In a recent poll I conducted, almost 60% of mothers admitted to being apprehensive about, or downright dreading, the school summer holidays.
For many mothers the summer holidays are a stressful time.
Already weighed down with the weight of the mental load and all its associated responsibilities, when summer rolls around and school age children are at home for weeks on end it can push mothers’ well-being off a ledge.
Juggling work with childcare and filling the days with activities can be highly stressful; even the most organised of mothers can quickly feel overwhelmed and burned out.
When you add guilt, shame and all the other negative emotions that often rear their ugly heads at times like this – as we, perhaps, look at other mothers who seem (at least on the face of it) to be getting it right when we are doing the opposite – it’s hardly surprising that summer can be hugely triggering.
And as for self-care…what even is that?!
With all this in mind, I ran a live event in my Facebook group for mothers this week where I shared my top 5 sanity-saving summer solutions. Here is an overview of what they were:
Identify the main concerns you have about the holidays – what are the potential trigger/flash points e.g., the kids playing up during an important meeting. Rehearse them in your head.
Identify possible solutions – what can you prepare in advance to keep the kids quiet during meetings? e.g., downloadable resources, a secret stash of magazines or small toys etc.
Share the mental load – remember that it’s not all on you to manage the childcare juggle when the holidays roll around. Talk to your partner (if you have one – if not read point 4) about your concerns and co-create solutions e.g. divide household tasks, discuss what can be done less frequently or not at all during the holidays to free up time etc.
Enlist wider support – are there friends or family who can help during the holidays? Could you do a childcare swap where you take a friend’s child for a day, and they reciprocate? Could you utilise holiday clubs from time to time?
Consider YOUR needs – plan those in advance too! What are your non-negotiables e.g., a weekly run/hot bath. Try to safeguard those activities, and also consider how you might lower your expectations/standards over the holidays in order to get through (for example being more tolerant of screen time to give you and the kids a break).
I'd love to know how you feel about the summer holidays? Get in touch!