I get it! School holidays, with kids in tow, can be super challenging on it’s own, let alone having to keep focus on running your business too.
I’m a mum of 3 kids aged between 9-13 and my husband is away for 6 months of the year, so this is very familiar territory for me.
My husband has been working away for the best part of the last 9.5 years and I’ve been running my own business for the last 8.5 years.
Maybe I like a challenge, maybe I’m a little crazy and too ambitious?! Who knows, but I do have some tips for you hard working mums who are stretched by the juggle of kids and business.
Seek out parks where kids can play and you can sit on your laptop and work. Note that the beach is not the best option for this! I’ve been known to visit the odd adventure playground and work away whilst the kids play and in the winter I have been seen sitting inside the car, tapping away on my device or up skilling my knowledge, whilst my 3 kids (and sometimes friends) would be hitting the skate ramps at the local skate park.
Yesterday I took four kids to Inflatable World for a couple of hours. They ran around like maniacs and sweated half of their body mass, while I sat in comfort working away.
FRIENDS! In my experience, more kids in the house equals less demand of my time. The saying, “the more the merrier”, is spot on. Often I’ll have friends of my kids over for sleepovers when my husband is away or on school holidays because kids get to be kids and play. We even play board games after dinner as my kids are at the age now where we can play and compete and of course, have fun.
Find friends in the same situation and do the “kid swap”. This was a lifesaver for me in the early days when I didn’t have much extended family to call on for support. I’d openly ask my friends if they’d be interested in having all three or one or two of my kids for a few hours and then I would repay the favour and have my friend’s kids.
Let me repeat, this is a LIFESAVER and it can be a great way to stay in touch with your friends too.
Get up a bit earlier than the kids to do some work or stay up a little later. What ever floats your boat. This may not work for everyone, depending on the age of your kids and how they sleep. It’s essential that you get enough sleep, so if you’re kids aren’t sleeping through (my daughter was 9 before she started sleeping through….not 9 weeks, or 9 months people but 9 years of age!!!) Please make sleep a priority as you’ll be able to achieve so much more if you’re well rested.
Exercise together. It’s crucial that you still maintain your sense of SELF as a parent and business owner/entrepreneur and you must look after yourself and this includes taking the time to exercise. If it’s too tricky to fit time in alone to exercise, take the kids out and exercise with them (we walk the dog every night together). You’ll all feel better afterwards and it can be a great way to stay connected too.
When friends and family offer support and to take your kids for a while, and you’re ok with this, do it. You don’t have to do everything on your own, when help is extended, say yes.
Remember, your kids will grow up super fast. They’ll be adults before you know it. My second child is in high school this year, that’s two in high school and it’s gone so very fast. Please don’t wish the time away and don’t work the time away. Be present, do things with your kids, enjoy them. Do fun stuff together. Take time out and be there with them because it’s super, super special and it’s time that you’ll never be able to get back and school holidays are great time for this.