For anybody trying to work from home during school holidays, you will know all too well how it can bring about a unique set of challenges. With children off school and the need to juggle work and home life, it can be difficult to balance it all. Here’s our School Holiday Survival Guide at VOffice to help things run smoothly for you and your family during the school holidays!
As parents who work from home, it’s always nice to have childcare options available, but when the kids are off school that can often leave us in limbo, childminders and nannies can be pretty expensive and with the cost-of-living crisis at large, this only makes things even harder. Sports camps and holiday clubs can be a great way to keep your children entertained and cared for while leaving you free to work. However, again, these can prove expensive and not all children will be happy to go or might not be of an age where it is suitable for them to go. If you are lucky enough to live near family or friends who can help out, then don’t be afraid to ask for their support, even a few hours a day can make all the difference. However, not all of us will have this luxury, so if the Duracell bunny that is your child is hanging off your leg is demanding that you take them to the ball pit, sometimes, it has got to give! If you’re usually on calls, try to ask your employer for an hour of admin instead, to relieve you of call answering this means the background noise in the ball pit won’t affect you and you can still get some work done.
This leads us to our next point of transparency and honesty with your employer!
Transparency with your employer
Honesty is the best policy! Be as transparent as possible with the people who are likely to be affected by your work schedule and changes in circumstances. It’s always nice to have a healthy relationship with your boss, they should already be aware if you have small children, so they should know that they will be at home with you, however reiterate this to them, it could be a quick email to inform them that you may be just a tad slower today with responding because you have to meet the demands of a mini human! Since covid-19 and lockdowns, most people are much more understanding and amenable to parents having children around and of course working from home, so this does make working from home during school holidays a slightly easier challenge.
Set boundaries with your children
When you start the day, make it clear and let your children know that you will be working. Clear communication whether they are 5 or 15 will give them a heads up for the day ahead and in turn will give them a clearer understanding as to why they will not be getting your undivided attention today. Instead of saying “NO” to everything they ask because you may be in the middle of something, try to set up activities that they could do independently and advise them that you will play with them just after you have finished doing X, Y and Z but in the meantime they could complete the activity you have set up for them whilst they wait, keeping them occupied.
Let break time be play time!
That hour break that we usually use to read a book or wind down, is now play time for the kids! Make this hour dedicated to your children. Reconnect with them, get them off any devices and try to get outside! This helps to fill their cup with the attention they need from you and even better, they are less likely to keep pestering once you are back at the desk. For yourself, it is a way for you to switch off from work for an hour and immerse yourself in something fun. Being playful with children is a brilliant way to recharge and get your own creative juices flowing.
You and your children will both reap the benefits and who knows, you may even get a minute’s peace after!
Last but not least, be kind to yourself!
We are all juggling something or other in this day and age, it can be quite exhausting trying to get it all right, but stop worrying about getting it right, if you’re doing your best, then that is good enough. The parent guilt can easily creep in when all they want is for you to play with them and you are glued to your screen trying to meet a deadline, but such is life and as long as you dedicate a certain amount of your day to give them your attention, then you are doing all you can to provide them with a balanced life… And that’s ok!
Feeling overwhelmed? Let VOffice take one thing off your plate. We can manage your calls so you can focus on your family. Contact us today to see how we can help!