Working when you have children during the summer holidays
For many in the wedding industry it’s no surprise that the busiest time of the year for weddings is the summer. As much as we’d love weddings to be spread across 52 weeks of the year they invariably are back to back during the summer months. So how does this impact business owners that have children home from school in the summer?
There are last minute meetings, negotiations and finalisation of the design and of course working the day itself. So free time becomes limited and summer juggling begins especially when school children break for summer. Whereas other parents are delighted to have 6 weeks with their children we are left thinking “oh my gosh, how am I going to manage”. The 6 weeks school holidays can be a minefield of combining parenting with business ownership. After all you can’t neglect your children for 6 weeks just because you’re busy, but by the same token you can’t neglect your clients.
So what can you do?
I have been in business 17 years, I started my first business when my son was just 6 months old, so juggling children with work has just been life for me. But I have to admit when they were no longer at nursery, and were at school it became so tricky in school holidays. Until they get to be teenagers then not so bad!
So here are my top tips for ensuring your children still have a fun filled summer holiday without you screaming “not now I’m busy”.
Have a holiday
I’m going to assume you are not going away in the summer holidays, this year is the first time I’ve managed a holiday in July. Normally we would have a holiday at Easter or October then a weekend away some other time. Book something, it’s so important for children to have time away with you where you won’t be tempted with work. We’ve picked up amazing bargains over the years for cottage breaks or camping and the kids love it, in fact they still love it now aged 17, 14, 9. This makes them a little more understanding when you are so busy in the summer holidays.
Take time off
I would try to take the children somewhere once a week, sometimes a day trip for a whole day, and sometimes just a few hours. When they know you have something planned they are happy to just make their own entertainment in between
I’m fortunate that I have friends who are also business owners AND our daughters are all besties. This means we help each other out with childcare. One day I’ll have 2-3 of her friends round, (actually I find it easier to work as they just go and play) and another day they return the favour.
Get them involved
I ask them what do they want to do. They write on a white board what they would love to do. Their wish list ranges from visit a beach, theme park, cinema to picnics, visit friends and camp in the garden. As we complete an activity I cross it out. This helps keep them involved but also shows “yes children we have actually done things”
When mine were younger I would write indoor activities on a post it note and place folded up in a jar. Activities varied from painting, colouring in, watching a film, lego or even board games (we have so many).
The key is to do only what is essential, don’t waste your working time browsing instagram or pinterest. So why not hire a social media manager for the summer holidays or a virtual assistant? Someone that can help with some of the admin? This will free up your time dramatically
Some families offer more support than others. But if you have grandparents that could have the children one day a week or fortnight that can help plus they are spending quality time with family
Change your working hours
Think about getting up earlier to complete 1-2 hours of work before the children are up. Then you can spend the morning with them before doing some more hours in the afternoon
What are your top tips for working when your children are home from school?