Whoop! We are nearly at the end of the 6-week school summer holiday marathon and, like a lot of parents all over the country, as much as we love our kids we CAN NOT WAIT for them to go back to school. The juggle of working, parenting, entertaining, feeding, nurturing, guiding and basically not losing our shit on a daily basis has been hard. Not impossible, but hard.
We were very lucky to go away for a week's holiday where it’s safe to say we had a blast. The sun shone (mostly), crabs were caught (in a net) and it was a big bag of happy (generally), fun-filled memories.
Screech back to reality and day one of being home: the inbox is heaving, deadlines are looming and all of a sudden the reality of non-holiday life comes crashing in.
Yup, I was getting more than my knickers in a knot over just about everything under the sun. I went from capable to bat shit crazy quicker than you can say ‘another cream tea?’
And then I pulled myself back again.
Here’s what I did to level myself. Maybe it will help you.
Talk about it - sounds obvious, right? Not so much. There’s a reason the expression ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ has stood the test of time. Don’t sit on it, stew about it or over-exaggerate it. Like the previous blog mentioned: see it, say it, sorted. Once you’ve vocalised it the issues instantly become something you’ve chosen to manage. Great start.
Sleep - feeling exhausted at the rag-end of the day will exasperate every, single emotion you have. Turn the phone on silent. Move it far, far away from your bed. Make a warm decaf drink and go to sleep. Even if it’s at the same time as your 8-year old and even if you think that you’ll not be able to sleep, your body will be in the rest position and you’ll get more sleep than normal.
Be ruthless - I mean proper military precision ruthless about what’s urgent and what’s a priority. You can do anything, but you can’t do EVERYthing. Be realistic about what can be achieved. This is a temporary situation you’re working within, things won’t always be this pressurised, so ease the steam and only focus on urgent/priority.
Stop putting so much chuffing pressure on yourself - it would be great if all the washing was done, it would be fabulous if the house was dusted, it would be incredible if all the food shopping was sorted. However, if it’s a case of beans on toast sat in jogging bottoms but with a smile on your face, go for that option. When you have more time you’ll achieve more.
You are not alone - remember that others are in the same boat and they are feeling the same pressure. Therefore, rather than apologise in a reply to a slightly delayed email, say ‘thank you for your patience’, or ‘I’m so grateful that I could have a little extra time on this’. Empathy rocks.
Be present - who knows where we’ll all be this time next year. I’ll hold my hands up right now and say that I started acting like a bear with a sore head in front of my kids and husband. I was only thinking about my work, my inbox, my deadlines and how I wasn’t getting anything done. My attitude was contagious. But as soon as I recognised it, I knew I had to change my mindset, just like you will change yours. The kids are on holiday and they want to hang out with me, to play and to have fun. Next year they might want to sack me off and be with their friends.
Take a selfie of you, the kids and the chaos and remind yourself it’s a great life. Smile, laugh, love and play.
Hope this helps. Love, K x