So, it’s the Easter Hols and (after 12 years of Freelancing no less), I finally feel I can let go of the school holiday guilt blues.
And I’m ashamed to admit that for me, the school holiday blues aren’t the blues because the holidays are over. They’re the blues because I can’t work (much).
You’re freelance. I bet you understand exactly what I mean.
Your kids are on holidays and they just wanna have fun. Why wouldn’t they? YOU on the other hand, can’t believe the holidays have crept up on you (“What?! Already?! How on earth did that happen?”)
I wouldn’t exactly call it a headache – after all, it was my call to become freelance, to be free to take time off whenever I want.
Yet, it’s still tricky keeping everything ticking over AND keeping the little people happy.
Tip 1: Plan Ahead
Things won’t always go to plan, but planning ahead will at least give you a starting point. I need at least two long days without interruption – so those two days are set aside, come what may.
The whole household knows the score and I rope in help (in other words: get everyone out the house to the nearest park or whatever please, because I need peace and quiet).
Tip 2: Seek Help
I have a network of awesome friends I rely on (in fact, we take it in turns to entertain the kids at our respective homes during the holidays).
I simpy couldn’t manage without this arrangement – I love it (and them <3).
Now that my kids are older, I think it’s great for them to have some breathing space away from me anyway (well, just a little).
They’re bonding with their grandparents (who spoil them – in a nice way) and friends. It happens to be good for my sanity too, (they’re perfect little squabblers).
Tip 3: Work with what you’ve got
If you don’t have a close network of family and friends to rely on, don’t beat yourself up about it. Work with what you’ve got:
- Work on dedicated slots: If you can’t set aside whole days, simply work on time slots throughout the day (e.g. dedicated times when you lock yourself away).
- Be upfront with your family/kids: Communicate when you have urgent deadlines to fulfill. Older kids will find it easier to understand some days/times are important where your work is concerned. But do keep your end of the bargain so they know how you’ll make it up to them.
- Automate tasks wherever possible. If it’s important to you/your biz, schedule your social media marketing – but you’ll still need to maintain a personal touch, so aim to check in at least once a week.
- Plan to work less. Your clients are probably juggling work with school holidays too, so as long as you communicate to them ahead of time when you’re likely to be unavailable, they’ll understand and won’t become frustrated if they can’t get hold of you.
Don’t beat yourself up over it.
It’s all good – it’s work your way.