Top 5 Tips for Working Around the Kids
The Easter holidays have just finished and wow, did I learn a lot. When you leave home to go to work, you close the door and the kids are 'managed' either at school, nursery, by a childminder, friend or grandparent. The choice is yours but when the childcare and work responsibilities fall onto the 'juggling mum' during the holidays, it's a challenge. Here are my 5 tips for working during the holidays:
1- Plan, plan, plan, and plan some more. Be it to schedule tasks to do, childcare activities or an online grocery shop, forward thinking is a must.
2- Book activities where you have a working WIN situation. For example: registering your kids into a tennis camp with an adjoining cafe with free wifi. This was a genius find, by a friend who is a teacher. She marked, I typed, surfed and invoiced whilst our little folk were having fun on the court. A work WIN.
3- Be flexible. Things happen, work comes in, tasks need completing but take a step back, give yourself some flexibility to work when you have capacity in order to meet your tasks.
4- Set boundaries with the kids. Communication with my kids is key. They are only little but we respect boundaries (well most of the time) We make a plan, the deal is I can work whilst they do X (possibly with a -box included after the X or an IPad session) for a set amount of time, we then play, explore, go out and the work time is kept short but manageable. This is for those days when you don't have other childcare.
5- Use your out of office message. I believe in transparency. It's ok to let people know you're working flexibly during the school holidays and that you'll get back to people when you can. It's also ok to take holiday too, we all need a break.
The next school holiday is May half term and we are away but I will still plan time for some core work activities and ensure I am planned well in advance for my clients so that I'll be able to take for a break myself too.
I'd love to hear how you cope with juggling work and the kids... Feel free to let me know in the comments.