school holiday stress

School holiday stress

School holidays can be really challenging for mums of smaller children. It sounds lovely to have more time with them, it seems great to not be directed by the clock, but it is very frustrating that all your stuff seems to get onto the sideline.

  • Annoyed that you can’t get stuff done?
  • Irritated by the distractions your kids offer?
  • Stressed because you are not productive?

Mandy’s story of schoolholidays tells it all

Mandy looked out of the windows and noticed how annoyed she was with another sunny day. It meant she had to go out, possibly get a picnic and supervise her DD (darling daughter 8) and DS (darling son 6) playing in the park or the little paddling pool. Another day where she couldn’t do what she really wanted and needed to do.

Mandy is self-employed and runs a small social media agency. She has two employees and the three of them are looking after the FB and Instagram campaigns of a number of clients.

Having the DD and DS at home is an absolute nightmare for her work. It is virtually impossible to keep her head down and concentrate for a number of hours at the time. She tries to squeeze in little and often efforts, but it doesn’t feel satisfying and Mandy feels

  • Annoyed
  • Irritated
  • Stressed

She is also not enjoying the positive aspects of the holidays as the cloud of work darkens her view.

The thing is that Mandy wants to keep working in the same way as ‘normal’ but her circumstances are different. Where she is boss over her own time during term time, during holidays her children determine what is happening. They are not undisciplined, but they don’t cope with a working day like an adult does. And Mandy frustrates herself by setting the same expectations to her work and schedule.

Tips for Mandy to experience school holidays in a different way:

  1. Adapt to the circumstances – she needs to change her working hours. Maybe start working at 6am and get 4 hours in before she takes DD and DS out
  2. Adapt the workload – social media is calmer during holiday season
  3. Find extra support – delegate work and/or delegate kids
  4. Set boundaries – little and often means that Mandy’s brain is continuously pre-occupied with work. If she creates a schedule she has work time and free time
  5. Enjoy being with DD and DS – don’t let those fun moments be spoiled by work frustration

School holidays are a challenge for any mum. But there as many wonderful moments to experience as there are frustrating ones. Just take control wherever you can, and for the rest, go with the flow.

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