The juggle of being a business owner and parent is real. We all feel it and we all have our own way of managing it. Some seem to do it with grace and ease – others simply struggle. And then school holidays happen.

While school holidays have their advantages (no uniforms, lunches, excursions, fundraising, assemblies, 9am start times) they can also hamper your productivity. Especially over the looong break in January (we have 7 weeks) – I am counting down the days until routine can set back in. When I know the hours, I can work in my business on a weekly basis. I can cross things of my to-do list and action my goals.

This year I have started to plan on getting nothing done for my business during the school holidays – or I may set myself one or two ‘projects’ I would like to complete. Anything else is a bonus. This has been hard to achieve, it has mean’t re-thinking my business and the model I operate with. Focusing on core, money making tasks only.

To be able to ‘let go’ during the holidays you need to dedicate some time to planning and preparing your business. Essentially putting it on auto-pilot for a while – especially regarding marketing and promoting it.  You can leave some fulfillment, administration, and business development until after the holidays – simply add tasks to your to-do list. Once I am back in the business, then a couple of admin days later and I am off and running again.

Changing speed in your life, I find, is hard. Switching between parenting and work. Juggling business and school. In school holidays the balance shifts towards your children, opposed to your business. When school starts you need to shift that balance back, and slip back into routines which work for you and your family on a daily basis. Here are my 5 tips to making that easier:

  1. Set your school routines up – uniforms, lunches, communication with the school. Use a new term to freshen up routines which were not effective previously
  2. Pre-cook snacks and dinners in the holidays – have them on stand by for those out of control days
  3. Don’t set deadlines or events for the school holidays, don’t add pressure to yourself
  4. Know your goals for the next term, and the main project you will be working on when you step into your business – start with your feet firmly on the ground
  5. Continue your auto-pilot a couple of weeks after you are due back, give her head the time and space to get up to speed again
  6. Use holiday time as a time to rest and refresh. It is amazing what might bubble up for you when you are giving yourself the thinking space. Enjoy this time with your children.

There are so many school holidays in a year (12 weeks)l, plus pupil free days and public holidays, sometimes it feels like you are taking one step forward and two back. And then there is illnesses – bugs and other things collected from schools – sometimes by the time a cold has gone through the house three weeks have disappeared.

I have tried to continue working through the holidays and illness – this resulted in me going around in circles. What has worked for me is forward thinking and planning. Understanding a couple of weeks before holidays will be full on and a couple of weeks after will also be full on – however in between you will get time to be with your children and enjoy their company. This time will not last forever.

Finally, if you do need time to be in your business during school holidays – lets face it seven weeks is a long time. There is always playdates or holiday care to fall back on. Use your support network of mum friends – ease the pressure for both you and your children.