How do you entertain your children over the Easter Holidays, and successfully work; or is this a futile exercise?
As a freelancer and a parent, the dream of the Easter Holidays (or any other holidays) is to not be at work, but to have time off entertaining and enjoying the small ones. This rarely happens.
I am lucky enough to be working on two fantastic projects now, which makes having any time off tricky. But I am a planner, so arranging two weeks of entertainment for my nearly 6-year-old shouldn’t be a problem….
I have a Margot (one) and an Arthur (almost six), they have very different entertainment needs. Margot is mainly at Nursery, apart from a Tuesday when she is super glued to my side! And Arthur, just wants to play football, play with his friends, or go on a train.
First, there was a surprise inset day at Arthurs school on Friday… who knew?? Well, I kind of knew, but secretly I was hoping I was wrong, and that the school would open! Never mind, a day out in Birmingham – train ride, Lego store, hot choc & cake! The boy was happy! Me not so much as it was raining, bouncing off the ground raining!
Now the fun begins, week one – four days of Football Camp. This is genius idea from the team at Whittington Soccer School. The only problems for me are:
It is 10am – 3pm – that is not many hours to get any work done!
I have a tired, hungry boy at pick up who needs cleaning, feeding and entertaining (again)
Post football playdates, this involves me picking, entertaining, feeding two children now!
Clients call no matter what! (I had several conversations whilst walking to the football, in the car after football, oh, and sat in the car waiting for football – thank goodness for 4G!)
Lots of evening work, as I have time in the day, but not as much as I need.
We have survived week one with lots of adaptive working and late nights, caffeine, and chocolate… now bring on week two. This is going to be slightly easier, as I have a husband as a co-entertainer. Wrong, he doesn’t really want to spend all his holiday entertaining small people, he has house tasks to achieve, and wants some downtime to himself. Fine!!
Enter week two: we are eating Easter chocolate, playing games, going to the Zoo, having a playdate with a friend, going to cinema and having a playdate with cousins, and I am trying to fit in my two projects! New week, same problems:
Time, I don’t have any to work (trying to answer calls and emails on the move, and give attention to your family is tricky)
Lots of evening work
Reliant on 4G to work on the move.
Giving your clients an insight into this world of holiday entertainment and hope they see the fun side! (I had several emails asking how the football had gone, and whether I had survived the Zoo)!
So, on reflection, do I think it is possible to entertain children over the Easter holidays (or any holidays) and work… the answer would be yes! You need to plan activities and playdates for the small ones, call on other people to help you entertain, and then You need to lower your expectation for productivity levels, expect to work in the evenings, and make sure that your clients and colleagues are aware that you are entertaining/ out and about.
No one said that freelancing was easy.
Freelancing is a daily challenge to see how good you are at juggling multiple balls!