Regular followers and friends will know I make no secret of the fact I take the summer holidays off to enjoy with the children. Charlie is 11 this year and already started to wane from the idea of mum all summer! But things are a little different this year I NEED the summer holiday. It’s been a funny old 6 months and something isn’t quite right. Physically I feel fine, but mentally I’m just not back in my normal zone. I had hoped our escape to Corfu would rectify this but 7 days WiFi free have only heightened the fact something isn’t right.
Why do I work from home? :
I set up Charlie Moo’s back in 2008 just weeks before giving birth to our second child, Megan in order to be a full time mum, but also contribute to our family finances. As the children started school this business provided me with truly flexible family working hours I never miss anything at school, even last Friday when I managed to attend Sports Day at two different schools. Ultimately I’m doing something I love and enjoy going to work. But just lately I haven’t felt in love with my business, I haven’t felt excited going to work anymore and quite frankly there’s been a few days where I’ve vegged out in front of Netflix instead (Sorry Daddy Moo!). Emotionally things are high, you know where you haven’t processed things just right yet and find yourself crying whilst watching the GLOW finale (just love those wrestling girls!) or feeling agitated by things that shouldn’t matter to you but randomly do. Last time I felt like this I sold Networking Mummies. I can feel there’s a big change coming but as of yet I’m not entirely sure what shape or form it will be.
It’s really important that we give ourselves “permission” and time to re-evaluate our lives and our business. Part of your working from home self-care and wellness relies on being able to identify when things “aren’t quite right” and allowing yourself to stop and think. It’s very easy to get caught up in the “earning”, I get it I really do we’re a family of 5 our extra curricular activities mount to £200 a month (ouch). The problem with “earning” can mean that things we want to do get pushed to the bottom of the list, developing a new workshop, writing that elusive second book, visiting more networking groups and this is what leads to a reduced enjoyment in your working day.
Taking Stock :
You can’t give your business the mental space it needs when you are working in it, fact. So utilising the downtime I’m kind of forced to take during the summer holidays, is a must but I also don’t want to disappear for 6 weeks as well that just doesn’t make business sense.
- Schedule : I’ve already started to schedule content for Facebook and on the blog, this way it looks like you are still active as 6 weeks is a long time to fall silent. Populating your Twitter feed also helps drive traffic to your website, using scheduling tools
- Organise Your Inbox : Staying on top and keeping your inbox organised is a good start pointing, stick to the 4D technique daily to reduce overwhelm (Do It – Delete It – Defer It – Delegate It). Consider using an email autoresponder stating your children are on Summer Holiday and you aim to reply withing 24 hours etc … this takes the pressure off you and gives a clear directive to those who email you.
- Pros and Cons : Make a list of all the jobs you love and those you hate. Do more of what you love and less of what you hate, simple. For me this might mean I have to reassess what jobs I take on and who I work with or it might mean I need to employ a VA to help reduce the load.
- Don’t leave things to last minute : I am terrible at organising myself which means I’ve been turning away projects and reviews because I feel like I’m in disarray and overwhelmed. Also I’ve not been enjoying this side of blogging much anymore. I’m planning to get my to list up to date in July and start a fresh in September.
- Declutter : Having a big clear out in my office is long overdue. I’ve party supplies stock everywhere, piles of books and stuff I really don’t need/want. It can be really easy in the summer to let your office become a dumping ground.
- Clear Your Head : Bullet journaling is a great way to write down your thoughts, feelings and process things – I’m a big fan of brain dumping where you just literally write down everything that is running through your brain.
Getting through the summer :
When you’re self-employed it’s a simple equation working = money, not working = no money I’ve been slowly filling up our diary full of activities in order to ensure the summer is fun filled and ultimately budget friendly.
- Key Events : I booked and paid for our holiday (5 days in Skegness) back in May, since then I have done a bit of research on things to do places to eat, booked a couple in advance and pitched for a cheeky blogger review. I also organised climbing Mt Snowdon as part of my #40before40 months ago too. This provides key events that everyone is looking forward too and also breaks up the 6 weeks a little.
- Enjoy Your Surroundings : We are lucky enough to live on the edge of the New Forest which provides many a fun filled day. Never underestimate the fun that children can have with a bike, tree to climb, river and a net. Taking a picnic too also reduces the money spent on snacks, lunch and drinks as these can quickly add up.
- Free Events : Hobbycraft, RNLI, PetsAtHome all have free events I’ve signed the children up to. Your local Library is also a hub of free activities as with previous years the children will sign up for the reading challenge and take full advantage of the weekly craft sessions too.
- Team Up : Meet up with other mums in business, either to chat or co-work/co-parent it’s much easier to get things done if the children are entertained. Plus it’s nice to talk to someone who understands how you are feeling. If your local keep an eye on my Self Employed Team Building Socials as I’ll be running some family orientated events.
Having a wall chart provides everyone (who can read) with a clear understanding of how the week is going to pan out, but it also gives you something to do each day which limits the chance of spending money unnecessarily. During these activities try to provide the children with 100% of mummy, not half paying attention half on your phone. I call it a trade-off but Single Mother Ahoy! refers to it as “filling their cup” it basically means giving the children quality time where it’s just about them no phones and in return, they entertain themselves for a period of time and you work.
Edited : Summer Holiday Planner 2019 added