And here they are again.... School holidays!
I have lived through too many to remember, some were awesome, some I wish never happened and was hoping I could forget.
Iv'e had some hellish school holidays with kids and clients, some awesome, some cringeworthy. Yes working from home is great, and the good far outweighs the bad, but in school holidays it's easy to wonder if it's all worth it.
This can give you an idea on what a cringeworthy school holidays experiences I've lived through......
I've had kids go through glass doors, fights break out in the kitchen, kids climbing on the roof, endless injuries, blood noses and trips to the emergency, all whilst trying to do my thing in my home salon.
Sometimes struggling to shuffle clients, kids and commitments, then trying to keep up with the cleaning, the cooking and washing, well sometimes i'm super mum, then sometimes i'm its a shambles.
Unrealistic School Holiday visual
Realistic School Holiday Visual
If I could have my time again, these 3 tips I've learned and want to share with you all, would have made a massive difference in how i survived through school holidays.
Do you know how many times school holidays would sneak up on me, and then all of a sudden my kids are in my face with no plans, demanding to be entertained?
At the start of the year I mark out ALL of the school holidays and public holidays, I annoy the school and get out of them all the pupil free days, and special events, and they get marked in straight away. Now no more school holidays creeping up on you.
When they are still in early primary age, you would generally need to do the planning for them, plan the play dates, play the outings, plan the days you need to be in the salon with clients, and plan the rewards for the days you're not with clients. Mark it out in your diary nice and early, so you don't get caught off guard when clients ask if you're available on the day you marked off to be with your kiddos. Be firm but fair.
When they are older, sit down and do the planning together! I try and do the planning a week before school breaks up, Allocate days that they can plan for themselves, a budget and what they would like to do. Then help them understand you need to be in the salon on these allocated days/times for your clients and your business. When you're open with your communication (as i'm now finding as the kids get older), and you're honest about finances, setting goals, working to achieve and the rewards, it's so much easier for kids to give you the space when you need it, as they understand what's coming after you're finished.
I'm huge on working towards goals and getting rewards for achieving what you have done.
I use this when it comes to kids and helping them understand I have clients to serve, so we can do super fun stuff together in the holidays.
So it's always explained what needs to get done, and what they need to get done in order to achieve a certain reward.
The reward might be something small, like a monster truck, or a new pair of jeans, or it might be on a larger scale like a trip to the adventure park, ice skating or gold class cinemas etc.
The work is consistent with the reward, I set myself the work needed to hit the reward, and we set a goal for the kids to hit for the goal (like fold the washing, unpack the dishwasher etc etc).
How awesome is the reward when we all achieve as a family? It's awesome!
3. Being Present
When things are not planned, how easy is it to have immense mother guilt when you're with clients, and all you can think about is how your kids are inside watching TV all day while you're in the salon.
Or you're with your kids trying to have a great time, but all you end up doing is replying to clients messages, thinking about having to go to the supplier as you have run out of something, or how you need to get your marketing in order, etc etc
No one is getting the best of you, and school holidays turn into a nightmare, and you think to yourself, "that's it! Next holidays it's school holiday program!!"
Get help from your kids to help you keep accountable with your phone, It's unrealistic to turn your phone off for 2 weeks and expect to have cashflow when school goes back, but you can make sure you don't waste time scrolling Facebook and Instagram all day, and have scheduled times to get back to clients of an evening, to ensure you are being present with your kids on the days you're with them.
Sometimes changing your voicemail to "Hey thanks for your call, i would love to help you and will get back to you as soon as i can, i'm just taking the next 2 days off from clients and calls while being with my kids on school holidays" (Or what ever boundaries you have set), That way clients don't get upset if you take 2 days to return their call or message.
So when you're with your kids you're with your kids, and when you're with your clients, you're with your clients! Because if you're not being present, you're not any good to anyone.
Holidays are really fun if you have the planning sorted, you set your boundaries, and stick to them!
Just remember why you set up from home in the first place and you can start to really enjoy the holidays with the kids instead of dreading them.
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