From any parent’s point of view, even the idea of the summer holidays is enough to pre-empt grey hairs. Even at the best of times, balancing home and work life can be stressful. The added complications of childcare and entertaining children who can’t possibly find something to do with a houseful of toys, or a garden to play in makes it even more difficult.
Even with the best intentions your work life will creep into your home life and vice-versa. The question is how resilient are you, and how well you can bounce between the two?
First and foremost, as a parent, every bone in my body screams preparation and time management! Knowing where and when to channel my energy means I have more for myself. For example, allowing half an hour of an evening purely for housework (with a little delegation) means a reasonable bedtime. This in turn means I am well rested for work the next day, without the niggle of what is waiting to be done at home later. I am able to concentrate better and perform effectively; this creates a positive impact on how I feel my day has gone. This positive mood then goes home with me; I am calmer and mentally more resilient for what I may face.
Personally, I have already taken steps to prepare for the six weeks of broken routines, mentally putting into place the temporary ones. The knowledge that my children will be with a good childcare provider means I do not have any concerns at work. This makes me mentally tougher, allowing me to handle any stressful situations with a clearer head in a calmer way.
By preparing myself mentally and emotionally for things I know are on their way means I am more adaptable to change, knowing that, with a little extra work, I can have that time off to enjoy an ice-cream in the sun with the ever bored little ones!
My advice to you is to start your planning early to make sure you’re on top of the new routines before the holidays begin.
Come on then summer, I’m ready for you!
Samantha Lalley, Bray Leino Learning
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