For the kids, it’s the highlight of the year.  Six week off school to have fun and generally let their hair down after a year of lessons and homework.  The days are long, with little structure and lots of (perceived) freedom.

For working parents the school summer holidays can be a nightmare.  The days are too long, with the conundrum of child-care to consider, the promise of over-crowded over-priced attractions and if the British summer runs true to form, rainy days of confinement climbing the walls.

So how do working parents cope with the school summer holidays?   I hope my Top 5 Tips give you some ideas of how to make it through to September relatively unscathed!

  1. Plan ahead.  Look at what resources are available to you in terms of other team members, co-workers and outsourcing.  Don’t leave things to the last minute – get into the routine of delegating some of your workload and outsource where possible to lighten the load so you can have some time off.
  2. If you have no alternative than to work and not take any time off, don’t feel guilty – after all, you work to support the family and pay the bills, don’t you?  Are there any family members you can call on for childcare duties?  Is it possible to take turns for “child days” with other business colleagues by way of a rota system?  You’re not the only one in the soup when it comes to work/life balance and school holidays – so work at it together!
  3. Is it possible to work from home?  Although you can’t leave the kids unattended when you go to work for the day, they will make their own entertainment if left to their own devices as you work from home.
  4. Check out local play centres.  We have one in Hednesford that is offering  a summer pass at a very reasonable price which is valid for the entire summer break – they also have free WiFi.  So, as the kids hurl themselves about on the soft play equipment and make their own friends, you can take your tablet or laptop and crack on!
  5. Holiday clubs run in most areas – its also worth asking schools if they have any holiday clubs planned during the school holidays.  Full of activities, a holiday club will not only occupy your little soldiers, it’ll tire them out too!

Please feel free to leave your own tips for others to read – and enjoy the summer!