Everyone who is self-employed faces challenges throughout the year. There are taxes to be paid; difficult clients to manage; deadlines to meet. Yet nothing is quite so stressful as handling all these challenges – with a house full of screaming kids. Yes folks, welcome to school holidays!
But before you start planning your escape or reaching for that second bottle of red, let me tell you the good news. Surviving the school holidays as a self-employed business owner can be done – it’s just a case of knowing how…
Compartmentalise. Repeat, compartmenatise
It sounds like a plan. You’ll make a huge bowl of popcorn and plonk the kids in front of Netflix while you just finish that report that’s due today. And it is a plan – for the first five minutes. After that, it’s kids screaming at each other over what to watch, and popcorn in every nook and cranny. And what is the cat doing on the ceiling fan?
The second you accept that you won’t be able to work and spend time with the kids simultaneously, the easier your life will become. Set part of the time aside to work, and the other part to spend with the kids.
For the times you are working, organise a sitter, time with Grandma or a morning at a school holiday program. For the times you’re with the kids? Have fun; go make some memories!
Organise your workload
Work out what work needs to completed over January and then plan it out in a schedule that suits you. You might be able to do a little every day while the kids play at a neighbour’s house, or it might suit you better to put in a few full days, while the littlies have a sleepover at a friends.
You’re not the only one having to manage running a business with running a family – so why not joint forces? Get a small group of friends together and every day one of you has all the kids for a play date at their house. If you get five friends together, that gives you four working days a week.
Sure, on the day you have the kids your house will be trashed and you’ll be opening your second bottle of wine by dinnertime, but think of how much you can get done!
Once you’ve developed a plan and created a schedule, stick to it. Don’t try to answer emails while you’re with the kids at the beach; don’t start reading reports while the kids are having lunch; and do not let the kids play around your feet while you’re taking a call.
If you try to work when you’re supposed to be spending time with the kids, or if you try playing with the kids when you’re supposed to be working, nothing will be done well. You won’t be working well and you won’t be enjoying time with the kids.
Happy holidays, Grownups!
Love Tania and Margie x