In today’s episode we explore the extra juggling challenges that can come during school holiday periods, and provide 7 tips for managing them without disaster.
Tip 1 – Prepare, prepare, prepare
Get yourself a huge calendar that covers the school holiday period, block in the essentials, and then ask your children what’s important to them so that you can include those things as well. It might be the latest movie, or a special museum exhibition or just playdates with friends and relatives.
Also, don’t forget to allow yourself some down time. It’s not a bad thing at all for kids to get a little bit bored and then excited to go back to school.
Tip 2 – Nominate the responsible adult
Working parents often have limitations on the amount of leave they can take during a year, and school holidays are over and above that. A variety of options are often needed – parents, school holiday care, grandparents, friends or other relatives – based on who’s available and cost.
Tip 3 – Talk to your employer
If you are planning to be the carer for at least part of the time during school holidays it is important to plan this in advance with your employer.
Remember it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You might take some full days, just finish work early on other days, or perhaps work from home. There are options and it is important to canvas what works for you and your employer.
Tip 4 – Take a break
Even if you are going to be available to care for your children during the whole of the school holidays, consider planning a break for your own sanity. Sometimes the intensity of being responsible for your children 24 hours a day for 2 weeks or more in a row can be fairly overwhelming. So plan some breaks for yourself too – free of work and care. This is also a good opportunity for your children to develop other adult relationships.
Tip 5 – Prepare for the return to school early
Do as much as you can to prepare for the return to school as soon as school finishes. First day of holidays empty out school bags of food, clothes and school work and make sure all uniforms and other school items are ready to go for the next term.
Tip 6 – Make a checklist and check it twice
There are always lots of new things that need to be acquired before a new term (especially a new school year), so it is worth being organised by making a list and working your way through it as quickly as possible.
Haircuts, new uniforms, shoes, school supplies etc. Also, don’t forget to hide the new stationery so it isn’t all used up before school starts!
Tip 7 – Have the day off!
Once the school holidays are over, take some time to take a breath and just think about yourself for the day. It’s very tempting to rush straight back to work, however it is truly important to look after yourself first and regroup before diving straight into the next list of responsibilities.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Download our FREE flexible working guide
- The Juggle Community, our online Facebook group
- Find us on Instagram and Facebook
- The Juggle website, where you can find all episodes of The Juggle and sign up to be notified when a new episode is released