I’ve previously shared my thoughts about the school holidays as a working mum, and whilst it’s lovely to have some time off with your kids, it’s not that easy when you work.
I’ve been through this several times now and I know first hand that school holidays require a hell of a lot of planning, organising and begging for favours from friends and family. In a nutshell school holidays can be pretty stressful for working parents.
There’s no hiding from it though, there are 13 weeks of school holidays to sort every year so we just have to find ways to cope with them. With the next break from school coming up soon, I’ve put together some tips on how working mums survive school holidays…
Book your time off early
If you’re going to be having some time off to spend with the kids, make sure you request it early. Often there are several working parents in the office and they’ll likely all want time off in the summer holidays and half term. Being the first to book your leave will mean you get the days off you want. It will also give you plenty of time to plan what you’re going to be doing with your break. Stick everything in your work calendar or diary so that you can also plan your workload and meetings around your days off.
Plan childcare in advance
If you’ll need childcare for some or all of the holidays, make sure you get this organised early too. Having childcare organised will give you peace of mind and make you feel like a super organised mum. Holiday clubs do book up quickly so if you find a good one, it’s definitely worth booking your kids in as early as possible. If you’re asking family or friends to help out then it’s just polite to give them as much notice as possible. It’s often likely a military exercise to get every day covered so if you’re using a combination of holiday clubs, family and friends make sure you’ve got everything written down so you can remember who’s having your kids on which days.
If you’re stressing about all the childcare you’re going to need, check out my tips on sorting childcare in the school holidays.
Plan some activities
If you’re going to be having a lot of time off with the kids, it can be hard to think of enough things to do to keep them amused. Have a bit of a plan in advance so that you’re prepared with any supplies you might need for crafts or just lots of ideas for ways to keep bored kids entertained. Make sure you have some rainy day activities up your sleeve too as the weather in the UK has a habit of ruining the best-laid plans.
Check out any local events on Facebook too, these often list things you’d never be aware of otherwise.
Schedule play dates
When the kids get bored of your company, or especially if you have an only child like me, you might want to rope in some other children for them to play with. Before school breaks up why not organise a few play dates with the other school mums. It also means you’ll get some adult company which you may end up needing!
When all else fails and you have a stressful day on your own with moaning kids, make sure you have some wine in the fridge for after they’ve gone to bed!
Have you come up with any genius ideas for surviving school holidays? Or do you get stressed out at the thought of it all?