Hands up who is a work at home parent? If you are, then how are you feeling about the summer holidays? I’m going to be honest, I’m terrified. As much fun as it is having your kids home for six weeks, for parents who have to go to work, or who work at home, it can definitely be a little bit stressful.
If you are one of the parents who work from home then this post is just for you! It’s full of tips, tricks and hacks that will keep you afloat this summer. I also have a free printable that will help you to ‘survive’ just that little bit more, especially if you are someone who finds the juggle super tough! You can grab your free printable here, but I’ll also explain more about it below!
How To Survive The Summer Holidays As A Work At Home Mum
There are so many joys to working from home. Flexible working is one of them! However, working from home still means that you have to get work done and often that can be super tricky when you have little ones running around you. I’ve been a ‘work at home Mum’ for a few years now and if the past few years have taught me anything, its that you need to set up some work/home hacks that will help your summer holidays to go as smoothly as possible.
So, without further ado, here are my top tips and hacks for….how to survive the summer holidays as a work at home Mum/parent!
1. Set Up Play Stations
If childcare isn’t an option for you, then something I find that entertains my daughter for a long time is setting up different play stations around the house. I normally set up four or five at a time. These can be anything from setting up an arts and crafts corner, to setting up a quiet corner with books, to setting up role play stations like a pretend doctors surgery, a pretend school or camping.
Evie then likes to hops between all of them and usually enjoys doing this for a few hours at a time. Another thing I’ve created to keep Evie entertained, especially if I have something I really need to focus on, is a busy box. This was so easy to pull together and is something Evie uses sat next to me while I’m trying to get work done. You can read my post about creating this here: How To Make A Busy Box.
If you still need even more inspiration then do check out some other quiet time kids activities here: ‘5 Kids Activities To Do At Home‘.
2. Outsource Things
Is there anything you can outsource for work for the next six weeks? If there isn’t, is there anything you can outsource at home? Maybe you can get your food shop delivered every week so that you don’t have to go to the shops, or you can order in a system like ‘Hello Fresh’ so you don’t have to think about meals. Maybe you can even have a cleaner come by one morning a week?
If these things can save you any time, then it might be really worth considering that small expenditure just for six weeks, so you can have a better balance. Think of a bunch of things you can outsource, to make your life easier! If your kids are older, perhaps they can help with chores, or you can pay them or reward them for helping around the house? Think of all your options!
3. Batch Make Meals / Pre Make Snacks
This is my favourite go to hack for the school holidays. It saves so much stress of ‘what are we going to eat today’ and it saves so much time! How many of you are always so swamped that any kind of good eating flies out the window in the summer holidays?
If this is you then have you ever tried batch cooking and freezing meals and pre-making snacks and lunches the night before?
Usually once a week, I’ll set aside a morning or afternoon and batch make several meals. These are usually what we’ll eat for dinner so we’ll batch make things like chilli, or cottage pie, or pasta bake or bolognese and we’ll keep them frozen until the nights we need them. It actually doesn’t take that long to do them all at once.
Another thing I do is make up lunch boxes the night before. This means that the next day there is no flap come lunch time! I can literally grab Evie’s box and my own and we can eat as we need to. I also love to prepare healthy snack boxes at the same time. Either cutting up a mango or chopping up carrots to go with hummus etc. Just keeping these set aside for those cries of ‘I’m hungry’ will stop any stresses in moments you really need to concentrate on your work!
4. Keep A Healthy Balance
This one can be so tough, can’t it? You might have even had a little giggle at that title ‘keep a healthy balance’. But, I have you covered! I created a free printable that I use every single day! It maps out your whole day and really helps you to keep on top of everything you need to do. It also encourages you to get some ‘you time’, ‘family time’ and it helps you to stay healthy.
It’s broken down hour by hour so you can put all your tasks in that you need to complete. But, it also has some clever sections that will really help you to see how you are spending your day. It’s been designed with you in mind, to stop you from feeling burned out or like you are juggling the world. I promise you, you will really love it and it will really, really help! You can download it here: Daily Balance Planner.
5. Do One Thing With Your Kids A Day
I suffer from serious boughts of Mum guilt. This seems to get worse in the holidays, especially when Evie is around and I have work to do. If this is you too, then you’ll love this tip.
Every day in the holidays Evie gets to choose one activity that we will do together at some point during the day. This means she has something to look forward to and I feel less guilty because I know that I will be spending time with her at some point.
This can be something so small by the way, you don’t need to go over the top and go somewhere big like a theme park. Your kids will be happy with anything like playing playdoh together, or making homemade ice lollies, going fruit picking, going to the park or any other idea you can come up with. Check out my summer bucket list for more inspiration if you are stuck on this one!
6. Break Your Day Up Into Small Achievable Tasks
How overwhelming is it, waking up in the morning knowing that you have some big amounts of work to do that day, but also kids to look after? My favourite way to stop the overwhelm is the break up what I need to do that day into small achievable tasks. This is another way the printable comes in handy – it will help you to do this.
No matter how big my project, or how big my to do list, I break it down into small bitesize pieces or into half an hour segments. It’s amazing how much you can get done in a timed half an hour! Plus the pressure of only having half an hour dedicated to a task usually helps me to not procrastinate or take longer than I need to! Definitely give this a go!
7. Don’t Feel Guilty For Using The TV
I used to feel so guilty if we ended having a TV morning/afternoon. But honestly, it’s ok to do this on occasion. Kids love watching films and their favourite programmes and if you are feeling the guilt, just remember to schedule in your ‘one activity to do together’. One thing that makes me feel less guilty about TV time is making it an ‘event’. I usually set up a tipi/tent/fort so Evie can watch the film in style. I then set up her teddies so it looks like they’re in the cinema and she’ll get some special snacks to enjoy while she’s watching.
8. Swap Play Dates
Why not rally up other parents you know and exchange play dates once a week in the summer holidays? One thing I love to do is swap play dates with other parents. This means that Evie will go over to someones house for the day so I can work in silence and then vice versa, their kids will come over here for the day.
It’s actually amazing how much you can get done, even when it’s your turn to host the play date! I always find that when Evie has a friend over, she’ll just go off and play with them, leaving me to do as much as I can until they need me to entertain them again. Speak to other parents you know, I’m sure they will love this idea too!
If you loved this post…
…be sure to check out my other posts on working from home:
So, those were my top tips for how to survive the summer holidays as a work at home Mum. If you haven’t done already, don’t forget to grab your free ‘survival’ printable before you leave this post. It will seriously help you to stay on top of your ‘A’ game and stay as organised as possible in the next six weeks!
Who else is going to be juggling work and children over the next six weeks? Did you find these tips helpful? Are there any tips you can add? I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments below.