Although I’ve been running a successful small business for 8 years now, I still see myself as a full time parent and the summer holidays are no exception. I started a business in order to provide the flexibility that having a family desires and to earn money, however the children come first. This means big parts of the business shut down for the whole summer. Scary I know! But I’m always open and honest with clients and customers, we all benefit as by September I’m refreshed and raring to go!
The Three P’s : Planning, Preparation and Prosecco.
OK the third is an outright lie! I usually settle for any old bottle of white, days out for a family of 4/5 aren’t cheap even with our Blue Peter badges (which in itself is a great holiday activity to do!). I plan for the majority of the six weeks and have been doing so since June. I started winding my business down around then, signing off any big clients, not taking on any new ones, scheduling in social media content and pretty much making my business self sufficient for the summer (in the best ways I can).
I cannot do the early morning thing from 2007 – 2014 sleep was pretty sporadic with one baby or another I now relish my time in bed and children who like sleeping (finally) or are happy to read a book (thank goodness for the Library Reading Challenge) and quite frankly after entertaining 3 children all day the last thing I want to do is pitch up to work. 9 times out of ten I’m more tired than they are! this is also where it’s vital as a blogger to produce evergreen content. Content that never fails to be interesting and relevant even 2/3 years down the line.
A Visual Calendar :
With all the best intention in the world, I’m as Megan would say “a forgetter”. I’ve taken to printing off a monthly calendar and popping it on the kitchen door. It means I see it all the time and so do the children therefore I barely get away with forgetting anything.
With all the flyers and activity information that we pick up a wall calendar is perfect for popping on what is happening in the local area. This means we rarely have a day without something to do!
The Trade Off :
Having a visual TIMED calendar also makes life a lot easier in terms of getting that 10 minute email check in here and there. If they know they are going out at 10am they become much more amenable to getting dressed, brushing teeth, giving mummy 10 minutes. *cough this is a good time to mention my tips on organising your inbox for just such times cough you’re welcome*
This planned schedule also means that my children are much more amenable, when they were younger we’d sit down together with arts and crafts or playdough while I got an hours work in. Now they are more interested in riding their bikes in the garden with the neighbours. Keeping them busy means I very rarely hear “I’m bored”.
I’ve mentioned this lots before but having a Blogging/Small Business BFF who has children the same age as mine and enjoys similar activities is one of my saving graces! Killing two birds with one stone! I cannot tell you how many walks across Avon Country Park we have had discussing the finer points of social media, making money through blogging and upcoming events. It not only keeps me sane, but helps to keep me motivated and inspired when your possibly snatching minutes here and there or like me on semi shut down! It’s also great for the kids who quickly tire of my ugly mug!
I don’t really have any “confessions“! We don’t have Netflix and if they are watching a film/DVD it’s normally in the evening and I’m there too (maybe only half paying attention while attempting to tweet). They don’t go away without me and if one is at a club I’ve the other 2 to contend with. Although I do sometimes send them to church club on a Wednesday for a 2 hour working slot …. but Charlie loathes it *insert death stare* and it’s hardly worth the agro.
Whilst I realise not everyone has or even wants the Summer hHliday we have. I personally wouldn’t have it any other way! (And BTW that’s OK we don’t all have to agree on everything!)
This post is an entry for the Britmums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor.