to be in the moment (easier said than done!)

Here are some tips on how to juggle work and school holidays without the guilt:

Plan out the school holidays: 

Planning ahead of time can take the pressure off and assist with managing expectations. Planning each day/week before the holidays start can prepare the kids for what to expect and will help minimise any disappointment.

Managing work obligations before the school holidays start should help set expectations for both parties. Speak with your boss and colleagues early to prioritise deadlines, workloads and any potential issues you foresee. 

Getting organised before the holidays arrive may help minimise the stress and guilt that comes with being a working parent. 

Ask family and friends for help:

If you’re lucky enough to live close to family, now is a great time to call upon grandparents, aunts and uncles, or whatever extended family that happens to be nearby. If you could line up a special ‘grandmother's day’ which may involve a day at her house or a trip to the zoo, it will relieve the pressure on you. If you don’t have family close at hand, think of the friends you could reach out to for help. Call on a trusted friend that might ‘owe you’ a favour or offer to do a reciprocal day with a friend with children – your friend can let your kids join her for one day, then you can take her kids for a day. Remember just because someone says no once doesn’t mean they will say no again for the next time. People are happy to help so don’t be afraid to ask.

Take the Kids to work:

Many workplaces will be open to the idea of you bringing the kids into work for a short time. It's also a fun way for your kids to see what mum or dad get up to while they’re at school. Mum of two Fiona Tyson is a florist and she always sets aside a day or two during school holidays to bring her girls into work.

It's easy for me as I own the business, but I think it's a great way to show them how busy their mum is and how hard I work to keep our family going. I actually give them plenty of little jobs to do, I’ve even had my 12-year-old answering the phone while the eight-year-old loves helping tie ribbons around bouquets,” Fiona says.

I never feel guilty about bringing the kids into work as they really do think it’s a fun day, they learn by watching me and doing a few simple things themselves, and it means I can have them with me and not feel guilty missing out on special time with the girls.”

More and more companies are now allowing parents to work from home during the school holidays. In fact, many employees will negotiate flexible working hours with a new employer, to include the fact that they can work from home when their children are on holidays.

This may be something you can approach your boss with and include in your package.  

Image: Mila coming to work with me during the school holidays. 

School holiday camps:

School holiday camps are a guilt-free option when trying to juggle work and school holidays. The kids will love keeping busy, meeting new friends and learning a new skill. It's also a great way to gain time for some work, never-ending chores, or a much needed 'me' day! Camps range from a few hours to several days making school holiday camps the perfect solution for working mums. Some of our favourites camps are:

5-day Kids Surfing Camp:

The Surfing Camp can be split up over the holidays and it's suitable for all levels and abilities. Your kids will absolutely love meeting new friends, getting in the water and challenging themselves. They will learn about ocean safety, surf etiquette, paddling, catching waves, standing up and riding waves. It's an awesome way to tire them out!

4-day Game Programming Camp:

This Programming Camp is for kids aged 14 years and older. Modules of study will cover the fundamentals of games design and development and all students will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. The course is designed to educate kids about the many career opportunities available for programmers in the games and interactive and creative industries. Great for the tech enthusiasts. 

3-day Horse Riding Camp:

The 3-day Horse Riding Camp spends three fun days riding horses, gaining confidence and improving skills. As well as riding each day there will be lots more for kids to do, including feeding and caring for their horse, learning about horse care and grooming. Perfect for the animal lover!

2-day Performing Arts Camp:

The Performing Arts Workshops are educational and most importantly, fun! The program encourages children to be part of the creative process, learn new skills and get active. The camp encourages them to build self-esteem and confidence and by the end, they'll be so proud of what they've achieved. Fun for the actresses and actors in your life!

1-day Circus Bootcamp:

This full-day Circus Bootcamp covers absolutely everything circus! Children will learn a huge variety of new skills, practice with their favourite equipment, make some juggling balls, watch a real circus video and have lots of fun and laughs. A great day to meet new friends and burn energy!

The end of the school holidays usually see most of us feeling somewhat exhausted, but if you plan ahead, ask for help and create realistic expectations you'll be much less overwhelmed and will be able to enjoy the moment!

We hope you have a fun, stress-free and guilt-free school holidays.

Sara x

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