Moving from distress to de-stress while you juggle children and work
The summer holidays are well and truly here! The weather has even decided to play ball this year (well, apart from the blip of a rainy weekend, the first real break in the sunny weather for over 6 weeks) and the kids are probably ready for a break from school, especially if they have just been through exams like SAT’s or GCSE’s.
And as a working parent, you might also be ready to stop the school conveyor belt – that rush and stress of getting them out the door on time so that you can get that parking space that means you will be able to get them through the school door in time for registration without the ignominy of signing in, and every extra minute it takes reduces the margin for error.
So take a deep breath and relax…. oh, but hang on… the summer holidays means the children are now at home… all day… and how are you going to get work done around the “I’m bored!” / “What are we doing today?” / “Can you make a picnic for lunch?” / “Muuuuummm…!” or “Daaaaddd!”
If you work from home some might think you have it sorted, after all you won’t need to arrange childcare because, well, you’re there at home. Simple. Only it’s not. Work still needs to be done, over the next 6 or 9 weeks you’re not going to go offline, not answer emails, not send out proposals or answer client queries, and that’s not taking into account any meetings or networking events you might still have to attend… the world of business continues to turn despite the school holidays.
What happens then if your children aren’t able to be left on their own (for the record, there is no legal age for leaving a child on their own but it is an offense if being on their own places them at risk https://www.gov.uk/law-on-leaving-your-child-home-alone)? Planning ahead is important, it doesn’t mean having a schedule written out with regimental precision but including some outside childcare mixed with some home days to give you some working hours, and mindset is a key factor: it changes ‘enduring’ to ‘enjoying’ which means you get pleasure from the time you have with your children, without the shadow of guilt or even annoyance that many working parents feel. And you get to work without the shadow of guilt or even annoyance that many working parents feel (that’s a deliberate repeat, because it does work both ways).
Being a working parent (or indeed a working carer) is a delicate balance between home you and work you, and we try to please everyone but end up feeling wrung out and often feeling like we’re failing at everything. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Take a ‘pick ‘n mix’ approach with this and you’ll find yourself sailing through the holidays and maybe even wishing they were longer – well, maybe not, but at least you won’t have wished them away…
Here are my Stress Busting Holiday Tips, taking that approach to see what works for you. It’s never ‘one-size-fits-all’ and all about being flexible:
And if you’re struggling with stress in your workplace, our workshops and talks help you identify the issues, target the stressors and give you a path out of distress and into de-stress. Because prevention is always better than cure.
Contact us on 01798 344879 or email firstname.lastname@example.org