Being a #mumboss, working from home and running my blog as my business is awesome but it’s not easy, and it’s even harder in the school holidays when the kids are at home and need entertaining.You can’t neglect your work as it’s your income, your business, your way of paying the bills. But, you can’t neglect the kids either, they need their mama and they want to spend time with you. So how do you get through the school holidays as a work from home mum?
It’s all about the hustle and the balance, and being seriously bloody organised!
PLAN THE HOURS YOU CAN WORK
Are the kids going to any out holiday clubs or day trips with the Grandparents? Or perhaps they’ve got a couple of play dates coming up? Try and plan your work hours around the times you know you’ll be child free.
For me, this only tends to be in the evening when Archie is in bed as he has additional needs so we don’t have any childcare or support in the school holidays. I normally work during the school hours in a normal week and catch up with any extras in the evening. In the school holidays I know the only time I can sit down & work for a few hours is in the evening so my out of office is on letting my contacts know that it might take me a little longer than normal to get back to them.
I’ll answer the odd email or respond to my social media followers throughout the day on my phone but it’s very rare that I would actually have chance to sit down at my laptop for any period of time.
Because I’m so short of time in the school holidays I have to be super focused. I need to know exactly what needs to be done that day and stick to it without any distractions, hence why I’ll work in the evening once the hubby is home and the kids are settled in bed.
It’s to easy to sit down to work then get distracted by social media, or the TV, especially as our house is quite small so there’s no room for a home office. t’s easy to get into the habit of working in front of the TV but I’ll make sure I sit at the table in the kitchen so I’m not getting caught up in the latest programme and am totally focusing on what needs to be done.
WORK WHEN YOU’RE MOST PRODUCTIVE
Normally for me, I’m most productive first thing. Straight after the school run, I’ll pop the kettle on and sit down with my laptop and a brew and get cracking. In the school holidays there’s no chance I’d get any work done in the morning as this is when the kids are most demanding.
I know I won’t be able to get any work done during the day if I’m at home with the kids, everything takes twice as long and I just can’t get a minute to concentrate on anything so it’s just not worth the stress of trying. Especially when you have a child with complex needs, you can’t do everything so don’t put the added pressure on yourself.
It’s much easier to dip in & out on my phone when I do get a second to myself and leave my main work to when I can actually be productive.
MINIMISE THE HOUSEWORK
I like to have a big clean on the weekend but when the kids are off school there’s no chance. The house pretty much looks like a bomb has hit it so I try to limit the damage to a single room!
During the holidays housework is all about little and often, tidying as you go. Trying to do one room at a time. It’s a case on keeping on top of it and trying to add in the extra jobs like cleaning the windows or the skirting boards one room at a time. So I’ll do the everyday jobs like vacuuming & mopping the floors consistently then the weekly jobs will get split throughout the week. So instead of giving the house a huge blitz in one full day at the weekend it’ll just get split along the week.
You can also get the kids to help out to. Especially the older kids that want extra money for going out with their friends. My 16 year old is more than capable of running the vacuum around the house a couple of times a week for some extra cash.
Working from home whilst keeping the kids entertained all day is hard work, especially if you’ve had to change your hours like me to fit around them. You’ve been busy all day and have a full evening of work to catch up with so the last thing you want is to be trying to figure out what to have for dinner in the evening.
I always plan our meals for the week ahead. Both because I’m following Slimming World so need to plan ahead to keep on plan but also because it’s less stressful.
When you know what you’ll be eating that night you can take any meat etc out of the freezer to defrost the night before, you can prep in advance, and the biggie is that everyone knows what’s on the meal plan so they can stop asking you 50 million times a day ‘what’s for tea?’
The slow cooker is my best friend in the school holidays. When I plan our meals, I look at what food we already have in and if it can be made in the slow cooker then it is! It’s so easy to throw the ingredients in the slow cooker and just leave it on low all day.
Once the hubby is home from work we can sit down to our evening meal, get washed up and then I can start work. Just using the slow cooker gives me back so much extra time, it’s a life saver on the holidays. Plus you can cook pretty much anything, I love using it for chilli, spag bol and curries.
There is no way in hell I can take my boys shopping with me. Archie just can’t cope due to his sensory processing difficulties, a trip to the supermarket will always end up in a major sensory meltdown and it’s just not fair on him to have to go through that, or for me to have to deal with it. Why go through it if you don’t have to?
Food shopping is no problem for my eldest, but it would cost me a fortune to take him with me. He wants ALL the food, seriously I’d be bankrupt if he came with me every week.
I did used to go shopping in the evenings once the hubby is home but I need that time to work. So instead it’s online grocery shopping all the way. I can look at what food we already have in and meal plan around that, then add any extra ingredients and fresh food to our online shop. It saves me time, money & stress!
KNOW WHEN TO CALL IT A DAY
Even though I have flexibility in my day I have also had to learn when to call it a day. Some days you can be so tired that you just aren’t productive anymore. You’re stressed out, the kids have been playing up, the laundry is piled high and you feel like giving up.
So give up.
Call it a day, get an early night or slob out in front of the TV, whatever you need to do to chill out. Start the next day refreshed and ready to kick ass!
Do you work from home? What would be your tips for making it through the school holidays?