How I cope with the ‘post school holiday blues…

…before starting my new work routine.

I woke up this morning not feeling my brightest (although who does at 6.30am?) and as I write this (it is currently 12.55pm), the feeling hasn’t really gone away. It is unusual for me to feel a bit ‘meh’ for so long but it is a feeling that I have come to recognise as it is so specific. It occurs around 3 times a year and the worst is always a few days after my daughter goes back to school at the end of August.

As I work from home, I notice the quiet that falls once she returns to school – after 6 weeks of noise filling the house, it at first is elating – peace and quiet! Being able to go to the loo without telling her, making drinks when I want etc… but after a few days, the elation disappears and I have to mourn the loss of the old routine, before I can move on to a new one.

So instead of ‘working’ through it – I’ve learn over the last few years that it doesn’t work for me, I embrace it and have a quiet day. Here’s what I do:

  • I eat anything and everything I want – just for that day, if I want chocolate for breakfast, then I’m having it. (I did today!)
  • A lot of trashy, easy on the eye television gets watched. Today it was TOWIE and a few YouTubes, plus I finally watched the Beyonce Coachella documentary on Netflix.
  • A long, hot bath is always required, sometimes with a face mask too. (I’m in love with Garnier sheet face masks at the moment)
  • None of my cleaning routines get achieved. (Sorry Team TOMM)
  • I refuse to feel guilty for anything – for missing her, missing work or not being what I feel I should be doing. I truly wallow.
  • At 3pm, I shake it off, dust the biscuit crumbs off my clothes and go get her. I smile and move on.

This might seem a little strange but it truly works for me. Yes I will still miss her tomorrow but because I’ve had my moment of complete wallowing, I know I can now get myself back in gear and start with my new September routine.

ps I *may* have also eaten an entire packet of Jaffa cakes whilst writing the post…

How to manage the school holidays…

…and still have a good time!

I don’t know about you but the forthcoming school holidays always fill me with joy and dread. Joy that I get to spend time with my gorgeous girl but dread because I still need to find time to work.

Mum and Daughter

Full disclosure – I take a financial hit during the holidays. I’m not truly working – instead I reduce my hours massively and take on new projects that start in September. I posted about how I save before the holidays in this post and I’m currently beavering away to try and set up work from September.

I do this because I never want to feel torn between choosing work over time with my daughter. I am really LUCKY that I can do this because of my freelance lifestyle. My work tends to be on a project by project basis. I’m not forgetting this and we all know the benefits AND the negatives of a freelance gig but it is a choice I am currently choosing to make.

So during the holidays I do:

Working on the move
  1. Check my email – everyday and I answer anything pressing from my phone.
  2. Work for an hour every morning and in the evening.
  3. Check in with clients – wish them a happy summer or just remind them that I’m ready to start in September
  4. Network through meeting with ex-colleagues for a drink or coffee when I’m child-free.
  5. Plan a day every fortnight when I am child-free and can binge on work stuff/admin
  6. Revise any plans/goals for the Autumn
  7. Assess my financials – where am I in invoicing/earnings.

I can thoroughly recommend that you have a look at the article here by Skills you need website.