So is it just me or has the first week of the school holidays already zapped out all of your energy?
The house looks like a tornado has ripped through it, every single towel we own has been spread through the garden, (Why? I don’t know.) somehow there is just never any food to eat but every time I sit down something sticky is already coating the sofa! As for work – I’m already two weeks behind. At this rate by the time they go back to school I’ll be a gibbering wreck.
Being a self-employed mother has it’s drawbacks. The school holidays are actually my busiest time, as my client’s in-house staff are booking their own time out so they need to outsource more to me. Now is the time I need to be concentrating.
But – now is the time my kids are home and want me to play with them. Cue mother guilt!
So, how am I surviving?
Bribe your kids/ plan your time
Yes, it’s obvious. But then isn’t most of life common sense? Plan your time so that you can spend some set hours working and some set hours playing. Yes, it involves bargaining with the kids a little.
“If you go and play quietly for 2 hours now, I will play (insert noisy and messy game of your choice here) with you after lunch.”
If you tell me you don’t approve of bribing your kids, then I will tell you that you have too much time on your hands!
Share the kids with friends
I know other working mums. They have the same problem I do. Sometimes you need to be chatting up clients or making calls. Having a small voice in the background screeching “Wipe my bum, mummy” just doesn’t add that professional edge.
Make a deal with the other mums and dads who also work from home. I will have your kids all day today if you take mine tomorrow. Then I can ensure I do most of the calls that day. As an added bonus, having friends to occupy them helps keeps yours out of your hair too.
Fill the fridge
Quick and easy meals make lunchtime a lot less stressful. Plan ahead so that you are not (as I just had to) shooting off to the nearest shop with four screaming kids in the car to buy a loaf of bread to go with the beans for the kids lunch.
Yes, it always happens on the day I have other people’s kids. And yes, they did just eat the beans and leave the bread anyway.
Plus, get in snackfood. Carrot sticks, yoghurt drinks, fruit or crisps. Healthy or not – your choice. Just make sure there is plenty for them to munch throughout the day without moaning “Muuuuuum, I’m hungry and there’s nothing to eat” every five minutes.
Resort to screens
I do try to avoid it if I can, or at least reduce the amount of brain leeching my kids are subjected to. But sometimes the only way I can really get some head down time is by resorting to the machine baby sitter. Playstation, Wii or TV – whatever it takes, some days there is just no other choice.
Book a holiday. Plan some time off. After all is said and done, they are only little once. A few days out, a week off with them won’t hurt the bank so much now as having them say “You never had time to play with me” will hurt you later.