Is it possible to find a balance between work and caring for your children during the holidays?
Up until last year my work fit in well with the children. There was the odd morning of writing while they played but on the whole my schedule could flex around them.
Last year of course I jumped in at the deep end by founding and launching a company over the summer. It was an incredibly difficult time to launch a new venture and if it weren’t for amazing friends and our home-working set up it would have been a mountain to climb. Not to mention being incredibly boring for the children.
We have done a few more holidays since then and with no childcare options viable for us we are learning the balance. I admire the stoic acceptance of my need to work and the wonderful way they entertain themselves throughout the day. I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t come with a sinking feeling of guilt though.
There are so many moments that I wish I could be heading out for the day every day especially when the progress I’m making with my work day to day is s l o w. I may be ‘working’ but without uninterrupted head time, my productivity is way down and let’s not mention my inbox.
Despite my deep feelings of guilt we have built a happy rhythm since last year which keeps me from the depths of despair.
In stark contrast to last year; the children now play quite contentedly for hours. Their imagination for play, creation and exploration leads them into shared and individual games which have them absorbed completely.
We also plan small trips out each day. Sometimes we may only make it as far as the park but we get out and away from the computer. It’s clear from the attention they pay me and the pile of them frequently in my lap that they are craving more of my time.
As well as making space for daily adventures we are also investing quality time in our weekends. Last weekend we went to Winchester Science Festival (crazy awesome), this weekend we’re off to visit friends on the Isle of Wight and we also have Just So Festival booked in. I’m hoping there will be a trip to Giffords Circus, some camping and beach days to come.
Is this a solution to the competing demands of work and the school holidays? Am I doing neither job well? I don’t know and only time will reveal the answer. I would love to know how you manage the juggle.