It hit me last week that this summer I will be at home for the whole of the summer holidays. This is something I dreamed of since having children and aside from my maternity leave with both children I have worked at least part of the summer holidays since they were born. This has meant juggling childcare, Dave’s shifts, my work and trying to have some time together as a family too. But this year is the first summer since I made that huge leap of faith into making blogging my job.
I have been asked by so many people how I am going to manage through the summer. We don’t have formal childcare in the holidays – although I know the children’s grandparents will love having them now and again – and so really in the holidays Dave and I are the childcare – around Dave’s shifts. But, as I don’t have formal working hours my work can be put aside until I have the time to focus on it.
Looking at the calendar of the next six weeks there really isn’t much down time planned. We are spending two weeks at Mark Warner’s Lakitira resort in Kos and whilst we are there I will still be checking in on my emails every day or two when the children are in a kid’s club but the actual work will be at a minimum – I need a break as much as Dave and the children do.
When we get back we have so much planned – days out, little adventures, days with friends and family and a couple more nights away at different places. We also have LP’s birthday at the very end of the summer. It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone that over the next six weeks all of these things will take priority and work will be pushed back into the time I have when the children aren’t around – I will be working in the evenings from when the children are in bed until late each night but it means I get the whole summer of day time with the children – and I can’t complain about that.
Summer is hard as a self employed person but easier when your work is online – and you can do it from anywhere. When we go on nights away I will be sitting in a hotel bed with my laptop. When we go on long car journeys I can draft posts whilst Dave drives. I know that may not sound ideal but it means that when the children are awake I can be there, I can be completely present and I can just focus on enjoying it. I’ll take photos, maybe even film a bit and I’ll be there for the summer to just enjoy it with the children – one of the reasons I wanted to work from home in the first place.
I know that come September Little Man will be at school with his sister and so this summer more than anything is about making memories and holding on to those last few weeks of Little Man being a preschooler. I want to have fun with him and his sister, spend quality time with them and make memories that will last until the next chunk of time away from school. And because of that work has to come second for just a few short weeks.
But, I have done as much as I can to prepare for the summer break to make sure that my work doesn’t suffer. I have met all of the deadlines I had outstanding and have a couple of pipeline pieces that I’ve written that are just waiting to go live – things that will take me just a few minutes in the day to finish off.
I have also cleared out my inbox, replied to everything I can and set up an out of office to let people know there may be a short delay in responding. I’ve also let anyone that I’ve agreed work with that I’ll be away – and to send deliveries and things when we get back.
Because of the nature of blogging there isn’t a whole lot more I can do to prepare but I feel quite relaxed about the summer holidays. We have so many plans and I know we are going to have an amazing summer but I also know that I can, and will, work around the children.
If you’re self employed what are your plans this summer? Will you be having time off or still checking in and working like I will be? I’d love to hear how you’ll be coping through the summer.