Summer holiday survival guide for working parents

Accountants with children at home this summer this one’s for you.

So, we’re easing out of lockdown! And as we take our first tentative steps into the big wide world with a cautious grin…BOOM! Here’s six weeks of school holidays for you to juggle.

And you’d think it would be a doddle after the past few months, right? Wrong!

School summer holidays feel very different this year.

Before the pandemic, school holidays would feel like an essential need for children. Time to wind down, rest and restore after a busy term. As parents, we’d be busy winding things up at work so we can have some time off with the children to connect and bond with the family. We’d be busy arranging childcare with family and holiday clubs. Perhaps booking holidays. And although it was always hard, we had options. There was an exciting buzz in the air!

Not really feeling like that at the moment is it?! The last few months have been messy, to say the least. Work has been different, the bank balance will have taken a hit, our sanity certainly has and life feels unbalanced and unsure.

Just as we get into our stride, life is changing again. But, as always, we’d like to offer our help and support. Here’s our 5 tips to survive the school summer holidays. Nope. Here’s a guide to thrive in the summer holidays! Let’s make it a summer to remember …

1 Change of scene – Okay, so having been holed up with the family for months – it may be that you’re not quite so excited about some ‘family time together’! But let’s put a positive spin on this. Although the past few months spent together have been quiet and slow. They’ve also been stressful for everyone. Now is the time to pick up the energy, ditch the home schooling and have a change of scene. Draw a line in the sand. Summer starts now. And speaking of sand, why not book a summer staycation? Check out AirB&B for some UK seaside deals, dust off the tent and get outdoorsy or make up for lost time with friends and family – safely of course.

2 Plan, plan, plan – Unless you’re very lucky, you’ll have to work sometime over July and August. If you’re at the office and family and friends aren’t an option at this time, there are some great childcare options which your kids will love. Come on, they’ve been in lockdown for months. They’ll be running in without looking back, and that parent guilt you felt last summer will be replaced by pure joy when you see the list of activities in store for them. And people, real life people! And if you’re working from home, plan in some fun time. Maybe get a few hours of work in early, or when they are asleep. And give yourself some time as a family away from the computer, the iPhone and the Zoom meetings.

3 Address your feelings – For some, it may not be as simple as opening the doors and setting them free! Your child’s mental health may have been affected by the pandemic. It might be showing itself through stomach aches or angry behaviour, or problems sleeping. People, surroundings and everyday life may feel scary for your children. And maybe the loss of a loved one is causing difficulty. So, it might be helpful to take the time to address this. Here’s a great starting point for looking after children’s wellbeing during the pandemic. Everyone’s risk of mental health problems has increased because of COVID-19. There is no shame in getting help, for you or your child. Take your time to adjust to the new normal. And do whatever feels right for you and your family.

4 Remember the little things – If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that children don’t actually need lots of fancy and expensive days out, or the latest toys and gadgets. They may have a new love for art, baking or writing. Perhaps board games, hide and seek and dance routines for TikTok are their thing. Whatever their passion, maybe try to encourage and develop this – however tempting it might be to throw some money at the situation! Kids want your time, not constant soft plays and cinema (although those are a godsend at times!) So, during the summer holidays give yourself and the family time together, and keep that spirit of unity and togetherness going for as long as you can. It’s been a tough time, but dare we say it…work can wait! It may seem like a long stretch ahead until September, but you’ll never get this time back with them. We know it sounds a little romantic, but we’ll be giving it a try.

5 And finally…this six weeks of (hopefully) summer sunshine, is for you too! Take some time to enjoy a beer garden and have a pamper at the salon. Get stuck into the stash of books on the bedside table and cook, run and see your friends. Perhaps your child is starting school in September and you’re thinking about changing your hours, or your whole career. We can help you there!

Oh and if you’ve not done it already be sure to nominate yourself or nudge a colleague of client to nominate you to win our most deserving accountant competition! You could win a £300 staycation voucher to be spent with the boutique getaway directory Mr and Mrs Smith!

It’s going to be a summer like no other and plans will need to change. But hey, why not make it your best summer yet?! Embrace it for what it is, make it work for you. And have loads of fun along the way.

We’re sending all of our support and encouragement to working families this summer. You’ve got this!

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