What advantages did you write down when you decided to be self-employed in the first place? Better work-life balance? More quality time with your family? If you are a self-employed parent chances are working during the school holidays probably featured near the top of the disadvantage column. However, with some forethought, you should be able to combine spending time with your children and your business without too much guilt!
You will know the dates of the school holidays well in advance so make a plan
- The ratio of parent/business owner hat you will be need to wear will depend on the age of your kids but, even if you don’t already, you may choose to work from home at least some of the time.
- Get ahead of your workload if you can to allow some breathing space when you need it.
- Teenagers can be left to their own devices (mostly) and they often very helpfully don’t get up too early meaning you can make the most of the peace and quiet first thing.
- Sports clubs and social activities are great resources even if you have to check emails while waiting for them in the car or nearby café.
- Take up any offers of help from relatives – grandparents, other family members – you get a few hours (or days) to work and they have some quality time together.
- Share with other parents – schedule in swaps with others who need to work.
- Plan ahead with your clients – be honest! Tell them you are not working that week or only working on specific days, or if only working late or early. Warn them you will be working but might not be contactable on the phone or immediately on the email and use your out of office for down time.
- Don’t take on work that is very important or time specific, even if you are sure you can manage. Chances are something will happen to upset your plan just when you have promised a tight deadline.
- Spend the time on your own business housekeeping. You won’t feel so bad having to break off from writing a blog post or tidying up your accounts to sort something out.
- Make packed lunches and snacks up just as you would on a school day. It will save time later on.
- Take time out each morning to get everyone outside for a walk or a visit to the playground. You won’t feel as guilty later when they are left with their screens.
Don’t forget those advantages you wrote down at the beginning of your self-employed journey!
If you were employed you would get annual leave. Make sure you take some time out and enjoy the flexibility you promised yourself and your family.
What great strategies have you put in place for the school holidays? Do you have a plan or do you wing it and hope for the best? Please drop a comment below and let us know what works for you.
Why not message me and find out how to outsource some of your admin even just to give you more flexibility over school holidays. Hourly rates available.