3 ways to GREAT Summer Holidays, for Busy Business Mums
“Hooray!” says my youngest of four children, only 2 more days of school and then it’s the summer holidays. My initial reaction is of course to share in his excitement, I remember only too well how much I enjoyed the long summer holidays as a child. However, when you’re a working Mum, and when you run your own business (or in some cases both), the fast approaching summer holidays can conjure up a whole mixture of emotions:
- Relief: no more having to chase everyone and everything preparing for the morning school run
- Relaxed: evenings don’t have to be quite so structured; with no school in the morning, we can be much more flexible with mealtimes and bedtimes
- Happy: less time spent at school, means more time spent at home together, and our days suddenly seem ‘longer’, less fragmented…
…but YIKES, school holidays also means there’s:
…more mouths to feed during the day (no more school canteen and packed lunches just don’t seem to be ‘in-vogue’ during the school holidays)
…more clothes to wash (the ‘multiple-wear’ school uniforms are exchanged for multiple outfits per day)
…more peoples’ well-being and happiness to think about during what had once been your ‘working day’!
…more likelihood of hearing “Mum, I’m bored, what can I do?” (or the equivalent in tears and attention-seeking behaviour if your bored child has not let learned to send you the message in these words).
For the next six weeks (or more, if you have older teens who finish their exams earlier), your ‘work-day’ just took on a whole new dimension, or three!
As a business women and Mum to four children, what top 3 tips would I give to other busy business Mums who want to get the most out of the summer holidays with their children without running themselves, or their business, in to the ground?
Here are my Top 3 Tips. But a word of warning…I’m NOT talking about tips on how to ‘keep MORE balls in the air’, get MORE done, use clever time-management tricks to squeeze more out of your day. NO! Let’s face it, we are smart, successful women, and we are already GREAT at doing MORE! That’s not the real issue, is it?
So my top three (not-time-management) tips for great summer holidays are…
Tip 1 – Get comfortable with not ‘giving it all’ to both sides
If you can’t take the whole of the summer holidays off from your business (which is most often the case, particularly when just getting started and you don’t have a team to rely on), start by getting comfortable with the idea that in order to get the best of both worlds, you are going to have to divide your time, your attention and your energy between business and family, but very importantly still leave some time for you (see below). What that ‘ideal’ division looks like will be different for different people. Don’t compare yourself with others; you are the expert of you, your family and your business. You are the best one to judge how you need to best divide your time and attention between everything and everyone who’s important in your life for this year’s summer holiday, and it will vary from year to year based on a multitude of factors, including your family situation, the age and needs of your children, and what stage of your business journey you’re at.
Tip 2 – Get Summer Support
If there is one ‘side’ (business or family) you feel is getting less of your time and attention than you would like over the summer holidays, seek out ways in which you can get support from either your personal or professional network. Successful mothers are often not very good at asking for help, we can sense it as a form of weakness, shortcoming or failure of some sort. Be creative with ways in which you can get a bit of help to redress the balance during the summer holidays:
- Help from professional companies/freelancers to provide a bit of flexible support with your business and clients to keep on top of the essentials during the summer holidays (e.g. Virtual Assistant, Social Media Outsourcing, trusted referral partners, etc.).
- Help from friends, family or professional childcare providers to give you support in the home or with your children whilst you focus on essential business commitments.
- And don’t forget, as we often do, that we can also ask our children for age-appropriate help too, on either the home or business front, you’d be amazed at what they can do given half a chance.
Tip 3 – Don’t forget your own needs
As I wrote in a recent blog article about the half-term holidays, and it applies even more so during these long summer holidays “Put your own needs alongside those of your children”.
It’s so easy to fall in to that trap of thinking that a good mum is one that ALWAYS put her childrens’ needs first and her own needs last, but this is a long-term formula for unhappy, burned out mums and becoming unhealthy role-models for our children. This is probably THE most important tip of all, and I invite you to read the full article, if you haven’t already done so.
What I would add, particularly if you are in to making lists, is to jot down the ’3 non-negotiables’: 3 for YOU, 3 for your children and 3 for your business that you absolutely want to do/experience over the summer holidays, and make sure these get included, no matter what. When it comes to the ’3 non-negotiables’ for your children, if they are old enough, you can ask their opinion, so that you know that even if you have to spend time working over the summer holidays, you will definitely have the time and energy to do what is most important in your childrens’ eyes too!
I wish you all a wonderful summer holiday ladies <3
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