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Surviving the summer holiday juggle!
By Sarie Taylor
This can be a difficult time for a lot of parents, despite the sun (hopefully) shinning, and if we are lucky enough we may get to go on holiday, but as well as all of this, we have to find a way to take care of our children for many more hours, often whilst maintaining a level of work that quite frankly at times feels impossible. (This can be difficult enough outside the holidays too!)
I know a lot of parents save their holidays for summer, and that is sensible but lets face it, summer isn’t the only time they are off and if like me and many of us at Brood you work for yourself, you wont have the luxury of taking holidays and completely switching off!
It can feel like such a juggle at times and its easy to get caught up in parenting guilt, feeling like we should just be able to manage all the time and hide it when we are not, and I am here to say absolutely NOT, we don’t need to hide that we are struggling, that it feels tough, and that sometimes its easier to be at work! (This may just be me, but I am not afraid to admit it – I do have one year old!)
I am just going to jump straight in and share some key points below that I think may help to consider before the holiday juggle…
Separate your time in a more structured way where possible – I find if I am trying to parent but I also know I have work stuff to get done I really struggle to be good at, or enjoy either! I find it I give myself a plan and permission to just focus on one thing at a time, I am way more productive and less likely to feel like I am losing my sanity!
Don’t compare yourself to others and their situations – It may appear that others have it easier in some ways compared to you, but ultimately none of that matters. Thinking about it and ruminating is only taking up valuable time where you could be doing other things. Remember you are only seeing your perspective of someone else’s situation. You are dong YOUR best.
Be realistic – How often do we write ourselves a list of tasks or jobs for the day, or even the week and when we look back we can see that it was never in a million years going happen? When you have extra duties as a parent, then its ok for other things to be reduced. In fact its crucial that you do! Now I know some of you will say, but everything has to be done, however what we would like to have done, and what actually has to be done are often two very different things if we are really honest with ourselves.
Schedule some downtime – Easier said than done at times, but so many parents I work with get to a point where its not even on their radar anymore as they cant remember the last time they had time to rest and relax. I want you to have this on the radar again, and it doesn’t need to be hours, even minutes to just pause and consider ourselves can do wonders for our mental health. Even if this just starts with a little compassion for yourself with everything you have to manage, you will benefit greatly.
Communicate with your partner or other caregivers – It’s so easy to resent our partners or other family members if we feel like we are ‘doing’ more, or that we feel we have more responsibility, and yet the funny thing is that your partner may also be feeling like this too! Talk to each other about what you need from each other and how you can best make it work for all of you. Check in with each other regularly to see if its working for you both and be open minded to their perspective.
And finally, don’t bury your head in the sand – I have done this so many times because it feels overwhelming and impossible, I will put things off and just imagine that the magic fairy will come and take all my logistical nightmares away – it never happens! As much as it may hurt your head to consider what needs to happen, and what support you may need or conversations with partners and so on, the sooner you get this part out of the way, the less overwhelmed you will feel.
WE CAN DO THIS!
Sarie Taylor is a trained psychotherapist and a life coach who works with people across the world with a wide range of issues. Having suffered with severe anxiety for many years herself, Sarie also has personal experience and an understanding of what it feels like to struggle. Sarie will be a regular contributor for BROOD magazine, answering questions, sharing ideas and helping our readers understand more about the principles that eventually helped her transform her anxieties, relationships and business – enabling her to fall in love with life again!
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