Most working parents dread the lengthy summer holidays, as it is always a battle of balancing work and childcare, but the battle for self employed parents is often much more difficult. There are no colleagues that can pick up the priority jobs whilst you are away or to field any inquiries and you most certainly do not have the peace of mind of knowing you are getting paid for your time off. However, whilst this sounds very gloomy there are of course lots of positives to being self employed, otherwise why would you be?
Being able to work flexibly around the children, manage your workload so that you can take some time off when you want to and of course reaping the rewards of all your efforts and hard work are just a few! However these positives do not detract away from the fact that we do have at least six whole weeks to juggle spending time with the children and meeting the demands of our business. It also doesn’t make the challenge of coping with ‘guilty parent syndrome' either, feeling guilty when you are at work and not with the children and vice versa.
With all this in mind we have thought about how we can make life easier for ourselves over the summer holidays and this is what we came up with...
'Survival Tips For Self Employed Parents During School Holidays'
Let your clients know when you are going to be away on annual leave, or if you are planning to work reduced hours. This will let them know when you are available and to manage people’s expectations.
Remember to set up your out of office and your answer phone message, as this allows you to inform your clients and let them know when they can expect a response.
Check your emails and social media only once or twice a day and then restrict access so that you do not get distracted and you can be more productive for the hours you are working.
Schedule some social media posts and blogs to go out over the summer, so that your business still has a presence when you are off work.
Maybe consider working for a few hours at either end of the day, or work for the morning and then have family time in the afternoon. Having set times for working will make it clear to everyone in your family when you are working and it will be easier for you to segment and manage your time.
If you know other self employed parents, maybe consider arranging play dates and taking it turns to entertain the children, as this can solve many childcare headaches, be good company for the children and assist with keeping costs down.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s nothing to be ashamed of and often people are happy to offer a helping hand, but may not naturally think to ask if you need support.
Finally, it is very important to have some proper time during the Summer holidays, to have time out to be with your family, but also some time for you! Turn off the WiFi and mobile data on your phone whilst off work...believe it or not...the world continues to turn and life still goes on! Go on give it a try…