Firstly let me apologise for being so quiet throughout January. This year has certainly started at a ‘bull-at-a-gate’ pace and I have had to really prioritise my time including foregoing writing blog posts and connecting with many of you on Facebook, etc. This has been a meager attempt to allow for ‘down-time’ with my boys—three of whom are on school holidays.
I have had a lot of other work pop up unexpectedly in January (we have been busy filming and creating lots of great products to be released this year with some incredibly inspiring people) and much to my horror I haven’t been able to squeeze much else into my week!!! This brings me exactly to my point of how does one balance work, play and guilt in the school holidays? Most of us would agree that balancing work and play during the school year is hard enough without the added guilt that school holidays can sometimes bring.
So What Can We Do?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could CLONE ourselves so that, when our children embarked on the holiday merry-go-round, we could sail around with them guilt-free while our clone fulfilled our work and financial commitments—oh, the bliss this would create… However, knowing that cloning is not a viable option, most of us find that we slip into ‘hyper-parenting’ mode trying to meet everyone’s emotional and financial needs. It’s hilarious really if we step back and look at everything we have on our plate—we try to ensure our children enjoy their holiday period (keeping them fed, happy and entertained), we try to take advantage of their additional free time (to avoid future guilt), meet our work dead lines and avoid the likelihood of our household being condemned. All of this is manageable but for me there are days when the guilt of feeling that I am not really doing any of these roles well DOES MY HEAD IN!!
So here are the reminders I had these school holidays…
- See the humour in trying to be Wonder-Woman or Super-Dad—surrender to not being able to do it all. Here’s an example: just wear shoes if the kitchen floor is sticky (AGAIN)—honestly your kids don’t care if the floor is dirty. Also know that it is okay that our children are not entertained 24-7, its important they realise that for decades of time children have not only survived but thrived without technology by playing imaginary games, building secret hide-outs in the garden, reading books, etc.
- Watch my thoughts—make sure I am not running a mental dialogue of “I never have enough time in my day” (which breeds stress). Instead, replace that with “I have ample time to complete anything that I desire today”.
- Whatever I’m doing in that moment to be present with that and enjoy it rather then letting guilt for other tasks creep in. Easier said then done, I know. Important to remind myself year-round not just during the holidays.
So now that January comes to an end and my boys head back to school in another week obviously there will be fewer parenting demands on my time. I will however stay focused on these points through out the year because the GUILT of balancing parenting and work is ON-GOING. For any working parent (home-based or workplace) these are wonderful points to bare in mind.
Here’s a couple of pics at work and play…