Well the school holidays are here and as well as working around a two year old, I also have a 6 year old and a husband at home!

I know that I would definitely be rather doing this
family-796911_1280than this

So how do you balance parenting and working for yourself in the school holidays?

Let me start by saying I’m no expert and I also know that I’m very lucky that my husband will be at home for all but 2 weeks of the holidays so I don’t have the same issue I know a lot of you have of needing to entertain them for a full 6 weeks!

Here are my top 8 tips for working from home in the school holidays (apologies to my social media followers – as you will have seen some of these before!)

  1. Let your clients know you have your children at home – that way when they contact you they won’t expect an immediate answer and will understand if a mini war is breaking out in the background. I know a lot of working Mums worry about this but more clients will understand and it doesn’t make you any less of a professional!
  2. Put your out of office on your email and update your voicemail – let people know you are working more erratic hours but will get back to them as soon as you can
  3. Plan, plan and plan again! Spend time each evening planning your workload into 30-45 minute chunks, in between these spend an hour with your children, set them tasks, build a den and when the hour is up ask them what they are going to do whilst you do a little bit of work – children often get bored or play up when they feel like they don’t have your attention so breaking up the day like this will help.
  4. Ask for help! Arrange playdates or link up with another working Mum and share childcare responsibilities in order to give yourself a morning or afternoon to work in peace and quiet
  5. Move your office to the park! Pack a picnic, ball and colouring books – take your laptop or tablet to the park and let them run around whilst you get some work done – if you need internet access invest in pay as you go mobile internet or turn your phone into a mobile broadband hotspot
  6. Get them involved in your work – could they help package some products, draw a picture to decorate your office or go on a supplies trip with you – be creative and think outside the box
  7. Make some signs for your office door – ‘Do not disturb‘, ‘I’m working but you can come in‘ or things along those lines to indicate when you need to concentrate and when your are free to be disturbed.
  8. Work in the morning and evening. When we were away as a family in May, I worked for two hours in the morning (8am – 10am) and for three hours in the evening (6pm – 9pm) – I got 5 hours work done each day but still got to enjoy time on the beach with my family.

Do you have any tried and tested methods that you’d like to share?